In the future, 2009 and 2010 may emerge as a decisive time in the evolution of international nuclear policies. The global demand for energy security has led to renewed interest in safe and clean nuclear energy, and has raised issues about global standards and regulation of the nuclear energy industry. At the same time, international efforts have accelerated to envision a world free of nuclear weapons and to prevent the spread of nuclear materials and technology, particularly to terrorists. In short, the present moment holds promise and danger for the nuclear future.
This report summarizes the discussion of a workshop held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in mid-April 2010, which examined the intersection of these two nuclear trends. Workshop participants from the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East explored the linkages between the growing interest in nuclear energy and the enduring international effort to stem the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
This report captures the main points made at the workshop, and provides additional context and detail on some topics. References to events that occurred after the workshop, such as the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference, are included to illustrate the ways in which the workshop analysis is both timely and relevant to the ongoing discussion of these topics.
The workshop was a collaboration of the Stimson Center in Washington, DC, the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, and the Institute of Diplomatic Studies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia.