Energy

309 Items

Trump’s Iraq Visit Alone Won’t Undo Damage He Did Last Week

The White House from Washington, DC/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Bloomberg Opinion

Trump’s Iraq Visit Alone Won’t Undo Damage He Did Last Week

| Dec. 26, 2018

The move of President Donald Trump to visit Baghdad on Wednesday is a small, good one, amid a week of calamitous decisions. The press will understandably highlight the time that Trump spends with U.S. troops. Yet a key objective of the trip will have been to shore up the new Iraqi government's confidence in the U.S., as Iraqi officials must be high on the list of those shocked by the president’s recent decisions to rapidly withdraw U.S. forces from Syria and Afghanistan. Perhaps the president has realized that his administration has some hard work to do if there is any hope of keeping his latest determinations from dramatically strengthening Iran.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Republic of Korea via Flickr

Journal Article - Georgetown Journal of Asian Affairs

An Analysis of Moon Jae-in's Nuclear Phase-out Policy

| Winter 2019

Although South Korea adopted nuclear energy later than countries like the United States, Russia, or France, the country, until recently, has been considered to have one of the most successful civil nuclear power programs in the world, with a fully-devel- oped supply chain, a remarkable record in constructing and operating nuclear power plants (NPPs), and the ability to compete and win contracts to supply NPPs abroad. The fortune of South Korea’s nuclear program has seemingly come to an end, however, with the election of Moon Jae-in. The new South Korean President promised to reduce the country’s dependence on nuclear energy, and has, since taking office, implemented measures to phase out this type of electricity generation.

In this paper, following a brief history of the development of nuclear energy in South Korea, the root causes that instilled public distrust of nuclear energy and Moon Jae-in’s phase-out policy are discussed. Subsequently, by analyzing the validity of Moon’s plan, I argue that this phase-out policy is not beneficial for the long-term sustainability of South Korea’s economy in general, and of the Korean nuclear industry in particular. The paper concludes with policy recommendations for a more balanced nuclear policy that can accommodate public opinion and, at the same time, ensure energy security and provide other economic and diplomatic benefits.

Visitors look at the models of oil tanker shaped floating nuclear reactors and oil rigs showcased at the display booth of China's state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation during the China International Exhibition on Nuclear Power Industry in Beijing. April 27, 2017 (Andy Wong/Associated Press).

Andy Wong/Associated Press

Journal Article - Maritime Issues

China's Planned Floating Nuclear Power Facilities in South China Sea: Technical and Political Challenges

| Nov. 21, 2018

The operation of the fleet of Chinese floating nuclear power plants in the South China Sea carries with it numerous safety and security risks that may have widespread consequences to not only China but also to Southeast Asia and beyond.

President Donald Trump meets with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un at their historic U.S.-North Korea summit in July 2018

Getty Images

Analysis & Opinions - Vanity Fair

“It’s the Stuff of Greek Tragedy": How Trump Could Win the Peace and Lose the War

| Sep. 20, 2018

Taking a break from the Kavanaugh confirmation battle to reprise his role as peacemaker, Donald Trump offered an unqualified endorsement on Wednesday of the “tremendous progress” being made on the Korean Peninsula following a three-day summit between North and South Korea. “We had very good news,” he told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House. “They met, and we had some great responses.” On Twitter, Trump was even more effusive, calling the latest developments “Very exciting!”

The initial results of this week’s meeting between Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in do offer hope that their two countries, which have been locked in a state of frozen conflict since 1953, will formally end the Korean War and begin a process of rapprochement. Kim reaffirmed his pledge to dismantle North Korea’s Tongchang-ri missile engine testing site and said he would consider shuttering its Yongbyon nuclear facility. Moon and Kim agreed to resume economic cooperation between the Koreas—including reconnecting rail and road links—and reached an agreement that will ease tensions on the North-South border and in the Yellow Sea. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who had canceled a trip to Pyongyang last month amid a breakdown in negotiations, quickly declared his intention to re-engage.

newer design of a nuclear reactor

DOE/Advanced Reactor Technology

Journal Article - Nature Energy

A Tortoise Approach for US Nuclear Research and Development

| July 30, 2018

In Aesop's fable, a swift hare races with a deliberate tortoise. In the end, the tortoise wins by taking a slow and steady approach. The authors argue that, given the economic constraints on US deployment of nuclear power, a "tortoise strategy" is more prudent for US government nuclear R&D efforts.

 Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant

United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Journal Article - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

US Nuclear Power: The Vanishing Low-carbon Wedge

    Authors:
  • M. Granger Morgan
  • Ahmed Abdulla
  • Michael Rath
| July 10, 2018

Nuclear power holds the potential to make a significant contribution to decarbonizing the US energy system. Whether it could do so in its current form is a critical question: Existing large light water reactors in the United States are under economic pressure from low natural gas prices, and some have already closed. Moreover, because of their great cost and complexity, it appears most unlikely that any new large plants will be built over the next several decades. While advanced reactor designs are sometimes held up as a potential solution to nuclear power's challenges, the authors' assessment of the advanced fission enterprise suggests that no US design will be commercialized before midcentury. That leaves factory-manufactured, light water small modular reactors (SMRs) as the only option that might be deployed at significant scale in the climate-critical period of the next several decades.

teaser image

Journal Article - PRISM - National Defense University

Nuclear Terrorism: Did We Beat the Odds or Change Them?

| May 15, 2018

It has been more than 13 years since the publication of Nuclear Terrorism: the Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe, which sounded the alarm about the clear and present danger of nuclear terrorism. The book made the case for two seemingly contradictory propositions: first, on the current path, nuclear terrorism is inevitable; second, nuclear terrorism is preventable by an agenda of actions that are feasible and affordable. Juxtaposition of these propositions presented a paradox that the book attempted to resolve.

Photo of a man watching a screen in Seoul that shows photos of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

A Bold and Risky Gambit: The Trump Play on North Korea

| Apr. 13, 2018
While prior policies toward North Korea’s relentless efforts to build nuclear weapons and their delivery systems have not proven successful, there is great risk in an encounter between the American president and the North Korean leader. President Trump needs to be fully cognizant of past North Korean perfidy and steer clear of any rushed agreements with negative future consequences.