Three of the country’s leading philanthropic organizations are supporting the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in its goal to ensure safety and security amid the anticipated expansion of nuclear energy around the world.
Grants of $500,000 from Carnegie Corporation of New York, $280,000 from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and $150,000 from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, will advance the Academy’s Global Nuclear Future (GNF) Initiative, which seeks to reduce the probability that a terrorist group could steal or acquire material from a nuclear facility; promote multilateral fuel cycle arrangements for safe civil nuclear energy programs; and strengthen the international nonproliferation treaty regime.
“These philanthropic foundations are helping the American Academy address one of the most complex and pressing global security issues of our time,” said Academy President Leslie C. Berlowitz.
The American Academy has worked on nuclear arms control and energy security issues for more than five decades. With the GNF Initiative, it is convening constituencies in the United States and abroad that historically have not communicated with each other, including government policy makers and the heads of non-governmental organizations, nuclear engineers and industry leaders, and social scientists and nonproliferation experts. The Academy has built a global network of scholars and representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations, the League of Arab States, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and various state energy agencies.
Recent project activities have included policy oriented work on: physical protection of nuclear facilities and materials; the fuel cycle; the international regulatory and nonproliferation regime; and the current state and future prospects of the emerging international nuclear order (with a particular focus on the Middle East and Southeast Asia). To bring findings directly to policymakers, the American Academy organized a high-level meeting during the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in May 2010 at the United Nations. It plans to host a similar meeting in May 2012 during the NPT Preparatory Committee meetings in Vienna, Austria.
The GNF Initiative, which began in 2008, has previously received major funding from the Hewlett Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The project has produced several volumes dealing with aspects of nuclear energy – from a technical primer on different nuclear reactors to proposals for strengthening the nonproliferation regime – that are available for downloading at http://www.amacad.org/projects/globalnuclearbooks.aspx.
The Global Nuclear Future Initiative is directed by Steven Miller (Harvard University) and Scott Sagan (Stanford University), with senior advisor Robert Rosner (University of Chicago) and research coordinator Stephen Goldberg (Argonne National Laboratory). The initiative’s advisory committee includes Richard Meserve (Carnegie Institution for Science), George Perkovich (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), and John Rowe (Exelon Corporation).