Managing Nuclear Energy in a Disarming World

WWS 401d – Policy Task Force
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Princeton University, Fall 2010

Final Report:
The Case for a Global Nuclear Disarmament Fund

The task force concluded the semester by proposing the establishment of a Global Nuclear Disarmament Fund, an independent financing entity whose sole mission is to finance projects that facilitate and support progress towards nuclear disarmament. The underlying logic is that as nuclear power continues to expand and we approach a world with much fewer nuclear weapons, projects that promote disarmament would by nature also promote nonproliferation. The final report examines three particular areas of interest for such projects: an expansion of safeguards in nuclear weapon states, research on safeguards and verification technologies and approaches, and multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle. In each case, there are identifiable financial obstacles that inhibit the realization of projects that could enhance both the disarmament and nonproliferation regimes. Consequently, the task force recommends that the U.S. government co-found the Global Nuclear Disarmament Fund with other interested states to fill this financial gap. The Fund would be sustained by voluntary donations from any interested party, and its management would involve a Secretariat, a Technical Review Panel, and a Governing Board. In the long run, the Global Nuclear Disarmament Fund would come to symbolize a worldwide endeavor to safeguard world peace and security, and offer all members of the international community a platform to demonstrate their commitment to this course.

Task Force Members

Jasmine Chen
Jasmine CHEN is a junior in the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. She serves as the International Conference Director for Business Today, a national nonprofit organization that fosters student-executive interaction. She has interned for the World Food Prize and at a management consulting firm in Washington, D.C. where she analyzed international expansion strategies for clients. Her task force research focuses on the challenges and opportunities for Multilateral Approaches in a disarming world.

Jonathan Moch
Jonathan MOCH is a junior Geosciences Major from Larchmont New York. He is interested in studying Science and Environmental Policy and is pursuing the Woodrow Wilson School Certificate. Jonathan spent last summer in Bermuda studying Marine Biology and in Montana studying Field Geology. Jonathan is researching nuclear safeguards and their use in a disarming world, with special attention to how safeguards could be used in weapon states and possible connections between the nonproliferation and arms-control agenda.

Jay Parikh
Jay PARIKH is a junior from Jacksonville, FL, majoring in the Wilson School with certificates in Computer Science and East Asian Studies. His interests include technology policy, information and network security, and Chinese foreign relations. Jay is currently researching and writing about new technological developments in the fuel cycle and their impact on the risk of proliferation.

Alex Peerman
Alex PEERMAN is a junior at Princeton University in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Alex completed a freshman seminar on nuclear policy issues during which he wrote a final paper outlining some of the key barriers and potential approaches to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons. He will be writing his final paper for the task force on future directions of nuclear safeguards.

R. Scharfstein
Rebecca SCHARFSTEIN, originally from Boston, Mass., is a junior in the Woodrow Wilson School, pursuing certificates in Environmental Studies and Spanish. After interning this past summer at the Department of Energy, Rebecca has a strong background in energy policy and is very excited to pursue research in the field of nuclear power and nonproliferation. For this task force, Rebecca is researching current initiatives of the U.S. Government to support nuclear energy and its compatibility with the government’s nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament agenda.

Alex Glaser
Alexander GLASER is Assistant Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University. He is a participant in the University’s Program on Science and Global Security and works with the International Panel on Fissile Materials. He is the Director of this Policy Task Force.

Yin Liang
Yin is a Senior Commissioner for this Task Force. She was raised in Wuhan, China and attended high school in Singapore before coming in Princeton. An engineering major, Yin spent her past summers in fuel cell research labs and private technology firms. Meanwhile, Yin is a certificate student at the Woodrow Wilson School with academic interests in international technology transfer and regulation.

Peter Tzeng
Peter TZENG is a Senior Commissioner for this Policy Task Force. Previously, Peter has interned at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research in Geneva, investigating political barriers to proposals for multilateralization of the nuclear fuel cycle. His research interests center around the Iranian Nuclear Crisis and understanding Iran’s nuclear history to explain its nuclear policy today.

Course Description

Interest is growing worldwide in nuclear energy as a low-carbon energy source that could help limit climate change. In addition to the 30 countries that are already using nuclear power today, more than 60 other countries are currently considering nuclear power. In the United States, where there has not been a new nuclear power plant ordered in three decades, the present and the previous Administrations have been undertaking serious steps to support the construction of new nuclear reactors. At the same time, President Obama and other world leaders have endorsed the vision of a nuclear-weapon-free world, and there are even calls for an agreement to eliminate all nuclear arsenals by 2030. This task force will seek to develop new policy proposals designed to provide confidence that nuclear-energy use does not obstruct possible disarmament initiatives.