Nuclear Future

by Kurt Volker
Sunday August 08, 2010

“We should build a new framework for civil nuclear cooperation, including an international fuel bank, so that countries can access peaceful power without increasing the risks of proliferation. … We must harness the power of nuclear energy on behalf of our efforts to combat climate change, and to advance peace and opportunity for all people.”
— President Barack Obama, Prague, April 2009

Much has been written over the past several months about America’s nuclear strategy. The topics range from the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty to the Obama administration’s Nuclear Posture Review, the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, the Global Zero movement, Russian tactical nuclear weapons and Iran’s nuclear program.

Noteworthy is that this discussion focuses solely on nuclear weapons. Another aspect of nuclear strategy has garnered much less attention, but is no less important to our nation and our planet: the need for American leadership in ensuring that the ongoing global expansion of nuclear energy capacity is as environmentally safe and proliferation-resistant as possible. Despite President Obama’s exhortation, U.S. government and industry as a whole have a long way to go in getting America back at the table.

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