Policy Forum

Nautilus Institute’s Policy Forum‘s focus is on the timely publication of expert analysis and op-ed style pieces on the foremost of security-related issues to Northeast Asia. Its mission is to facilitate a multilateral flow of information among an international network of policy-makers, analysts, scholars, media, and readers. Policy Forum essays are typically from a wide range of expertise, political orientations, as well as geographic regions and seeks to present readers with opinions and analysis by experts on the issues as well as alternative voices not typically presented or heard. Feedback, comments, responses from Policy Forum readers are highly encouraged.

NAPSNet, Policy Forum

On the Significance of China’s “Characteristics”

By Ron Huisken 24 September 2015 I. Introduction China is an ancient and accomplished nation with an essentially unbroken tradition of authoritarian governance. China’s contemporary  governance arrangements, which include a fondness for qualifying an objective or commitment  with the words ‘with Chinese characteristics’, have both deliberate and inadvertent consequences that should be an important consideration […]

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The Tesla Battery—An Electricity Storage Technology with Potentially “Disruptive” Implications

The Tesla Powerwall battery has the potential to demand further change of the utility industry, perhaps in some places shifting electricity provision to an entirely different business model. How the impact of the Tesla battery and related energy storage developments play out for traditional sources of power—including coal-fired and nuclear plants—will be fascinating to observe, and may force some hard choices and harder changes on the part of electric utilities.

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Challenges Associated with Natural Gas Exports from the U.S. to Asia: the Oregon Example

In this Policy Forum David von Hippel writes “With an eye on the Asian market, developers have proposed two LNG export terminals for the state of Oregon. Terminal developers and gas producers argue that there are substantial environmental and employment benefits to exporting LNG to Asia. The challenges faced by these proposed projects in receiving the myriad necessary construction and operation permits from federal, state, and local authorities, however, as well as consideration of the arguments going on between Oregon stakeholders at the state and local level, suggest caution is in order for East Asian nations in depending on substantial future LNG exports from the US before these (and other) terminals are actually built.”

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Cyber threats and the challenge of de-alerting US and Russian nuclear forces

Andrew Futter writes ‘A quarter of a century after the end of the Cold War, both the United States and Russia retain a significant number of nuclear weapons … capable of inflicting almost unimaginable damage, death and devastation.’

Futter argues that ‘the logic of de-alerting these nuclear forces and enhancing the safety and security of nuclear systems is becoming increasingly persuasive and urgent….. [T]his appears to be becoming particularly pronounced as we move into a era increasingly dominated by the threat of “cyber attacks”.’

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Opportunities beyond the Australian Energy White Paper

by Samantha Mella and Geoff James 8 June 2015 I. Introduction Samantha Mella and Geoff James write “The (Australian Energy) White Paper’s framework of competition, productivity and investment provides a good platform for discussion, but a number of important issues are not addressed. These include the development of Australia’s abundant renewable energy resources, the consideration […]

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Nuclear Threat and Korean Reunification

by Peter Hayes 1 June 2015 I. Introduction In this Policy Forum Peter Hayes writes that “reunification will become harder and increase in social, economic, and security cost the longer and deeper the DPRK develops nuclear weapons. The faster nuclear weapons are removed from the scene, the sooner reunification can commence at a cheaper cost, with […]

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Does Australia Energy Export Future Lie with the Asian Supergrid?

By Samantha Mella 19 May 2015 I. Introduction Samantha Mella writes that, despite climate concerns, the current Australian government is fixated on supporting and expanding the Australian coal industry. Mella argues that ‘Australia may benefit from reconsidering what it means to be an energy superpower in 2015. In the era of an altered climate and carbon […]

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The $40 billion submarine pathway to Australian strategic confusion

by Richard Tanter 20 April 2015 I. Introduction Richard Tanter writes “Almost everything about the Abbott government’s project to spend up to $40 billion on twelve new submarines is breathtakingly wrongheaded, hazardous strategically and profligate financially. “The Abbott government’s determination to tighten Australia’s military bonds with a truculent nationalist government in Japan, including through a […]

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What Could an “Asian Super-grid” Mean for Northeast Asia?

by David von Hippel 13 April 2015 I. INTRODUCTION Proposals for Asian “Supergrids”—potential regional interconnections of electrical grids and related infrastructure to allow the trading of power, in particular (but not exclusively) electricity generated from renewable resources, across Northeast Asia and beyond—have been considered for many years. Such interconnections could help nations to address their […]

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Ammonia as a fuel for passenger vehicles: possible implications for greenhouse gas reduction in Korea

by David von Hippel and Doo Won Kang 6 April 2015 I. Introduction In this Policy Forum David von Hippel and Doo Won Kang write ‘Given Koreans’ increasing appetite for ownership of road vehicles, there is an important role for a fuel that is carbon-free, portable, energy-dense, and compatible with existing cars and fueling systems. Ammonia (NH3) […]

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