Articles

14 Items

Journal Article - Taylor and Francis Science & Global Security

China's Uranium Enrichment Complex

| October 23, 2015

New public information allows a fresh estimate of China's current and under-construction uranium enrichment capacity. This paper uses open source information and commercial satellite imagery to identify and offer estimates of the capacity of China's 10 operating enrichment facilities, located at 4 sites, using centrifuge technology most likely based on adapting Russian technology. The total currently operating civilian centrifuge enrichment capacity is estimated to be about 4.5 million separative work units/year (SWU/year), with additional capacity estimated to be about 2 million SWU/year under construction. Also China could have an enrichment capacity of around 0.6 million SWU/year for non-weapon military uses (i.e., naval fuel) or dual use. These estimates are much larger than previous public estimates of China's total enrichment capacity. Further expansion of enrichment capacity may be likely since China will require about 9 million SWU/year by 2020 to meet the enriched uranium fuel needs for its planned nuclear power reactor capacity of 58 gigawatts-electric (GWe) by 2020 under its policy of self-sufficiency in the supply of enrichment services.

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Uranium Supplies: A Hitch to China’s Nuclear Energy Plans? Or not?

| May 6, 2015

China will triple the number of nuclear power plants it has in operation by 2020 according to official plans, and the country’s nuclear fleet will increase 20-fold by 2050 under some not-yet-approved proposals. But how and where will China get the uranium to fuel them all? Will China need to resort to breeder reactors and reprocessing, with all the proliferation problems they incur? Or is there another way? In this journal article for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Hui Zhang suggests that between China’s domestic uranium mining, uranium purchased on the international market, and uranium mined by Chinese-owned companies overseas, China could meet even the most ambitious target, thus avoiding the troublesome and dangerous path of reprocessing.

Journal Article - Washington Quarterly

The Key to the North Korean Targeted Sanctions Puzzle

| November 1, 2014

"At no point in the history of U.S. nonproliferation and counterproliferation policy have financial sanctions been so central to U.S. efforts to prevent or rollback the acquisition of nuclear weapons in countries such as North Korea and Iran. Despite this crucial role, financial sanctions have been examined almost solely from the sender’s perspective, that is, the country imposing the sanctions. Few focused policy analyses have measured the effects of these instruments from the target’s perspective..."

Gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment recovered en route to Libya in 2003.

U.S. Department of Energy

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Nonproliferation Emperor Has No Clothes: The Gas Centrifuge, Supply-Side Controls, and the Future of Nuclear Proliferation

| Spring 2014

Policymakers have long focused on preventing nuclear weapons proliferation by controlling technology. Even developing countries, however, may now possess the technical ability to create nuclear weapons. The history of gas centrifuge development in twenty countries supports this perspective. To reduce the demand for nuclear weapons, policymakers will have look toward the cultural, normative, and political organization of the world.

Journal Article - Science & Global Security

Securing China’s Weapon-Usable Nuclear Materials

| Feb 18, 2014

This article describes the status of China’s military and civilian nuclear programs, fissile material production and associated nuclear facilities, and the Chinese nuclear experts and officials’ perspectives on the nuclear terrorism threat. It gives details of China’s nuclear security practices, attitudes, and regulations, as well as identifying areas of concern. The article recommends ways to strengthen China’s nuclear material protection, control, and accounting systems and suggests opportunities for increased international cooperation.

A rendering of 4 nuclear power plants to be built by a South Korea–led consortium in Sila, 330 km west of Abu Dhabi, UAE, released Dec. 27, 2009. The consortium won a US$20-billion contract to build these plants.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Daedalus

Nuclear Power Without Nuclear Proliferation?

| Fall 2009

Will the growth of nuclear power lead to increased risks of nuclear weapons proliferation and nuclear terrorism? Will the nonproliferation regime be adequate to ensure safety and security in a world more widely and heavily invested in nuclear power? The authors in this two-volume (Fall 2009 and Winter 2010) special issue of Dædalus have one simple and clear answer to these questions: It depends.

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, right sitting, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left sitting, sign a nuclear cooperation agreement at a ceremony in Rome's Villa Madama residence, Feb. 24, 2009.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Spreading Temptation: Proliferation and Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Agreements

| Summer 2009

Matthew Fuhrmann's article "Spreading Temptation: Proliferation and Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Agreements," was published by in the Summer 2009 issue of International Security. In his article, Dr. Fuhrmann argues "Peaceful nuclear cooperation—the transfer of nuclear technology, materials, or know-how from one state to another for peaceful purposes—leads to the spread of nuclear weapons. With a renaissance in nuclear power on the horizon, major suppliers, including the United States, should reconsider their willingness to assist other countries in developing peaceful nuclear programs."

Hagap, North Korea, the suspected site of an underground complex used for developing nuclear weapons.

IKONOS satellite/AFP

Magazine Article - Arms Control Today

The North Korean Test and the Limits of Nuclear Forensics

    Authors:
  • Jungmin Kang
  • Frank N. von Hippel
| January / February 2007

Hui Zhang provides a path-breaking technical assessment of the Korean nuclear test, publishing a comment (with co-authors Jungmin Kang and Frank von Hippel) on the test and the limits of nuclear forensics in Arms Control Today.