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HOME > TOPICS > The Nonproliferation Regime      
The Nonproliferation Regime

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons or Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) represents three basic bargains. The first is encapsulated in Articles One and Two of the treaty. They prohibit states with nuclear weapons from transferring them or the means to make them to states that lack nuclear weapons, and ban nonweapons states from acquiring them. The second NPT bargain is set forth in Articles Three, Four, and Six. These articles stipulate that the nuclear weapons states will negotiate in good faith to disarm and will share the benefits of peaceful nuclear energy with nonweapons states. In exchange, the nonweapons states pledge not to acquire nuclear weapons and to allow international inspections of their civilian nuclear facilities and materials to verify whether non-nuclear weapons states are in compliance with the treaty and are not diverting peaceful nuclear activities or materials to make nuclear weapons.

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Nov 14, 2019 Taking Erdogan's critique of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty seriously
One topic President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not discuss in November but should have was the future of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). As Victor Gilinsky and Henry Sokolski write in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientist piece, “Taking Erdogan’s critique of the Non-Proliferation Treaty seriously,” (see below) Erdogan objected to the NPT regime at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, September 24th. Referencing the treaties recognition of only five nuclear weapon states, Erdogan stretched out to the fingers of his right hand, and to wide applause, “the world is bigger than five.” Earlier in September, Erdogan complained, "Some countries have missiles with nuclear warheads… this, I cannot accept.” His UN pronouncement makes clear that his objection to the NPT, however, is much broader than any restriction it might place just on Turkey. What Erdogan wants is a world either with no nuclear arms state or no restrictions on nuclear weapons whatsoever. Erdogan’s challenge is brassy but he has a point: either the NPT gets stronger or it goes away. Victor and Henry make the case for strengthening the NPT and suggest, at a minimum, what it might require. The alternative is to let the treaty continue to decline as leaders like Erdogan and Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman publicly threaten to withdraw.  
Op-Eds & Blogs
Oct 04, 2019 The Nonproliferation Gold Standard: The New Normal?
Two years ago, the possibility of a U.S.-Saudi nuclear cooperative agreement that would allow Riyadh to enrich uranium or reprocessing spent fuel now seemed a sure cert. Today, at best, it seems a distant possibility. As Victor Gilinsky and Henry Sokolski write in the piece, "The Nonproliferation Gold Standard: The New Normal?" in Arms Control Today, the gold standard is no longer viewed as extreme, inpractical, or unnecessary. Just the opposite. Not only has Secretary of State Pompeo publicly stated that America wants both Riyad and Tehran to forswear enriching uranium and reprocessing spent fuel, but even the best known boosters of selling Saudi Arabia-U.S. reactors (IP3), now think acceptance of the gold standard is essential. This does not mean that the White House won't seal a deal with Riyad or that Congress will have the strength or will to demand the gold standard, but now opponents of the standard have some explaining to do.  At a minimum, three problems demand attention. First, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman announced on 60 minutes that he would be willing to violate the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty if he thought Iran had acquired a bomb. Second, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the Saudi government's attempted cover up raises first order questions about how trustworthy any Saudi nuclear promises might be. Finally, the Kingdom's indiscriminate bombing of Yemen has undermined congressional faith in the Crown Prince's judgement. All of these points have strengthened demands that Riyad adhere to the gold standard. There are other reasons besides, including Israel's opposition to any deal that would allow Riyad to enrich or reprocess.  Of course one can question if it makes sense for any nation in the Middle East to be building large reactors. More recently, the drone attacks against Saudi oil refining plants reinforced already strong apprehensions Middle East nations have about the military vulnerability of nuclear facilities in the region.  At the very least, if there is to be nuclear exports to the Middle East, or to any other state that lacks nuclear weapons, the gold standard provides "welcome protection" and ought to be the new normal. 
Articles
Aug 25, 2019 What Enforcement of the NPT Now Requires
Earlier this month, it was reported that the White House wants a new deal with Iran that would eliminate uranium enrichment and the reprocessing of spent reactor fuel. Whatever Iran's answer to such a request might be, this principle needs near universal application if nuclear power is to remain compatible with international security. The reason why is simple: When it comes to enrichment and reprocessing, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) cannot reliably confirm military diversions in a timely fashion. If we are serious about enforcement -- the touchstone for any effective nuclear agreement -- we have to start saying "no" to civilian nuclear cooperation with non-weapon states that are unwilling to forswear enrichment and reprocessing. This piece, "Nuclear Power Must Not Lead to Nuclear Bombs," by NPEC Executive Director, Henry Sokolski, and NPEC's Program Advisor, Victor Gilinsky was published in The National Interest.
Op-Eds & Blogs
Jun 25, 2019 June 25 Dinner - If Pyongyang Attacks S. Korea's Nuclear Plants, Are We Ready?
On June 25, 2019, NPEC hosted a dinner seminar on nuclear reactor vulnerabilities. The seminars featured presentations by Jungmin Kang, Former Chairman under President Moon of the South Korean Nuclear Safety and Security Commission and William Tobey, Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation of the National Nuclear Security Administration.
Presentations; Audio & Video
Apr 24, 2019 USD Guest Lecture: What's Shaping Global Nuclear Weapons Competitions: It Isn't Nuclear Arms
In April 2019, NPEC's Executive Director gave a guest lecture at the University of San Diego on global strategic competition.
Presentations; Audio & Video
Mar 25, 2019 America's Nuclear Export Controls are Fundamentally Flawed
A piece by NPEC's Executive Director, Henry Sokolski, and NPEC's Program Advisor, Victor Gilinsky, on America's nuclear exports in The National Interest called "America's Nuclear Export Controls are Fundamentally Flawed."
Op-Eds & Blogs
Sep 20, 2018 Nuclear Power's Weapons Link: Cause to Limit, Not Boost Exports
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists publishes a new piece from NPEC's Executive Director, Henry Sokolski, and Program Advisor, Victor Gilinsky, on the use of nuclear power, "Nuclear Power's Weapons Link: Cause to Limit, Not Boost Exports"
Op-Eds & Blogs
Jun 28, 2018 Make US-Japanese Nuclear Cooperation Stable Again: End Reprocessing
NPEC's Executive Director and Program Advisor publish a new op-ed in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, "Make US-Japanese Nuclear Cooperation Stable Again: End Reprocessing."
Op-Eds & Blogs
Jun 21, 2018 Intelligence and Policy Community Cooperation in the Libya WMD Disarmament Case (Occasional Paper 1802)
As the Trump Administration prepares to negotiate with North Korea, a question has arisen as to what model Washington should follow. National Security Advisor John Bolton has suggested that the Libyan nuclear case represents the best example to emulate. Given the violence Libya suffered after it disarmed, this recommendation provoked criticism, not only from the North Korean government, but a number of American analysts.    Anticipating the importance of this case, NPEC commissioned William Tobey, former Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration, to write a primary history. Mr. Tobey served on the National Security Council in the Bush (43) Administration when the Libyan nuclear case was being worked.    For his primary history, Tobey conducted extensive history. Shortly after it was completed, the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence presented him with the prestigious Studies in Intelligence Award for 2018. 
Working Papers & Monographs
May 24, 2018 John Batchelor Show Interviews on Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the Bomb
John Batchelor interviews NPEC's Executive Director on the possibility of renegotiating the Iran Deal, the proposed US civilian nuclear cooperative agreementwith Saudi Arabia, and the important distinction between safeguarding and monitoring. 
Interviews; Audio & Video
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The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC), is a 501 (c)3 nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational organization
founded in 1994 to promote a better understanding of strategic weapons proliferation issues. NPEC educates policymakers, journalists,
and university professors about proliferation threats and possible new policies and measures to meet them.
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