The Nuclear Industry as a Strategic Tool

This project examines the cases of Romania and Poland to provide insights into the geopolitical factors that shape states’ decisions on civil nuclear cooperation agreements.

Olkiluoto NPP

Against the backdrop of a global energy crisis and the quest for green energy, the renaissance of nuclear power appears to be a solution to some pressing challenges.

In October 2020, the United States signed Intergovernmental Agreements on civil nuclear energy cooperation with both Romania and Poland to develop their civil nuclear power sector.

There is disagreement over the factors that led to these agreements, including financial incentives, the strength of democratic institutions, geopolitical concerns and the development of strategic relationships, including US competition with China. This project seeks to offer a fact-based starting point to this debate.

Olkiluoto NPP

Aims and objectives

The project will investigate two main research questions:

  • To what extent have geopolitical and security factors played a role in Romania and Poland’s decision-making on civil nuclear cooperation?
  • What lessons can be learned from these cases to better understand the factors that will shape future nuclear energy cooperation agreements in other countries, and which policy tools will be most effective in shaping those countries’ preferences?

The policy-informed analysis will contribute three crucial insights:

  • An in-depth examination of the factors that shape civil nuclear decision-making
  • An assessment of the different models of civil nuclear cooperation offered by nuclear suppliers to Romania and Poland, and the implications for security of these models
  • A discussion of potential threats posed to partner countries by cooperating in the civil nuclear sector with authoritarian regimes such as China and Russia.

Project sponsor

  • Stanton Foundation

    This project is made possible by the support of the Stanton Foundation

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