March 19, 2011

New CNAS Japan Policy Briefs

Happy Saturday, readers. I wanted to quickly flag for everyone that yesterday CNAS released 2 policy briefs on Japan. In the first, Disaster in Japan: Nuclear Energy, the Economy and the U.S.-Japan Alliance, we explore a series of questions that U.S. policy makers need to start thinking through now. In my piece, I discuss a few potential paths of nuclear energy going forward - namely, how Japan's disaster affects countries' decisions on newly entering the nuclear market, demanding next-gen reactor designs, and on reprocessing/enrichment - that are going to reshape the world's nuclear footprint (and thereby proliferation concerns). 

In the second, colleagues Patrick Cronin and Brian Burton analyze how the past week of multiple major crises (Japan, Libya, Bahrain, plus ongoing war in Afghanistan, etc.) may indicate the kind of planning scenarios we need for the coming decades. This is especially true on the civilian capacity side. Their excellent piece hits a theme we've been considering and watching for years: what is the effect of an increase in need for humanitarian assistance/disaster relief missions considering the changing climate? Will the United States always be well positioned to respond? What can we afford to do, in terms of the financial and political costs of assisting (and not assisting)?

Next week we'll be monitoring nuclear energy indicators and more. So far I'm hearing mostly from German, Jordanian and British friends and colleagues in terms of strong anti-nuclear energy responses to events in Japan. If you hear anything interesting, don't hesitate to drop us a line.

Have a great weekend everyone.