The Global Nexus Initiative (GNI) is a unique project that combines experts from the nuclear industry and leading energy, climate change and nuclear security advocacy organizations.
The nuclear governance system is facing an unprecedented challenge as traditional nuclear suppliers that have built the backbone of the safety, security, and nonproliferation regime face new competition to provide technology to emerging nations. As this policy report notes, the locus of new nuclear plant construction has shifted to fast growing nations in Asia and the Middle East, and traditional suppliers, including the U.S., France and Japan, are giving way to Russia and China, which have the most active nuclear production lines, the capacity to increase manufacturing and the state financing to support it. China alone has 21 reactors under construction and another 40 planned; Russia has 7 under construction and another 25 planned. South Korea, a key U.S. ally and another emerging global nuclear supplier, has three reactors under construction and is building four new plants abroad in the United Arab Emirates.
Neither Russia nor China has been leaders in the nuclear governance area, and many of the emerging economy nations with ambitious nuclear power development plans face challenges in effectively governing the plants and materials they seek.
The current nuclear governance system encompasses the critically important nuclear safety, security, and safeguards regimes and essential issues related to environmental impacts. It covers a wide range of national regulations and laws, international agreements and guidance, and facility operations and practices, and this report offers nine recommendations for strengthening this system.