According to a recent report published by the Global Nexus Initiative (GNI), global nuclear governance is facing unprecedented challenges as non-traditional nations provide nuclear technology to emerging countries.
The report was the product of a collaborative effort from leading experts from the nuclear, energy, climate change and nuclear security industries. Contemporary governance practices adhere to a variety of safety, security, and environmental safeguards.
“Control of the nuclear energy market translates into the power to set the governance agenda,” Kenneth Luongo, president of the Partnership for Global Security, said. “We cannot afford a race to the bottom in pursuit of market share in this vital area. The growth of non-U.S. and non-European nuclear reactor suppliers is a significant concern as it may impact the global leadership needed to drive forward the improvements required for the system to remain effective.”
The majority of new nuclear plant construction centers on Asian and Middle Eastern nations while traditional suppliers, such as France and the United States, cede their market shares to new suppliers such as Russia and China.
Currently, China has 21 nuclear plants under construction and is planning for 40 additional plants in the near future. Russia has seven plants currently under construction with plans for an additional 25. South Korea is in the process of constructing three plants and is building four new reactors abroad in the United Arab Emirates.
The report make a number of recommendations to address nuclear governance concerns, including strengthening of the nuclear security regime by moving toward common standards and transparency, maintaining a strong influence of current nuclear suppliers to ensure that governance norms are adhered to, and recognizing the impact of nuclear supply relationships in relation to political and strategic objectives of supplier and recipient nations.