East Asia Science & Security Network Report, August 8, 2007
1. Nuclear Power Expansion
In a new report from the Oxford Research Group, Frank Barnaby and James Kemp argue that the risks associated with a massive expansion of nuclear power over the rest of the century far outweigh any benefits that might accrue from carbon emissions reduction.
2. Japanese Nuclear Exports
The Association of Japanese Institutes of Strategic Studies carried a commentary by Kunihiko Uematsu, senior advisor on international affairs at the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (“How can Japan contribute to peaceful nuclear programs abroad?” 07/27/07). Uematsu argued that with the push for nuclear expansion driving up the demand for LWRs, Japan should actively export equipment and expertise abroad, particularly to developing countries.
3. Nuclear Accident Rating Scale
Scientific American (“Nuclear Mishap or Meltdown? It’s All a Matter of Degree,” 7/25/07) reported that the planned expansion of nuclear power may increase familiarity with the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES). Like the Richter Scale does for earthquakes, INES rates events at nuclear power plants, ranging from 0 for a minor event with no safety significance, to 7 for a “major nuclear accident.”
4. Sea Level Rise
The Sidney Morning Herald (Marian Wilkinson and Wendy Frew, “Seas could rise much more than we thought,” 8/6/07) reported that Stefan Rahmstorf has just published a new method for projecting sea rises due to global warming, which predicts much faster sea level rises than the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released earlier this year.
Recent Climate Observations Compared to Predictions (Science Magazine: Available for purchase)
5. Security and Climate Change
The CNA Corporation has a new report on the relationship between climate change and military security. The report argues that climate change is a “threat multiplier” in already volatile areas of the world, and recommends that the U.S. fully integrate climate change into its national security strategy. It also calls on the U.S. to take the lead in mitigating climate change to prevent the worse consequences.
6. Nantechnology Threats
Environmental Defense and DuPont have launched the Nano Risk Framework, a tool for evaluating and addressing the potential risks of nanoscale materials. An event was held at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars. A video of the event and the powerpoint presentations are available at the Wilson Center website, and the framework itself can be downloaded at the project’s website.
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