ASEAN regional proliferation

ASEAN regional proliferation


A number of Southeast Asian countries are considering the introduction of nuclear power, lead by Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand, and the Philippines is considering  re-opening its closed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Concern about follow-on nuclear weapons proliferation in the region centres on three different possibilities: development of nuclear weapons by a regional state, non-state development or acquisition of nuclear weapons, and assistance to third party nuclear weapons development – whether state or non-state – by members of regional nuclear scientific establishments.

Government sources




Naive Asean Isn’t Ready to Go Nuclear, Tessa de Ryck, Jakarta Globe, 9 June 2009

The nuclear weapons tests in North Korea might give us pause to remember that nuclear power remains the most dangerous technology mankind has ever created. With regional tensions rising, Asean, with nuclear ambitions itself, has warned that treading the nuclear path is a dangerous way to go forward. Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam all currently have serious plans to develop nuclear power. There is no doubt that all of these countries intend to use nuclear power for only peaceful purposes, but history has pointed out again and again that there is no guarantee that nuclear power will be restricted to such use. With the 1995 Bangkok Treaty, Asean declared Southeast Asia a nuclear weapons-free zone, but clear safeguards to enforce this are not yet in place. Asean should thus work hard to develop safe and proven renewable energy technologies, but place special priority on enforcing clear safeguard systems to restrict such technology to peaceful uses.

Prospects For Nuclear Proliferation In Southeast Asia, 2006-2016, Michael S. Malley, The Nonproliferation Review, (2006), 13:3, 605 – 615.

Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: the Southeast Asia Connection <!– /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;} @page Section1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt; mso-header-margin:36.0pt; mso-footer-margin:36.0pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –>

Preventing Nuclear and Radiological Terrorism: Nuclear Security in Southeast Asia, Tanya Ogilvie-White, Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.

See also


Project coordinator: Richard Tanter
Additional research:
Arabella Imhoff
Updated: 1 July 2009