Think Tank (January to February 2019)
Prof Mely Caballero-Anthony (left) sharing her views at the meeting
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CSCAP — Nuclear Energy Experts Group Meeting
24 Jan 2019

The Nuclear Energy Experts Group of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) met in Singapore from 24 to 25 January. The meeting was jointly convened by RSIS, the coordinator of the Singapore CSCAP Committee, and the Pacific Forum, which serves as the Secretariat for the US CSCAP.

About 40 nuclear experts and practitioners deliberated on global nuclear governance, strengthening nuclear governance in the Asia-Pacific, the nuclear governance plans of China and India, the nuclear energy export regime in the region, and the impact of new technologies.

Given that the meeting was taking place after the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, the participants discussed the current status of nuclear security governance with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the lead organisation on the summit process. They suggested that regions/regional bodies could take on more responsibilities to complement global governance. They discussed the progress that has been made to enhance nuclear governance in the Asia-Pacific region. Prof Mely Caballero-Anthony, Head of the RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), and Mr Julius Cesar Trajano, Research Fellow at the NTS Centre, gave a joint presentation on building nuclear governance in the Asia-Pacific and the pivotal role of Southeast Asia.

Participants noted that the big nuclear power users in the region such as China, India, and Japan, had made a major contribution to regional nuclear governance through their nuclear export policies. These countries have vastly improved their legal and regulatory frameworks on the safety and security of nuclear and radioactive materials.

Participants singled out two important technological issues that might also have a significant impact on future nuclear governance, namely, cyber threats to nuclear security and the development of small and floating nuclear power plants. Participants stressed that future regulation would need to focus on flexibility and adaptation to new technologies and challenges/threats, greater information sharing among stakeholders, and enhanced cooperation at the domestic, regional, and international levels.

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