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Nuclear Power, Weapons Proliferation, and Climate Change

New Issue of Journal Dædalus Explores the Global Nuclear Future


Press Release

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In the future there will be more nuclear technology spread across more nations than ever before. Will the growth of nuclear power lead to increased risks of nuclear weapons proliferation and nuclear terrorism? Will the nonproliferation regime be adequate to ensure safety and security in a world more widely and heavily invested in nuclear power?

Policy experts, economists, scientists, and nuclear industry leaders from various perspectives and nations explore these questions in a special two-volume issue of Dædalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The first volume will be published October 9.

The authors examine the interconnected issues of a potential worldwide expansion of civilian nuclear power, attendant risks of weapons proliferation and nuclear terrorism, and the prospects for lessening the impact of climate change through growth in nuclear energy.

All of the articles in the special Dædalus issue can be accessed on the Academy’s web site at: https://www.amacad.org/content/publications/publication.aspx?d=791.

The volume is part of the Academy’s multi-year Global Nuclear Future Initiative, a project that brings together research groups focused on the nuclear industry, the future fuel cycle, the protection of nuclear materials, and the emergence of a new international nuclear regulatory regime. The work is principally supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Fred Kavli of the Kavli Foundation.

Beginning in the late 1950s, the Academy was instrumental in establishing arms control and nuclear proliferation as fields of academic study, publishing a seminal issue of Dædalus on arms control in 1960, followed by special issues on Cold War arms control in 1975 and the future of arms control in 1991. For over a decade, the Academy was also the U.S. sponsor of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995).

Steven E. Miller and Scott D. Sagan, co-directors of the Academy’s Global Nuclear Future Initiative, guest edited the double-volume issue of Dædalus. The first issue includes the following essays:

Steven E. Miller and Scott D. Sagan: Nuclear power without nuclear proliferation?
Richard K. Lester and Robert Rosner: The growth of nuclear power: drivers and constraints
Robert H. Socolow and Alexander Glaser: Nuclear energy and climate change
Paul L. Joskow and John E. Parsons: The economic future of nuclear power
Harold A. Feiveson: A skeptic’s view of nuclear energy
José Goldemberg: Nuclear energy in developing countries
John W. Rowe: Nuclear power in a carbon-constrained world
Anne Lauvergeon: The nuclear renaissance: an opportunity to enhance the culture of nonproliferation
Richard A. Meserve: The global nuclear safety regime
Matthew Bunn: Reducing the greatest risks of nuclear theft and terrorism
Thomas C. Schelling: A world without nuclear weapons?
Paul Doty: The minimum deterrent and beyond
Sverre Lodgaard: Toward a nuclear-weapons-free world
Sam Nunn: A world free of nuclear weapons
Scott D. Sagan: Shared responsibilities for nuclear disarmament

The MIT Press publishes Dædalus for the American Academy. To subscribe, order an issue, or learn more about the journal, please visit http://mitpress.mit.edu/daedalus.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. Current Academy research focuses on science and technology policy; global security; social policy; the humanities and culture; and education. With headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Academy’s work is advanced by its 4,600 elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business and public affairs from around the world. (www.amacad.org)


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