Table of Contents
1. G8 Global Partnership
2. Abolishing Nuclear Weapons
3. The IAEA’s Role and the Safety Issue:
The Case of the Fukushima’s Accident in 2011
4. The Principles
5. Japan’s Self Defense: the Issue of Nuclear Breakout
6. The Current Posture of Japan
7. The Nuclear Umbrella
Nunn (2005) postulated that no matter where people call their place, the central organizing security principal of the 21st century must be the prevention of the spread or utilization of nuclear weapons or other WMD. The IAEA is front and at the core in this quest. Its mission, its authority and its resources should be reinforced. We are in race between cooperation and catastrophe. If we have a nuclear disaster, the world will demand immediate action. Why expect it to occur and act a day after? We should take action now, (Nunn, 2005).
Sagan (2005) indicated that all governments are hostages to each other’s nuclear physical security measures today. The stealing of a single nuclear weapon or a significant quantity of nuclear material in any state represents a danger for all nations (Sagan, 2005). Governments in each state consequently have a legitimate interest in gaining reassurance that others are keeping up effective physical security. Furthermore, a global multiplier concept of defense is obviously essential to Increase efforts to mandate advanced domestic controls (Sagan, 2005). Nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament are the primary line of defense in that if fewer states have nuclear weapons and those that have them reduce the size of their arsenals, the protection of existing weapons turns out to be more manageable (Sagan, 2005).
Fidler (2003) stated that the threat perceived from WMD has constituted the major priority issues on foreign policy and national security programs. This can be exemplified with the Bush Jr. Administration’s national security and homeland security strategies which were overwhelmingly influenced by the WMD threat. The importance of the WMD threat raises concerns about the role of international law regarding them in this new military environment. As far as traditional international legal approaches to WMD are concerned, Fidler (2003) explained that WMD in general include nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, with radiological weapons sometimes comprised in that category. Although current approaches to international law generally stick to this traditional definition of WMD, there is no normative definition of WMD. The reason for it is that states have traditionally employed international law to deal with each group of armament within the WMD rubric (Fidler, 2003).
1. G8 Global Partnership
Oakden (2005) sustained that in June 2002 the leaders of the G8 states, meeting in Kananaskis, in Canada, against the background of the strikes of the 9/11, 2001, committed themselves to preventing terrorists or those who sponsor them from acquiring or designing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons, missiles, and related material, equipment and technology. They announced a series of non-proliferation principles, and an initiative to implement, especially a new global partnership against the spread of WMD, under which they undertook to implement a specific program of cooperation, primarily in the Russian Federation, to deal with non-proliferation, disarmament, counterterrorism and nuclear safety. The number one concern that they acknowledged were and are to destroy chemical weapons, the dismantlement of neutralized nuclear submarines, the disposition of fissile material and to find jobs to former nuclear weapons scientists (Oakden, 2005).
The author informed that six principles underlying the Global Partnership approach remain as valid now as then, and include the following:
- To promote the adoption, universalization, full implementation and where necessary, strengthening of the multilateral treaty regime on non-proliferation, and reinforced the institutions designed to implement these different instruments;
- To develop and maintain effective measures to account for and secure nuclear material, both while it is being produced, in use and while it is being transported;
- To develop and maintain effective physical protection for facilities housing CBRN materials;
- To develop and maintain effective border controls, law enforcement efforts and international cooperation to identify and prohibit illegal trafficking in CBRN materials;
- To develop and maintain effective national export and trans-shipment controls, whether the items in question are or are not on the multilateral export control lists;
- To adopt and reinforce efforts to handle and dispose of stocks of fissile material no longer necessary for defense purposes, to eliminate all chemical weapons and to minimize holdings of dangerous biological pathogens and toxins, based on the recognition that the threat of terrorist acquisition is reduced as the overall quantity of such items is reduced.
Regarding the dismantlement issue, Oakden (2005) mentioned that of sub-marine dismantlement in the north-western Russian Federation. Out of the 250 nuclear submarines built under the Soviet Union, 193 have been now taken out of service; these comprise 117 from the Northern Fleet in the north-western Russian Federation, of which 57 are not yet dismantled. More than half of the remaining submarines still have spent nuclear fuel on board, which clearly represents a key security and environmental threat. The disintegration of the Soviet Union left in its wake nuclear and other radioactive material spread across the Russian Federation and other former Soviet Union (FSU) states (Sagan, 2005).
Therefore, it is important to implement a program to guarantee that sensitive materials are protected to international standards from stealing to sabotage. Programs are in progress to augment nuclear protection through the help of technical improvements, training, and transfer of expertise and equipment, and to upgrade nuclear material accountancy, to minimize the risks that nuclear material could be lost or otherwise without being detected (Oakden, 2005). Another work of the Global Partnership is directed towards helping to eliminate in the shortest practicable time, the Russian Federation’s declared stockpile of contemporary chemical warfare agents, contained in over four million artillery, rocked and air developed munitions (Sagan, 2005). As a state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Russian Federation needed to terminate the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile by 2012. To meet this objective, it has sought considerable international help in order to build the facilities essential for the destruction program (Oakden, 2005).
The last issue Oakden (2005) argued about is the redirection of former weapons scientists. He indicated that some 35, 000 jobs would be lost from the reorganization of the nuclear weapons complex in the Russian Federation by 2010, as the Russian Government implements restructuring plans for its ten closed nuclear cities. A parallel process was probable to take place in several of the nuclear research institutes in the newly independent republics. A program was in progress to facilitate lasting alternative employment opportunities in the civil sector for these previous nuclear weapons scientists, engineers and technicians, and to support the long term economic sustainability of the closed nuclear cities. The creation of centers of science and technology in the Russian Federation and Ukraine is an illustration of how work on this area is being addressed forward. The best hope of fighting the terrorist risk is through collaboration and cooperation (Oakden, 2005).
2. Abolishing Nuclear Weapons
The disastrous effects of Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings conducted to only one coherent resolution – to destroy them (Nanda, 2009). The decision to eliminate them started with the very first resolution that the United Nations General Assembly adopted in London in January 1946, labelled "Establishment of a Commission to Deal with the Problems Raised by the Discovery of Atomic Energy” (Nanda, 2009). The Resolution charged the Commission among other things, to make particular propositions for the destruction from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other key weapons adaptable to mass killing. The General Assembly has reiterated this goal in a number of successive resolutions. Then the author goes on to explain that the 63rd Session of the General Assembly on December 2, 2008 adopted another Resolution called “Nuclear Disarmament”, which acknowledges in its paragraph I that “the time is now opportune for all the nuclear-weapon States to take effective disarmament measures to achieve the total elimination of these weapons at the earliest possible time.”
Nanda (2009) contends that among other recommendations for member-states, the Resolution encourages NWS to immediately halt the qualitative development, production, improvement and stockpiling of nuclear warheads and their delivery systems, and among other things, to immediately de-alert and disable their nuclear weapons. The resolution inter alia, urges NWS to agree on a globally and legally binding agreement on a joint responsibility not to be the first to strike with nuclear weapons, and for all NWS to give security assurances of non-utilization and non-threat of use of nuclear weapons against NNWS (Nanda, 2009). Finally, the Resolution advocates the Conference on Disarmament to create an ad hoc committee on nuclear disarmament in the beginning of 2009 and to start negotiating on a phased program of nuclear disarmament conducting to the entire destruction of nuclear weapons with a particular framework of time, and for talks on a demonstrable treaty abolishing the development of fissile material for nuclear weapons (Nanda, 2009).
In the preamble of another Resolution adopted the same day, the General Assembly reiterated the commitment of the global community to the objective of the entire destruction of nuclear weapons and the creation of a world without nuclear weapons (Nanda, 2009). The General Assembly was convinced that “the continuing existence of nuclear weapons poses a threat to all humanity and that their use would have catastrophic consequences for all life on Earth, and recognizing that the only defense against a nuclear catastrophe is the total elimination of nuclear weapons and the certainty that they will never be produced again.” (Nanda, 2009, p.338).
It should also be noted that it was in 1978 at the First Session of the General Assembly entirely dedicated to disarmament that all member-states self-confessed by consensus the goal of nuclear disarmament (Nanda, 2009). They as well gave it their major priority, and decided on particular steps to reach that goal. Twenty-two years later, once again the UN called for the destruction of nuclear weapons in its 2000 Millennium Declaration (Nanda, 2009). The subsequent 1979 Conference on Disarmament established by the United Nations succeeded the Geneva-based Committee on Disarmament. Among other attempts to the United Nations toward nuclear demilitarization, the advocates of nuclear disarmament (AND) include NNWS and non-state actors – security experts, scientists, decision-makers, politicians and civilian activists –.
Nanda (2009) states that among the NGAs, we have a number of elected representatives and civil society groups which have been aggressively implicated in issues of nuclear disarmament. These comprise the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, Mayors for Peace, a global body which is holding a campaign to eliminate nuclear weapons by the year 2020, and the Middle Power Initiative, which works primarily with middle-power governments on issues of nuclear disarmament. Among prominent reports by civil society are a 1997 report delivered by the Henry L. Stimson Center’s 1997 Project on Eliminating Weapons of Mass Destruction, titled An American Legacy, Building a Nuclear Weapon-Free World, and 1997 report issued by the National Academies of Sciences (NAS), titled The Future of Nuclear Weapon Policy (Nanda, 2009).
With regard to the many NGOs aggressively implicated in working toward nuclear disarmament issues, Nanda (2009) indicates that we have Soka Gakkai International (SGI) and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. The president of SGI, Daisaku Ikeda has called upon the establishment of a United Nations Decade of Action by the World’s People for Nuclear Abolition and for the early convening of a World Summit for Nuclear Abolition. He considers such steps at the same time as supporting and reflecting an emerging global consensus for disarmament. Nanda (2009, p. 342) quotes him when he says: "Crying out in opposition to war and nuclear weapons is neither emotionalism nor self-pity. It is the highest expression of human reason based on an unflinching perception of the dignity of life.” The writer then reports that the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is basically engaged toward working for a nuclear weapons free world.
An influential expert on armament looking for the elimination of nuclear weapons, Ambassador Max M. Kampelman, held a speech to the Conference on the Implications of the Reykjavik Summit on its 20th Anniversary in October 2006. In his discourse, he said: “There is today no alternative if we wish to secure the safety of our nation and of our families other than the elimination of all nuclear weapons globally along with all other weapons of mass destruction, including biological and chemical weapons.” (Nanda, 2009). Nanda (2009, p. 343) quotes the end of his address:
“It is essential that we lead the world into developing a decisive move from the "is"—a world with a risk of increasing catastrophe—and work toward achieving peace and stability, the 'ought.' It was President John Kennedy who said, '. . . the world was not meant to be a prison in which man awaits his execution . . . . The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us.' It was President Ronald Reagan who called for the abolition of 'all nuclear weapons,' which he considered to be 'totally irrational, totally inhumane, good for nothing but killing . . . destructive of life on earth and civilization.”
3. The IAEA’s Role and the Safety Issue:
The Case of the Fukushima’s Accident in 2011
The accident at a Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that happened on March 11th 2011 has once again underlined both the importance and the incomplete capabilities of the IAEA. It would cost billions of dollars to stabilize the plant, close it down, neutralize its six reactors, and reduce the radioactive contamination (Weitz, 2011). In the case of Fukushima, the IAEA made initial comments that were sometimes vague and contradictory for the reason that while the agency received various data from a number of official Japanese sources, these information were wrongly filtered through the government Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, the IAEA unhelpfully merely reprinted the official statements of the Japanese government, which at the beginning talked down the disaster on its website. Altogether, American regulators were officially warning of much darker scenarios. Compelled by the media Yukiya Amano, IAEA Director General, had to go to Japan so as to persuade the government to provide him urgently with more information. The author explains that according to Amano’s view, the IAEA must be authorized to provide its own analysis of the possible outcome of such an incident.
Subsequently, there was a meeting of the states parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) in April 2011, an officially binding international accord for the promotion of nuclear safety, had already initiated global consultations with regard to the Japanese nuclear accident (Weitz, 2011). The convention which was approved in 1994 after the disintegration of the USSR repealed the Soviet veto to a convention on nuclear safety, but the same lacks a proper sanctions and inspections regime. It is true that the convention does force members to submit reports as regards the safety of their nuclear installations for review by their peers at meetings that take place every three years. However, the peer reviews, most of the time made secretly – which would allow for independent assessments – seem not to have worked well in the Fukushima case. The three reactors of the Fukushima nuclear plant were built decades before the CNS, even though convention reviews meetings might have provoked upgrades of some reactor systems. Despite peer pressures, the CNS does not impose sanctions for faulty reactors or their host countries. Moreover, the review meeting does not impose safety inspections on-site. Most importantly, there is no way to require the states parties to shut insecure nuclear facilities or impede them from constructing them (Weitz, 2011).
The writer argues that regarding how disasters on the scale of Chernobyl and Fukushima can inflict transnational, even international damage to animal and plant life, international trade, human health, and the environment, some specialists have advocated the establishment of IAEA mandatory nuclear safety requirements that would encompass obligatory inspections. Others have called for establishing a totally new global safety body. The latter would be excessively difficult, costly and time-consuming, even if additional bilateral, regional and limited multilateral initiatives can prove useful, such as those launched by Japan and the G-8 in 2011. Propositions to establish ASIATOM designed after EURATOM and to create nuclear safety equipment sharing activities and international registers of nuclear safety must be paid attention to (Weitz, 2011).
Even so, the Fukushima accident obviously shows that both the IAEA’s role in nuclear safety and its standards of safety are in need of reinforcement. General safety obligations in the CNS and other legal tools must be made more clear and compulsory (Weitz, 2011). The author points out that states that receive technical help from the IAEA, must join the CNS. He goes on to indicate that the nuclear energy community must as well extend security and safety measures to account for the eventuality of several simultaneous nuclear accidents impacting nuclear reactors, both natural as with the case of the earthquake-tsunami combination responsible for the Fukushima accident, and with a thoughtful manmade component, such as a terrorist attack that exploits an earthquake or a combined cyber and physical attack on one several nuclear reactors. The agency as well necessitates a dedicated group of nuclear specialists that it can mobilize and send in emergencies to provide on-site analysis to supplement that of the state’s authorities. The ongoing extension of global utilization of nuclear energy will impose an extension of the IAEA’s staff and the increase of its funding so as to ensure that it can handle its existing and new responsibilities (Weitz, 2011).
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- Institution / College
- Atlantic International University
- Nuclear-weapon states (NWS) nonnuclear-weapon-states (NNWS) advocates of nuclear disarmament (AND) nongovernmental advocates (NGAs) International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Non-Proliferation Treaty on Nuclear Disarmament ( NPT) North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) nuclear disarmament nuclear umbrella nuclear breakout