Originally published in 1983, this book presents both the technical and political information necessary to evaluate the emerging threat to world security posed by recent advances in uranium enrichment technology. Uranium enrichment has played a relatively quiet but important role in the history of efforts by a number of nations to acquire nuclear weapons and by a number of others to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. For many years the uranium enrichment industry was dominated by a single method, gaseous diffusion, which was technically complex, extremely capital-intensive, and highly inefficient in its use of energy. As long as this remained true, only the richest and most technically advanced nations could afford to pursue the enrichment route to weapon acquisition.
But during the 1970s this situation changed dramatically. Several new and far more accessible enrichment techniques were developed, stimulated largely by the anticipation of a rapidly growing demand for enrichment services by the world-wide nuclear power industry. This proliferation of new techniques, coupled with the subsequent contraction of the commercial market for enriched uranium, has created a situation in which uranium enrichment technology might well become the most important contributor to further nuclear weapon proliferation.
Some of the issues addressed in this book are:
- A technical analysis of the most important enrichment techniques in a form that is relevant to analysis of proliferation risks;
- A detailed projection of the world demand for uranium enrichment services;
- A summary and critique of present institutional non-proliferation arrangements in the world enrichment industry, and
- An identification of the states most likely to pursue the enrichment route to acquisition of nuclear weapons.
Table of Contents
Preface. List of Figures and Tables. Introduction. Part 1 1. Fundamentals of Uranium Enrichment 2. Enrichment and Proliferation 3. Options for Control 4. Conclusions and Recommendations Part 2 5. General Principles of Uranium Enrichment 6. Enrichment Processes Part 3 7. A History of Non-Proliferation Efforts 8. The World Enrichment Picture. Appendix 8A. Nuclear Power Growth 1980‒1990. Appendix 8B. Demand For and Supply of Enrichment Services. References. Index.
Allan S. Krass, Peter Boskma, Boelie Elzen, Wim A. Smit
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public. Based in Stockholm, SIPRI is regularly ranked among the most respected think tanks worldwide.