Asia & the Pacific

207 Items

Monument for victims of Chernobyl in front of covef

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Thirty-three Years Since the Catastrophe at Chernobyl: A Universal Lesson for the Global Nuclear Power Industry

| Apr. 25, 2019

The world will soberly commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant catastrophic accident on Friday, April 26, 2019.  Some may wonder why bother with a gone-by historical event that happened in a distant land — a country that no longer exists — the former Soviet Union (now Ukraine).  On the contrary, Chernobyl and its legacy, with its specters of lingering human toll, radiation contamination, and the massive new shelter ("New Safe Confinement") installed over the old sarcophagus encasing the reactor, will be with us for a long time.

EU - China Summit 2017

European Commission

Analysis & Opinions - South China Morning Post

In Talks with Europe, China Has Shown Willingness to Compromise, but Will it Make Good on its Commitment?

| Apr. 16, 2019

As US and China edge towards an accord over trade tariffs, Brussels reaches an understanding with China that relations be built on ‘openness, non-discrimination, and fair competition’ – and a need for vigilance. The EU has been very firm on trade with China, but less so on the vexed question of Beijing’s human rights record.

The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in India, built in collaboration with Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of Rosatom (Flickr/India Water Portal).

Flickr/India Water Portal

Journal Article - Sustainability

Nonproliferation and Security Implications of the Evolving Civil Nuclear Export Market

| Mar. 27, 2019

In recent decades, the nuclear export market has observed a marked shift of demand from traditional customers in the Western world to Asia. The lack of projects in the United States, the delay in the French construction of advanced reactors, and the Fukushima accident in Japan have also led to the declining export capabilities of their companies. In contrast, Russia has gained numerous contracts, and China will likely become another major exporter. In this paper, the evolution of the market was examined from both the supply and demand sides with issues including the more concentrated and uncertain market, the lack of full participation by emerging suppliers to the nonproliferation regime, and the lesser governance capabilities of the newcomers. Addressing these issues, a range of policy suggestions was made, including the reinforcement of market shares of Western suppliers, the encouragement of newcomers to adhere to international norms, and a better safeguards contribution scheme.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and Italian President Sergio Mattarella attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on February 22, 2017. 

AFP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

Italy’s Risky China Gamble

| Mar. 14, 2019

As the first G-7 country to sign a memorandum of understanding on the BRI, Italy’s participation would carry large symbolic weight for China. But this would hardly be enough to legitimize the BRI amid a global backlash against it and Beijing’s own struggles with piling debt and a slowing economy in the throes of a trade war with the United States. Instead, U.S. diplomats correctly warn that it would harm Italy’s own reputation.

Chinese Tourists taking pictures in front of the Eiffel tower.

AP

Analysis & Opinions - South China Morning Post

How the French Are Waking Up to the Rise of Chinese Power

| Jan. 27, 2019

China’s increasing economic and technological clout is becoming more apparent to the French public, many of whom view the country’s rise positively, writes Philippe Le Corre, an Affiliate with the Belfer Center's Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship.

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.