Nuclear non-proliferation regime effectiveness : an integrated methodology for analyzing highly enriched uranium production scenarios at gas centrifuge enrichment plants
Author(s)Kwak, Taeshin (Taeshin S.)
Integrated methodology for analyzing highly enriched uranium production scenarios at gas centrifuge enrichment plants
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering.
Michael W. Golay.
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The dramatic change in the international security environment after the collapse of the bipolar system has had a negative impact on the effectiveness of the existing nuclear non-proliferation regime. Furthermore, the success of the Pakistani Gas Centrifuge Enrichment Technology (GCET)- based nuclear weapons program has imposed a great challenge on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) regime. In this context, this study tried to answer two questions: (a) what is the probability of proliferators successfully producing Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) at Gas Centrifuge Enrichment Plants (GCEPs) and (b) how effective is the current NPT regime in dealing with this issue. In order to tackle these two questions, an integrated methodology is used that reflects all factors affecting the nuclear proliferation on the front-end of the nuclear fuel cycle. A quantitative assessment of the proliferation risks of producing HEU for multiple scenarios is presented using success tree models, uncertainty analysis, sensitivity analysis, importance measures, and expert opinion. This assessment identifies the factors that can reduce the proliferators' success of producing HEU, which will be helpful in prioritizing the use of the IAEA's limited resources.(cont.) The study found that legal capabilities of the NPT regime are more problematic than technological capabilities in preventing proliferators from producing HEU at GCEPs, since the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is the only NPT regime component that has compliance-enforcing resources. This study recommends three approaches as follows: First, the NPT regime should take a multi-faceted approach that incorporates all NPT regime components into each step of nuclear weapons program development. Second, the NPT regime should impose nuclear elements control via Multilateral Export Control Regimes (MECRs). Third, the NPT regime should develop an approach that challenges HEU production from both technological- and legal points of view. Since law governs technological capability, a multidimensional approach that includes this relationship would be more effective than an approach that focuses on either aspect individually.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering, 2010.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 399-417).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nuclear Science and Engineering.