Nuclear Transparency in the Asia Pacific
Increasing energy demand in the Asia-Pacific region, combined with the perceived need for energy security or self-sufficiency, has caused many countries to develop or at least contemplate the use of nuclear energy. This increased peaceful use of nuclear energy brings with it rising safety and non-proliferation concerns. In order to address these concerns, the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) --a non-governmental organization linking together research institutes and security specialists from throughout the region-- is developing a multilateral approach toward ensuring the peaceful, safe use of nuclear energy. CSCAP's International Working Group on Confidence and Security Building Measures (CSBMs), applies nuclear transparency methods to promote safety and confidence among Asia-Pacific nations, while providing greater insight into regional nuclear-related concerns and potential acceptable solutions. Representatives from all the current and prospective nuclear energy users are currently participating in this CSCAP Working Group effort. CSCAP's efforts in this field range from information gathering and dissemination on one end of the spectrum to possibly defining and promoting an international Asian or Pacific Atomic Energy Community (PACATOM) at the other. CSCAP discussions since 1996 have stressed that regional solutions to nuclear concerns require the establishment of a tradition of regional cooperation. The Working Group has focused on near term approaches that feature transparency in Airborne Radiation monitoring and in activities in the Back End of the Fuel Cycle.