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Whats happening in the nuclear world

from Fukushima to Iran.


Peter Carter
Head, Nuclear Non-Proliferation UK Dept of Energy and Climate Change
Bristol University IAS 21 February 2012

OVERVIEW
Global Civil Nuclear Power

So what exactly happened at Fukushima? Energy demand and nuclear energy - a bit of history nuclear? Issues raised by Fukushima
Non-Proliferation

why nuclear? why not

The link between nuclear energy and nuclear weapons What aspects of the nuclear technologies are particularly proliferation sensitive? Central elements of the international nuclear non-proliferation framework Policing: IAEA Securing States commitment: Nuclear NP Treaty Controlling movement of sensitive nuclear technologies/ materials: Nuclear Suppliers Group guidelines So what challenges does the world face? e.g. States of concern: Iran Syria North Korea (DPRK) What about others? e.g. India/Pakistan/Israel Questions?

So what happened at Fukushima?

Accident at Fukushima Daiichi: 9/3/11. Chain of Events

Source: USGS/Wprld-nuclear.org

Source: German Aerospace Centre

Reactors shut down


3

Tsunami cut the Power

Cooling needed

Source: usgs.gov / digitalsurgeons.com

Factors contributing to the Fukushima accident

One of the most active seismic areas of the world. Earthquake 5th largest ever recorded. Sea wall dropped and easily breached by tsunami. BWR (Boiling Water Reactor) design old: relies on electrical power to run the cooling water systems i.e. keep the nuclear core and fuel pools cool. 3 Units closed down for refuelling: core cooling lost on the others and fuel pool cooling for all 6. Level of coolant lost for various reasons. Fuel rods exposed: hence reason to flood with sea water. Lack of electrical power at the site was the main problem. No ability to power pumps, and both generators destroyed and assistance delayed owing to the tsunami.

Keeping hazards in perspective


Eating a banana

Radiation Dosage Chart

0.1

Using a CRT Monitor for a year

10

3.5Sv Extra
dose from one day in average town near the Fukushima Plant 40
Flight from New York to L.A.

Sources: InformationisBeautiful.net BBC, Guardian Datablog, Mayo Clinic data: bit.ly/radiationchart

Smoking 1.5 packs of cigarettes a day for a year

2.0mSv Natural
Background Radiation (exposed per year)

3.6mSv One
day dose at the two sites 50Km NW of Fukushima

Severe radiation poisoning, nausea, but recovery likely

6.0mSv Dose
from spending one hour on the grounds of Chernobyl in 2010
Immediate, severe vomiting & coma death within hours

The worlds insatiable demand for electricity.

PRODUCING ELECTRICITY. THE BASIC ISSUES

How much do we need? Global electricity demand


projected to grow 76% by 2030 (average 2.5% per year - 6,429 TWh
to 28,930 TWh)

What energy source?


time??

Both Govts/energy suppliers

need to assess. Reliability/Resilience (24/7/365) does the wind blow all the Costs/Timescales
Construction Operation Post-operational lifetime (one-off/ongoing, such as radioactive waste)

Operational impact
Climate change Use of finite resources

WHY NUCLEAR? #1 The Basics

massive global demand for more energy e.g. India, China. Need every source possible demand/availability/alternative uses of fossil fuels global concern about climate change no real shortage of uranium given the relatively small amounts required per kWh low cost of fuel as share of running cost for nuclear plant (i.e. low price sensitivity)

WHY NUCLEAR? #2 Its Climate friendly

LIFECYCLE EMISSIONS FROM ELECTRICITY GENERATION

WHY NOT NUCLEAR?


Operators Issues

Massive sunk costs ~ 5bn for a EPR (European


Power Reactor the current French design)

Long timescale to build/generate revenue: longer if need for legislation, building of infrastructure No scope for small scale current reactors ~ 1.6GW. Smaller scale would still require containment
vessel, fuel/waste handling, safety and security, external infrastructure, operations staff.

Need for assured fuel supply Need to manage waste (store it as a minimum) Need for specific skills

WHY NOT NUCLEAR?


Wider considerations (at State and international level )

Spread of nuclear technology: mastery of the nuclear fuel cycle = ability to make nuclear weapons (i.e. proliferation concerns) Security issues: how well will nuclear material be guarded? who has the knowledge? Safety issues what is the likelihood of an incident or accident? Who pays? Public perception/political expediency Public/private ownership How much of the nuclear fuel cycle will be mastered? enrichment? reprocessing? Overall energy strategy: How will nuclear fit with the energy mix?

So whats the global picture on nuclear power?

over 440 commercial nuclear power reactors operating in 30 countries, with 377,000 MWe of total capacity. They provide about 14% of the world's electricity 14646 reactor years of experience worldwide since the 1950s 56 countries operate a total of about 250 research reactors and a further 180 nuclear reactors power some 140 ships and submarines.

Global nuclear power pre-Fukushima

Country Argentina Armenia Belgium Brazil Bulgaria Canada China China Taiwan Czech Rep. Finland France Germany Hungary India Iran

Existing reactors? 2 1 7 2 2 18 13 6 6 4 58 17 4 20 0

Under construction (1/11) 1 1 2 27 2 1 1 5 1

Country Japan Korea Mexico Netherlands Pakistan Romania Russia Slovakia Slovenia S. Africa Spain Sweden Switzerland Ukraine UK US

Existing reactors? 54 21 2 1 2 2 32 4 1 2 8 10 5 15 19 104

Under construction (1/11) 2 5 1 11 2 2 1

NUCLEAR POWER IN THE UK

currently generates around a sixth of the UKs electricity 19 nuclear reactors at nine locations. Also a nuclear reprocessing plant at Sellafield UKs first commercial nuclear power reactor began operating in 1956 the UK Govt gave the go-ahead in Oct 2010 for a new generation of up to 8 nuclear power stations to be built. NB not Scotland effectively non-nuclear future Work started at Hinkley Point: full planning application submitted Oct 2011

NUCLEAR POWER IN THE UK

Some History: Milestones in the Development of Nuclear Power

1890s 1930s Discoveries/ Studies on radioactivity, atomic structure, nuclear properties, nuclear reactions 1939 Fission verified 1942 First experimental chain reaction (Fermi) 1951 First functioning nuclear reactor (Idaho, US) 1953 USS Nautilus uses nuclear power: Eisenhowers Atoms for Peace UN speech 1956 Calder Hall becomes site of worlds first grid connected nuclear power plant. 1960s - 1980s Major growth in nuclear power worldwide. UK embarks on Magnox, AGR type of reactors etc etc 1979 Three Mile Island incident 1986 Chernobyl accident 1986 the nuclear wilderness? 2008 UK gives green light to new nuclear power programme: general view of global nuclear renaissance 2010 Coalition agreement notes Lib Dems will not oppose nuclear energy 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident: UK Ministers (and EU) instigate reports (stress tests) on nuclear safety. Germany seeks to pull out of nuclear UK National Policy Statement on Nuclear published (and 8 sites confirmed): reaffirmed nuclear option with no public funding

Issues raised by Fukushima

Issues raised by Fukushima

Immediate implications for other plants around the world

long term implications..


-current vs old reactor designs

nuclear safety in general emergency planning arrangements nuclear liability

Global nuclear power pre-Fukushima

Country Argentina Armenia Belgium Brazil Bulgaria Canada China China Taiwan Czech Rep. Finland France Germany Hungary India Iran

Existing reactors? 2 1 7 2 2 18 13 6 6 4 58 17 4 20 0

Under construction (1/11) 1 1 2 27 2 1 1 5 1

Country Japan Korea Mexico Netherlands Pakistan Romania Russia Slovakia Slovenia S. Africa Spain Sweden Switzerland Ukraine UK US

Existing reactors? 54 21 2 1 2 2 32 4 1 2 8 10 5 15 19 104

Under construction (1/11) 2 5 1 11 2 2 1

Global nuclear power post-Fukushima Decision to pull out over time


Existing reactors? 2 1 7 2 2 18 13 6 6 4 58 17 4 20 0 Under construction (1/11) 1 1 2 27 2 1 1 5 1 Under construction (1/11) 2 5 1 11 2 2 1

Country Argentina Armenia Belgium Brazil Bulgaria Canada China China Taiwan Czech Rep. Finland France Germany Hungary India Iran

Country Japan Korea Mexico Netherlands Pakistan Romania Russia Slovakia Slovenia S. Africa Spain Sweden Switzerland Ukraine UK US

Existing reactors? 54 21 2 1 2 2 32 4 1 2 8 10 5 15 19 104

Global nuclear power post-Fukushima Decision to pull out over time Decision to re-examine very closely
Country Argentina Armenia Belgium Brazil Bulgaria Canada China China Taiwan Czech Rep. Finland France Germany Hungary India Iran Existing reactors? 2 1 7 2 2 18 13 6 6 4 58 17 4 20 0 Under construction (1/11) 1 1 2 27 2 1 1 5 1 Country Japan Korea Mexico Netherlands Pakistan Romania Russia Slovakia Slovenia S. Africa Spain Sweden Switzerland Ukraine UK US Existing reactors? 54 21 2 1 2 2 32 4 1 2 8 10 5 15 19 104 Under construction (1/11) 2 5 1 11 2 2 1

And some other countries?

Contracts signed, legal and regulatory infrastructure well-developed: UAE, Turkey. Committed plans, legal and regulatory infrastructure developing: Vietnam, Jordan, Belarus.

Well-developed plans but commitment pending: Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt, Kazakhstan,


Poland, Lithuania, Chile; or commitment stalled: Italy. Developing plans: Saudi Arabia, Israel, Nigeria, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Morocco, Kuwait.

Discussion as serious policy option: Namibia, Kenya, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore,


Albania, Serbia, Croatia, Estonia & Latvia, Libya, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Syria, Kuwait, Qatar, Sudan, Venezuela. Officially not a policy option at present: Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Norway, Ireland.

Source: WNA

Issues raised by Fukushima

Immediate implications for other plants around the world

long term implications..


-current vs old reactor designs Inevitable that potential new nuclear countries will seek designs that are proven basic design (ie PWRs) but with raised awareness of locational and passive safety issues

nuclear safety in general emergency planning arrangements nuclear liability

BWR and PWR Schematics

BWR

PWR

Issues raised by Fukushima

Immediate implications for other plants around the world

long term implications..


-current vs old reactor designs -ability to model disaster scenarios

nuclear safety in general IAEA Ministerial (6/11) agreed Action


Plan: but inevitable tensions between nuclear/anti-nuclear States and national/EU legal competences

emergency planning arrangements


nuclear liability

Issues raised by Fukushima

Immediate implications for other plants around the world

long term implications..


-current vs old reactor designs -ability to model disaster scenarios

nuclear safety in general emergency planning arrangements many States boosted their
own procedures (e.g. new team in DECC) and looking at working better with neighbouring States

nuclear liability

Issues raised by Fukushima

Immediate implications for other plants around the world

long term implications..


- current vs old reactor designs -ability to model disaster scenarios

nuclear safety in general emergency planning arrangements nuclear liability no real changes: UK consultation on
Paris/Brussels completed: Govt response early 2012. India interesting recently taken steps to limit consequences of 2010 law establishing liability through supply chain

Q. Whats the link between nuclear energy and nuclear weapons?


(i.e. Why should we worry about which states are planning to get into nuclear energy?)

Why are we concerned about who has nuclear energy?

2. Nuclear energy is unique: mastery of nuclear technology (certain elements of the so-called nuclear fuel cycle) provides an option to make weapons of mass destruction.

The only difference is between a controlled process of nuclear fission (i.e. in a reactor) or uncontrolled fission (i.e. a bomb) .

Some basics - what is matter made up of?

Fundamental building block is the atom Atom is made up of protons, neutrons and electrons At the centre is the nucleus - protons and neutrons Orbiting around the nucleus are the electrons

Back to basics - nuclear fission

the chain reaction

So what nuclides are suitable for a nuclear reactor/ nuclear weapon?

Those that can be induced to split (fission) with a low energy neutron, sustaining a chain reaction
For a reactor -those that have a reasonably long half life The two nuclides with the highest probability of a fission reaction are 235U and 239Pu. Neither are easily obtainable.
235U

occurs as 0.7% of natural uranium (99.3% 238U). It is therefore obtained by a process of enrichment
is obtained by processing fuel from a nuclear reactor (it arises from neutron capture by 238U)

239Pu

So what precisely do you need to make a nuclear weapon?

1. Several kg of such a fissile material in practice either


235

239

Pu

By separating 235U from 238U by isotope enrichment, using centrifuge, diffusion

By building a reactor, to produce 239Pu that needs to be extracted from the spent fuel via reprocessing

How much fissile material? a critical mass

- the smallest amount of fissile material needed for a sustained nuclear chain reaction. This will depend on material, size, temperature, surrounding material etc. But e.g. for a bare faced sphere
235 U 239

52 kg 10kg

17 cm 9.9cm

Pu

So.. simple

Bring together 2 sub-critical masses of fissile material to create a super-critical mass, and

That is, assuming you have

A decent mathematician/scientist High Explosive/detonator Fabrication facilities (can be relatively basic) Somewhere to conceal your activities Means of weapon delivery (airborne, missile, depth charge, whatever) NB: optional!

Q. So what are the most proliferation sensitive parts of a civil nuclear power programme?

Enrichment can provide both fuel for power reactors (520% 235U) and weapons grade uranium (>90% 235U)

Enrichment

Needed for fuel for nearly all the worlds nuclear reactors Relatively low cost Gas centrifuge process now the235 overriding way - makes use of the 238

slight difference in weight between U (the required isotope) and U (the unwanted one):

the UK/D/NL company Urenco (sites in each country) is the world leader technology-wise: other major plants in operation in the US, Russia, France But If you can enrich to 3%, you have the means to enrich to 90% (cf interest in Iran) Easier to conceal enrichment facility/activities than reprocessing activities that need to extract Pu from reprocessed fuel

Centrifuge Cascades

Reprocessing can provide Plutonium (Pu) separated from spent nuclear fuel

Reprocessing
Spent fuel is made up of 96% uranium 1% plutonium 3% fission products, which are highly radioactive

Reprocessing separates spent fuel into its three components: uranium (can be re-used for further fuel) plutonium (can be used for weapons: cf North Korea) waste, containing fission products (disposal = key issue: currently no global operating depositaries: normally stored on-site)

So, what has the world done to mitigate the risks of proliferation of nuclear weapons?

1. Set up an organisation charged with promoting nuclear power/monitoring nuclear developments/capabilities - the IAEA (est 1957) with nuclear accounting (safeguards) measures and inspectors (with rights of access) 2. Panic increasingly during the 1960s (by which time there
were 5 nuclear weapon states and plenty of atmospheric tests)

3. Settle on a few Talks/Treaties: Euratom (1956), PTBT (1963), NPT (1968), SALT (1973), START (1991), CTBT (1996), FMCT (??) 4. Set up groups to agree and control exports (e.g. Nuclear Suppliers Group) 5. Fudge it on international instances of transgression

Central elements of the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Framework

1. Policing nuclear activities the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

The IAEA #1

established 1957 (in the wake of Eisenhowers 1953 Atoms for Peace speech) HQ Vienna

Largest technical agency in the UN system 2300 staff (>100 countries) 151 Member States Annual budget ~ 330m Previous DGs include Hans Blix, Mohamed El Baradei

The IAEA #2
acts as the worlds nuclear inspectorate (framework known as nuclear safeguards) fosters safe and efficient use of nuclear power around the world provides a strong, sustainable and visible global nuclear safety and security framework helps countries to improve their scientific and technological capabilities in the peaceful applications of nuclear technology (not least to meet sustainable development
objectives in agriculture, human health, water resource management, marine environment and industrial applications)

2. Securing commitment by individual countries Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons the NPT

The NPT
entered into force in 1970 conceived at a time of intense international nuclear tensions, especially between superpowers, rapidly rising nuclear arsenals, and nuclear ambitions of many states effectively forms a grand bargain - 5 Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) that have right to retain (nuclear
weapons (those who exploded a device prior to 1968) UK /US /Russia /China /France, but seek to reduce/liquidate nuclear arsenals while - All other signatories (are/will be Non-NWS) committed not to acquire the technology or assist others to do so

5 yearly review cycle: last Review Conference 2010: Preparatory Committees in each of preceding 3 years. Action plan agreed by RevCon in 2010

What particular obligations/ rights does the NPT infer?


Preamble .Declaring their intention to achieve at the earliest possible date the cessation of the nuclear arms race and to undertake effective measures in the direction of nuclear disarmament, Article II Each [NNWS] undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons directly, or indirectly; not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek or receive any assistant in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. Article III Each ..[NNWS] undertakes to accept safeguards.. shall conclude agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Article IV Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all Parties to the Treaty to develop, research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination ..

What are Safeguards?


Safeguards is the process to assess the correctness and completeness of a States declared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities. Verification measures include on-site inspections, visits, and ongoing monitoring and evaluation. (Basic) Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (all NPT States (190) bar 6 have one in force) Largely based on nuclear material accountancy, complemented by containment and surveillance techniques, such as tamper-proof seals and cameras that the IAEA installs at facilities. Additional Protocol (114 States have one in force) Strengthens the IAEAs inspection capabilities. Enables the IAEA not only to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material but also to provide assurances as to the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in a State.

3. Controlling the trade in nuclear materials and technology

Export control legislation/ Nuclear Suppliers Group

Export controls #1

UK export controls result largely from the UKs commitments made in multilateral and international agreements. Export Control Organisation based in Dept for Business (BIS) www.bis.gov.uk/exportcontrol UK an active member of various international control regimes, including, the Australia Group (re chem/bio weapons), Missile Technology Control Regime, Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the Wassenaar Arrangement (primarily info. sharing) UK implements NSG Guidelines in its export licence legislation

Export controls #2 Nuclear Suppliers Group


NSG created following the explosion in 1974 of a nuclear device by a non-nuclear-weapon State (India), which demonstrated that nuclear technology transferred for peaceful purposes could be misused.
Currently 46 members: voluntary basis, not legally binding. Annual plenary. Also a Consultative Group NSG Guidelines first published in 1978 to apply to nuclear transfers for peaceful purposes to help ensure that such transfers would not be diverted to unsafeguarded nuclear fuel cycle or nuclear explosive activities. Two lists Trigger list and Dual-use list.

So what current proliferation challenges does the world face?

e.g. some States of concern


Iran? Syria? North Korea (DPRK)?

Iran

1960s history of nuclear research, including research reactor 1995 Russia agreed to pick up work on Irans only reactor, at Bushehr 2002 discovery of work on 2 new nuclear sites: enrichment (Natanz) and Arak (heavy water) site at Qom identified 2006 France, UK and Germany (E3) tried to resolve major questions with Iran 2004 IAEA report describes pattern of concealment 2006 Ahmadinejad announces successful enrichment of uranium (3.5%) 2006-2011 increasing calls for Iran to suspend enrichment/ regular reports to the meetings of the IAEA Board/ 7 resolutions passed by the UN Security Council demanding cessation of activities or imposing sanctions Nov 2011 IAEA Board report uses term possible military dimension for the first time, and identifies large explosive containment vessel at Parchin January 2012 latest IAEA visit (next Board report March 2012)

Iran: images of a nuclear enrichment facility

Syria

1976 Atomic Energy Commission of Syria (AECS) established: historically very limited nuclear activities: 1 research reactor (Chinese SRR-1) background of adversarial relations w Israel 2007 Israeli airstrike on alleged Pu producing reactor construction site at Al-Kibar (Dair Alzour). Allegations of link with DPRK - that reactor matched design at Yongbyon. 2007 2011 Regular IAEA reports 2008 IAEA discovers anthropogenic uranium at SSR-1 site 2011 IAEA finds Syria in non-compliance with its safeguards obligations

Syria

2003 image of alleged nuclear site at Dair Alzour NY Times 27/10/07

DPRK (North Korea)


History of nuclear activities: background of concerns about US/ROK/Japan links + general paranoia. <1993 considerable evidence of Pu production

1993 Stated it wanted out of the NPT and refused access to IAEA inspectors (NB DPRKs precise NPT status is not universally agreed)
1994 US negotiates Agreed Framework in essence US (and partners) would build modern power reactors and provide interim fuel supplies to the DPRK in return for closing down existing reactors. KEDO project born in 1995. But evidence that DPRK commenced an enrichment programme 2002 KEDO project collapses: DPRK returns to its old reactors 2006 DPRK tests a nuclear weapon. Several tests to date on missile systems 2009 DPRK admits existence of its enrichment programme: tensions remain

2010 satellite image of the DPRKs Yongbyon nuclear site. It shows construction of an alleged new experimental light water reactor and the destroyed cooling tower for an original 5 MWe reactor

But ...

There are three States (known as the D3) that are not signatories to the NPT but who possess nuclear weapons and are therefore de-facto Weapons States India - first exploded nuclear device in 1974 Pakistan first exploded nuclear device in 1998 Israel does not openly acknowledge possession of nuclear weapons (policy of nuclear ambiguity)

And finally.

- Some summary thoughts.

Expansion of civil nuclear energy worldwide unlikely to be dented significantly by Fukushima accident drivers of energy demand, concern for climate change, price of fossil fuels will only intensify over time Expansion in China and India likely to dwarf nuclear new build in smaller countries. But for nuclear even to keep its share of the expanding electricity market will be a major feat: are there sufficient companies with the necessary skills and resources? All developments will be under increasing global scrutiny Open question as to how the supply of enrichment services will develop. Present players can satisfy market, but increasingly States may seek their own or regional facilities. Proliferation risks will continue to be largely State specific

Safeguards techniques (e.g. air sampling) should continue to develop to detect non-peaceful uses
Activities of States of concern likely to cause even greater concern e.g. Iran, Syria, DPRK,

Some summary thoughts.

Countries embarking on new nuclear will require considerable handholding e.g. Jordan, UAE. IAEA can meet some of this need, but external advice/service provision will be all important Equally legal advice both to help put in place regulatory frameworks and facilitate compliance with existing and international law on areas such as:

Land use planning Transport Environmental protection Construction law Financial/capital requirements Electricity transmission/connection/allocation Industrial (i.e. nuclear) safety Nuclear liability Administration procedures/role of regulatory authority

will be all important

And. Looking at the nuclear nonproliferation calendar for 2012

March/June/September/November: IAEA Board of Governors meetings: Vienna March: Nuclear Security Summit, Seoul. Follow on from 2010 US event May: NPT Preparatory Committee: 2 weeks, Vienna June: Meeting of P5 (UK, US, China, France, Russia), US June: Nuclear Suppliers Group Plenary/Consultative, Seattle September: IAEA General Conference, Vienna

Date tba: Conference on Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, Helsinki

Thank you. Questions?