The current nuclear governance framework is facing a novel set of new challenges but has not adequately evolved or been updated.
In the 21st Century, governance improvements must be proactive, aggressive, and deliberate.
A process of realistic continuous improvement in the governance system is needed to keep pace with these evolutions. We are working towards addressing the demands posed by global climate change and low carbon energy needs, while threats are posed by disruptive emerging technologies and non-state actors. The cyber challenge is growing globally and evolving. Non-state actors and terrorist continue to seek nuclear materials and expertise. New nations without deep experience or infrastructure are also pursuing nuclear programs in dangerous neighborhoods. New nuclear suppliers – like China and Russia – are emerging but lack a history of strengthening norms and governance. And, the regulatory systems have not adequately evolved to meet the safety and security needs of advanced reactor technologies.
Effective governance is the fundamental foundation of public confidence in nuclear power, and it is essential that the U.S. continues to set the tone and scope for the nuclear governance system. The U.S. should also work towards being able to influence Russian and Chinese actions in the international civil nuclear environment from a position of strength.
"We need a strategy of continuous improvement and cannot afford a race to the bottom."
– Kenneth Luongo, President of the Partnership for Global Security
Kenneth Luongo, President, Partnership for Global Security
Photo Credit: Ales Krivec