International institutions for nuclear energy: issues of assessment and design

by William R. Harris

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback15 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

If one objective of anti-proliferation policies is to assure that fuel cycle pathways to nuclear explosives are more costly than indigenous pathways, then it would be appropriate: (1) to retrofit existing institutions and revise international rules-of-trade to reduce "baseline risk" associated with commercially deployed fuel cycles; (2) to design new institutions and rules-of-trade for advanced fuel cycles so that these systems will not appreciably increase prospects for weapons proliferation; and (3) to assess the role of international institutions in providing timely warning of preliminary commitments to acquire nuclear weapons or precursor facilities. Among candidate institutions and rules-of-trade are: extension of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards as a condition of fuel assurances or technology transfer; international jurisdiction over spent fuel; IAEA remote near-real-time verification system for spent fuel remaining under national management; a convention on uniform nuclear fuel identification ("tagging"); international nuclear service centers for bulk processing operations; and fuel-cycle specific regulations.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.