Ed. Note: This will be the final edition of the East Asia Science & Security Network. In its stead, the Nautilus Institute will be launching a nuclear briefing book, which will compile high quality research on all aspects of nuclear power and nuclear weapons in East Asia, including nonproliferation, power plant development, effects on climate change, developments related to missile technology or deployment, and other information relevant to the topic. New postings to the Nuclear Briefing Book will be announced over the Northeast Asia Peace & Security Network (NAPSNet).
1. Nuclear Safeguards
The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center reports on a series of studies it held on the IAEA safeguards standards. The reports conclude that “the IAEA is already falling behind in achieving its material accountancy mission and risk slipping further behind unless members of the IAEA board independently and in concert take remedial actions in the next two to five years.”
2. Health Effects of Nuclear Development
The Rocky Mountain News (“U.S. Nuke Work Afflicted 36,500 Americans,” 8/31/07) reported that, based on government statistics, 36,500 Americans were sickened by radiation exposure related to the US nuclear weapons program, and 4,000 died. CNN (Matthew Chance, “Inside the Nuclear Underworld: Deformity and fear”) reported on the thousands of people in Kazakhstan who suffered deformities due to nuclear tests by the Soviet Union. The Associated Press (James MacPherson, “North Dakotans Wary of Renewed Uranium Interest,” 9/1/07) reported that residents of North Dakota’s uranium mining areas are concerned that renewed interest in nuclear power could lead to a return to uranium mining, which they blame for health problems in both humans and livestock.
3. Economics of Nuclear Power
The Baltimore Sun (Paul Adams, “Economics of nuclear power are rethought,” 9/4/07) reported that some recent studies have concluded that the cost of nuclear power could become competitive with costs of power from conventional power plants, such as coal-fired plants. For this to happen, however, would probably require a combination of lower construction costs and carbon taxes.
4. Northeast Asian Energy Cooperation
Volume 77 of the ERINA Report from the Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia (ERINA) focuses on energy security and multilateral cooperation, featuring contributions from Japan, China, Mongolia, Far Eastern Russia, and the DPRK (in English and Japanese).
5. Carbon Emissions Targets
Harvard Professor Jeffrey Frankel has proposed a climate policy architecture that builds on the quantitative targets and timetables infrastructure of the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol. He calls for a sequence of negotiations (one per decade) to determine the global greenhouse gas emissions cap and a formula for allocating this global cap among all participating countries. The formulas for setting national-level targets would reflect historic emissions, current emissions, population, income, and other relevant factors, but in the long-term the formulas would converge on a per capita allocation.
6. Affect of Climate Change on ROK Forests
A study by the Korea Environmental Institute and Korea University finds that more than 30% of ROK forest cover is vulnerable to climate change. This suggests the possibility of more flood damage on the Peninsula, such as that which caused extreme devastation to the DPRK during this summer’s monsoon season.
The East Asia Science and Security Network (EASSNet) delivers timely news and innovative research across a range of issues relating to science and security, including energy security, bio-security, nano-technology, nuclear fuel cycle, missile technology, and information technology, especially within the East Asia region. The network draws on research from Nautilus Institute and its partners in China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Australia, and North Korea, as well as grantees of the MacArthur Foundation, of MacArthur Foundation, Ploughshares Fund, New Land Foundation, Korea Foundation, Ford Foundation, and US Department of Energy. The service provides researchers, journalists, and policymakers access to and understanding of developments beyond their own disciplinary, academic, or industrial communities