Nuclear Issues

6 Items

Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant

Wikimedia Commons

Policy Brief - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Iran Stockpiling Uranium Far Above Current Needs

| January 10, 2017

In a televised speech on January 1, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran had imported 200 metric tons of yellowcake uranium and would import another 120 tons at an unspecified future date. The imports are permitted by the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but nonetheless significantly exceed Iran’s needs for natural (that is, unenriched) uranium over the next 15 years. Iran’s import of such high levels of uranium suggests it may be stockpiling uranium to reach nuclear breakout before the deal’s initial limitations expire in 2031.

The JCPOA permits Iran to buy natural uranium to “replenish” its stocks as it sells enriched uranium on the international market. To date, Iran has had difficulties locating a buyer for its enriched uranium stocks – unsurprising, given the current excess of commercially available enriched uranium. This, however, has not stopped Iran from buying and stockpiling more yellowcake.

Various images shown on screens at the General Satellite Control and Command Center show the launch of North Korea's Unha-3 rocket, Dec. 12, 2012, in Pyongyang, North Korea.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - National Bureau of Asian Research

The Leap in North Korea's Ballistic Missile Program: The Iran Factor

| December 2012

John S. Park, Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Project on Managing the Atom Associate, argues that cooperation between North Korea and Iran has been a critical—yet underexamined—enabler of North Korea's recent success. He concludes that the time has come for the United States to view the two previously independent missile programs as two sides of the same coin and recommends strategies for disrupting the procurement channels between Iran and North Korea.

A nuclear power plant in Beijing

Bret Arnett, CC licensed

Policy Brief

China’s Nuclear Energy Industry, One Year After Fukushima

| Mar. 05, 2012

It has been one year since the disastrous nuclear accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011. Experts now view Fukushima as the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

In the aftermath, the Chinese government promptly reaffirmed that nation’s nuclear energy policy. Yet China also became the only nation among all major nuclear energy states that suspended its new nuclear plant project approvals. Before it would restart approvals, China said it would:

1) Conduct safety inspections at all nuclear facilities

2) Strengthen the approval process of new nuclear plant projects

3) Enact a new national nuclear safety plan

4) Adjust the medium and long-term development plan for nuclear power

Where is China on this path, and what is the future of its nuclear power industry?

In a Sep. 28, 2010 photo released by Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service, delegates clap in unison during the ruling Workers' Party representatives meeting in Pyongyang, North Korea.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - United States Institute of Peace

North Korea's Leadership Succession: The China Factor

| September 28, 2010

On September 28, North Korean state media announced that Kim Jong-il's third son, Kim Jong-eun, was promoted to the rank of four-star general just prior to the opening of the Workers' Party of Korea conference. Kim Jong-eun was later named vice chairman of the Party's Central Military Commission at the conference. These important developments follow the late August meeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in Changchun, near the Sino-DPRK border, which appears to have cleared the way for this Party conference. After the meeting, both countries' state media reported the leaders' support for the rising generation of the Party — a clear reference to Kim Jong-eun.

Former soldiers with the South Korean Headquarters of Intelligence Detachment unit tear a North Korean flag during a rally against North Korea in Seoul, South Korea, May 20, 2010. South Korea accused North Korea of sinking a naval warship in March.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - United States Institute of Peace

After the Cheonan Investigation Report: What's Next?

| May 20, 2010

"While few observers take North Korea's threat of an all-out war seriously, many experts are concerned that the sinking of the Cheonan may be indicative of a North Korea that is emboldened by its perception of itself as a nuclear power that can now carry out limited strikes without fear of large-scale retaliation."

This Sept. 26, 2009 satellite file image shows a facility under construction inside a mountain located about 20 miles north northeast of Qom, Iran.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Beyond Zero Enrichment: Suggestions for an Iranian Nuclear Deal

| November 2009

"Some form of negotiated agreement, if it can be achieved, is the “least bad” option for U.S. interests—but is likely to have to include some continuing enrichment in Iran. There are real security risks in agreeing to permit some ongoing enrichment in Iran, but if appropriately managed, these security risks are less than those created by a military strike or allowing Iran to continue unfettered enrichment with no agreement."