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Three Foundations Award $1.6 Million in Grants to American Academy’s Global Nuclear Future Initiative

12/14/2009

Press Release

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Three of the nation’s leading private foundations have awarded funds totaling more than $1.6 million to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to support its initiative on the Global Nuclear Future.

The Carnegie Corporation of New York, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation have each provided major support for the Academy project, which brings together experts from the research, engineering, industry, academic, and policy communities to find and promote ways of minimizing the potential security risks posed by the expansion of nuclear energy.

While the world will rely on many sources to meet growing energy demand and to address concerns about climate change, nuclear power is the only energy source that both avoids carbon emissions and is technologically mature enough for large-scale deployment in a relatively short time-frame, according to project co-directors, Steven Miller (Harvard University) and Scott Sagan (Stanford University).

In the future there will be more nuclear technology spread across more nations than ever before. The goal of the Academy’s Global Nuclear Future Initiative is to develop pragmatic recommendations for global nuclear growth that: reduce the probability that a terrorist group could steal or acquire nuclear material from a nuclear facility; diminish the likelihood that new nuclear states will retain and reprocess spent fuel materials, which could facilitate their development of nuclear weapons; increase the focus of the nuclear industry on non-proliferation and security concerns; limit the number of states with uranium enrichment facilities; and strengthen the international nonproliferation treaty regime.

By bringing together constituencies in the United States and abroad that historically have not communicated with each other – from government policy makers to the heads of non-governmental organizations, from nuclear engineers to industry leaders, from social scientists to nonproliferation experts – the Academy project seeks to contribute to a new global architecture for the nuclear future, accounting for new players, varying interests, and changing realities.

"We are grateful to these three foundations for partnering with the Academy to address one of the great challenges of our time," said Chief Executive Officer Leslie Berlowitz. "With more than five decades of experience working on nuclear arms control and energy security issues, and relying on a broad consortium of institutions and individuals, the American Academy is in a special position to contribute valuable ideas and policy advice in this area."

The Academy has just published the first of a two-volume issue of Dædalus that explores the inter-related topics of nuclear power, weapons proliferation, and climate change. It is available online at https://www.amacad.org/content/publications/publication.aspx?d=791.

 

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