Trends in U.S. Nuclear Energy Policy Term Paper

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¶ … U.S. NUCLEAR ENERGY POLICY

In the research initiative to more fully understand the policy stance of the United States on nuclear and energy policy, one quickly gains an understanding that there are several different dimensions to U.S. nuclear and nuclear energy policy matters. Declaratory policy many times fails to "correspond closely" with arms control and nonproliferation policy, which also should but does not always appear to be highly correlated with either targeting and employment policy and/or R&D policy." (Potter, 2005)

POLICY TYPES RELATING to NUCLEAR ENERGY

The work of William C. Potter (2005) entitled: "Trends in U.S. Nuclear Policy" states that it is well-known that in the first part of 2002 "the U.S. Department of Defense released to Congress the findings of its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR)." This 'comprehensive review' was a Congress mandate calling for a review of the "policy, strategy, plans, stockpile, and infrastructure for U.S. nuclear forces." (Potter, 2005) the NPR central findings states that there is a need for what is termed a "New Triad" of:

Offensive strike systems (nuclear and non-nuclear);

Defenses (both active and passive); and a Revitalized defense infrastructure to provide new capabilities in a timely fashion to meet emerging threats. (Potter, 2005)

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The report by the NPR states that the New Triad would not only bring about a reduction in the dependence of the United States on nuclear weapon but would also bring about an improvement in the capability of deterring attack in a time when weapons of mass destruction are proliferating and that this would be accomplished by two means as follows:

The addition of defenses to reinforce deterrence; and the addition of non-nuclear strike forces. (Potter, 2005)

II. The POSITION of the PRESENT WASHINGTON ADMINISTRATION

TOPIC: Term Paper on Trends in U.S. Nuclear Energy Policy Assignment

The position of the Bush administration has been one that "is widely associated with the view that negotiated, legally-binding arms control accords unduly constrain U.S. flexibility and force requirements." (Potter, 2005) Potter holds that while this position does not rule out great nuclear forces reduction, it emphasizes the freedom of the U.S. To "maneuver and reverse reductions" if the nuclear arsenal of the U.S. has a need to be quickly reconstituted. In alignment with this belief, the U.S. has failed to take advantage of opportunities "to constrain Russian nuclear forces if such action would also impeded U.S. freedom of action." (Potter, 2005) the U.S. military, according to the report of Potter states that weapons are needed with seven specific characteristics:

Precision guidance for nuclear weapons;

Low yield nuclear weapons and the ability to certify yield with high precision and confidence;

Earth penetration;

Tailored effects, including ability to choose the appropriate mix of shock waves and radiation;

Ability to destroy chemical and biological agents;

Improved reliability;

Flexible employment, including the ability to target and retarget flexible weapons during the mission. (Potter, 2005)

III. ENERGY FUEL USE - HISTORICAL and FUTURE PROJECTIONS

The work of the Energy Information Administration entitled: "Annual Energy Outlook 2008" states that energy use of electricity generated by: (1) coal; (2) nuclear; (3) natural gas; (4) renewables; and (5) liquids has been historically, and will be in the future as shown in the following chart labeled Figure 1.

Electricity generation by Different Fuel Types 1980-2030 (billion killowatt hours)

Source: Energy Information Administration (2008)

The work of Robert Alvarez entitled: "Risky Appropriations: Gambling U.S. Energy Policy on the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership" states that the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) is a primary part of the energy policy of the Bush Administration with a goal of expansion of the growth of energy produced by nuclear means worldwide in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and toward facilitation of economic development. (2008) the plan is one in which power… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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