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Title: Model-Based Calculations of the Probability of a Country's Nuclear Proliferation Decisions

Abstract

The first nuclear weapon was detonated in August 1945 over Japan to end World War II. During the past six decades, the majority of the world's countries have abstained from acquiring nuclear weapons. However, a number of countries have explored the nuclear weapons option, 23 in all. Among them, 14 countries have dropped their interest in nuclear weapons after initiating some efforts. And nine of them today possess nuclear weapons. These countries include the five nuclear weapons states - U.S., Russia, U.K., France, and China - and the four non- NPT member states - Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. Many of these countries initially used civilian nuclear power technology development as a basis or cover for their military program. Recent proliferation incidents in Iraq, Iran, and North Korea brought the world together to pay much attention to nuclear nonproliferation. With the expected surge in the use of nuclear energy for power generation by developing countries, the world's nuclear nonproliferation regime needs to be better prepared for potential future challenges. For the world's nuclear nonproliferation regime to effectively cope with any future proliferation attempts, early detection of potentially proliferation-related activities is highly desirable. Early detection allows the international community tomore » respond and take necessary actions - ideally using political and diplomatic influences without resorting to harsh measures such as sanctions or military actions. In this regard, a capability to quantitatively predict the chance of a country's nuclear proliferation intent or activities is of significant interest. There have been various efforts in the research community to understand the determinants of nuclear proliferation and develop quantitative tools to predict nuclear proliferation events. These efforts have shown that information about the political issues surrounding a country's security along with economic development data can be useful to explain the occurrences of proliferation decisions. However, predicting major historical proliferation events using model-based predictions has been unreliable. Nuclear proliferation decisions by a country is affected by three main factors: (1) technology; (2) finance; and (3) political motivation [1]. Technological capability is important as nuclear weapons development needs special materials, detonation mechanism, delivery capability, and the supporting human resources and knowledge base. Financial capability is likewise important as the development of the technological capabilities requires a serious financial commitment. It would be difficult for any state with a gross national product (GNP) significantly less than that of about $100 billion to devote enough annual governmental funding to a nuclear weapon program to actually achieve positive results within a reasonable time frame (i.e., 10 years). At the same time, nuclear proliferation is not a matter determined by a mastery of technical details or overcoming financial constraints. Technology or finance is a necessary condition but not a sufficient condition for nuclear proliferation. At the most fundamental level, the proliferation decision by a state is controlled by its political motivation. To effectively address the issue of predicting proliferation events, all three of the factors must be included in the model. To the knowledge of the authors, none of the exiting models considered the 'technology' variable as part of the modeling. This paper presents an attempt to develop a methodology for statistical modeling and predicting a country's nuclear proliferation decisions. The approach is based on the combined use of data on a country's nuclear technical capability profiles economic development status, security environment factors and internal political and cultural factors. All of the information utilized in the study was from open source literature. (authors)« less

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Nuclear Engineering North Carolina State University (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
American Nuclear Society, 555 North Kensington Avenue, La Grange Park, IL 60526 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
20979770
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Advanced nuclear fuel cycles and systems (GLOBAL 2007), Boise - Idaho (United States), 9-13 Sep 2007; Other Information: Country of input: France; 8 refs; Related Information: In: Proceedings of GLOBAL 2007 conference on advanced nuclear fuel cycles and systems, 1873 pages.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
98 NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, SAFEGUARDS, AND PHYSICAL PROTECTION; DETECTION; ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; FORECASTING; INFORMATION; NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY; NUCLEAR ENERGY; NUCLEAR WEAPONS; PROLIFERATION; SECURITY; SIMULATION; TOOLS

Citation Formats

Li, Jun, Yim, Man-Sung, and McNelis, David N. Model-Based Calculations of the Probability of a Country's Nuclear Proliferation Decisions. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Li, Jun, Yim, Man-Sung, & McNelis, David N. Model-Based Calculations of the Probability of a Country's Nuclear Proliferation Decisions. United States.
Li, Jun, Yim, Man-Sung, and McNelis, David N. Sun . "Model-Based Calculations of the Probability of a Country's Nuclear Proliferation Decisions". United States.
@article{osti_20979770,
title = {Model-Based Calculations of the Probability of a Country's Nuclear Proliferation Decisions},
author = {Li, Jun and Yim, Man-Sung and McNelis, David N},
abstractNote = {The first nuclear weapon was detonated in August 1945 over Japan to end World War II. During the past six decades, the majority of the world's countries have abstained from acquiring nuclear weapons. However, a number of countries have explored the nuclear weapons option, 23 in all. Among them, 14 countries have dropped their interest in nuclear weapons after initiating some efforts. And nine of them today possess nuclear weapons. These countries include the five nuclear weapons states - U.S., Russia, U.K., France, and China - and the four non- NPT member states - Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. Many of these countries initially used civilian nuclear power technology development as a basis or cover for their military program. Recent proliferation incidents in Iraq, Iran, and North Korea brought the world together to pay much attention to nuclear nonproliferation. With the expected surge in the use of nuclear energy for power generation by developing countries, the world's nuclear nonproliferation regime needs to be better prepared for potential future challenges. For the world's nuclear nonproliferation regime to effectively cope with any future proliferation attempts, early detection of potentially proliferation-related activities is highly desirable. Early detection allows the international community to respond and take necessary actions - ideally using political and diplomatic influences without resorting to harsh measures such as sanctions or military actions. In this regard, a capability to quantitatively predict the chance of a country's nuclear proliferation intent or activities is of significant interest. There have been various efforts in the research community to understand the determinants of nuclear proliferation and develop quantitative tools to predict nuclear proliferation events. These efforts have shown that information about the political issues surrounding a country's security along with economic development data can be useful to explain the occurrences of proliferation decisions. However, predicting major historical proliferation events using model-based predictions has been unreliable. Nuclear proliferation decisions by a country is affected by three main factors: (1) technology; (2) finance; and (3) political motivation [1]. Technological capability is important as nuclear weapons development needs special materials, detonation mechanism, delivery capability, and the supporting human resources and knowledge base. Financial capability is likewise important as the development of the technological capabilities requires a serious financial commitment. It would be difficult for any state with a gross national product (GNP) significantly less than that of about $100 billion to devote enough annual governmental funding to a nuclear weapon program to actually achieve positive results within a reasonable time frame (i.e., 10 years). At the same time, nuclear proliferation is not a matter determined by a mastery of technical details or overcoming financial constraints. Technology or finance is a necessary condition but not a sufficient condition for nuclear proliferation. At the most fundamental level, the proliferation decision by a state is controlled by its political motivation. To effectively address the issue of predicting proliferation events, all three of the factors must be included in the model. To the knowledge of the authors, none of the exiting models considered the 'technology' variable as part of the modeling. This paper presents an attempt to develop a methodology for statistical modeling and predicting a country's nuclear proliferation decisions. The approach is based on the combined use of data on a country's nuclear technical capability profiles economic development status, security environment factors and internal political and cultural factors. All of the information utilized in the study was from open source literature. (authors)},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2007},
month = {7}
}

Conference:
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