Energy

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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.

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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.

Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem

Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions - The Jerusalem Post

The 'Dayenu' School of Foreign Policy

| Mar. 27, 2018

"The following is a proposal for a more contemporary version of the traditional song, presented with all of the modesty warranted. It is also designed to serve as the basis for a new school of foreign policy thought, which will take its place alongside the better known 'realist' and 'liberal' schools."

This video grab provided by RU-RTR Russian television via Associated Press television shows the launch of what President Vladimir Putin said is Russia's new nuclear-powered intercontinental cruise missile. March 1, 2018 (Credit: RU-RTR Russian Television via Associated Press). Keywords: Russia, nuclear arms, Vladimir Putin

RU-RTR Russian Television via Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - Harvard Gazette

Stirrings of a New Nuclear Arms Race

    Author:
  • Christina Pazzanese
| Mar. 01, 2018

Reversing a trend toward cutting nuclear stockpiles that dates to the early ’90s, a recent Pentagon report called for ramping up U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons in order to keep pace with an aggressive arms buildup by Russia. Complicating matters, Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted today of having new weapons that could evade U.S. defense systems, taunting that their sophistication would force America to “listen to us now.”

the under-construction Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi's Western desert

Arun Girija/Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation/WAM via AP

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

The Middle East Is Marching Towards Israel's Nuclear Nightmare Scenario

| Feb. 28, 2018

While the Netanyahus drink champagne and Trump tweets, the Russians changed the Mideast’s nuclear calculus — and this time, Israel has no feasible military option. But can Jerusalem really depend on the White House to avert a nuclear arms race?