The rules-of-trade are those treaties, laws, agreements, and regulations pertaining to international transfers of nuclear material, equipment, technology, or personnel. They are needed to assure that international commerce in nuclear energy will not facilitate the manufacture of nuclear weapons. In this paper, the author argues that the rules are ineffective; to be enforceable they should be associated with institutions that offer tangible benefits through compliance. One enforcement problem is learning who is responsible for violations; part of the solution may involve "tagging" fuel at key phases of the nuclear fuel cycle. Flexibility mechanisms need to be established for reforming the rules-of-trade so they can serve energy and anti-proliferation policies in the future. By linking the central rules-of-trade with more attractive institutions (for fuel assurances and financial assistance), and by providing within these rules mechanisms for changes without unanimous consent, the system of rules can be effectively extended in scope and time.
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 www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.
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.