Title: Are sensitive technologies enablers of civil nuclear power? An empirical study


Author: Paul Nelson, Christopher M. Sprecher


Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-3473, USA.
Department of Political Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-4348, USA


Journal: Atoms for Peace: an Int. J., 2010 Vol.3, No.2, pp.93 - 112


Abstract: In order to better understand, quantitatively and objectively, the factors that have been associated with the extent to which a given state relies on nuclear energy to generate electricity (termed 'nuclear reliance' (NR)), regression analysis was applied to a set of 14 hypothesised independent variables having associated measures constructed from a database assembled for this purpose. That process led to a linear model with five independent variables that collectively predict NR with high confidence (p < 0.05, for all predictors) and acceptable goodness of fit (R² = 0.53). This basic linear model was then employed as a tool to analyse several more-or-less current topics related to proliferation. These include the historical effectiveness of the nonproliferation regime, as regards the spread of sensitive fuel-cycle technologies; the premise underlying (fuel) assurance programmes, as intended to ensure access to (insensitive) nuclear materials and technology, in return for forgoing development of sensitive technologies; and the persistent lack of recipient states willing to accept the bargain underlying assurance programmes.


Keywords: fuel assurance; OLS regression; nuclear nonproliferation regime; nuclear power; proliferation; nuclear energy; electricity generation; nuclear reliance; sensitive technologies.


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/AFP.2010.031495


Available online 05 Feb 2010



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