Strategic and Security Aspects of Civil Nuclear Power
We seek to understand the role that civil nuclear power plays as an instrument of geopolitics, and how to mitigate potential security and safety risks of its spread.
Main Image Credit Team of IAEA Experts
Climate change, energy prices and a range of development needs are encouraging more states to consider developing nuclear energy programmes. This has the potential to bring tangible benefits, but also comes with security implications.
Civil nuclear cooperation agreements have strategic effects, as states enter into long-term, high-value relationships potentially involving the transfer of sensitive technology. More nuclear reactors in more states also poses non-proliferation questions, as the application International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards may need to be adjusted to new contexts and new technologies. It means the further spread of nuclear material which needs to be kept secure from non-state actors. And the war in Ukraine has highlighted the dangers associated with civil nuclear facilities in conflict zones.
Our work on civil nuclear power explores the nexus between peaceful energy programmes and international security.
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.