Establish Legal and Regulatory Frameworks before Starting New Nuclear Power Programs
More countries are interested in acquiring nuclear technology for research or energy, but the nine countries planning new nuclear power programs have varying levels of preparedness to take on nuclear security responsibilities.
The nine countries with nuclear materials or nuclear research reactors that are planning new nuclear power programs are: Bangladesh, Belarus, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Poland, and the United Arab Emirates.
- Of the nine countries planning new nuclear power programs, four receive a high score in the Index and five countries receive a medium score.
- Only Belarus receives a high score for the important Security and Control Measures category, which assesses the comprehensiveness of a country’s regulatory structure. Six countries receive a medium score and two countries receive a low score for this category.
- Performance among the nine countries is particularly weak for Insider Threat Prevention. Only Belarus receives a high score for this indicator. Three countries receive a medium score and five countries receive a low score, including three that receive a score of zero.
- Similarly, performance is weak for Cybersecurity. Only Jordan receives a high score for this indicator. Three countries receive a medium score and five countries receive a low score, including three that score a zero. Only five countries require protection against cyber attacks, while the other four countries do not.
Interest in peaceful nuclear use should be met with efforts to prepare those countries to assume nuclear security responsibilities. Countries considering new nuclear energy capabilities should establish the legal and regulatory frameworks and develop the capacity necessary to be responsible stewards of their nuclear power programs.
- As more countries take advantage of peaceful nuclear technology for research or energy purposes, it is important to ensure that they have the national nuclear security regulatory regimes and human capacity to maintain strong and effective nuclear security. Countries building new nuclear power plants, for example, should prioritize being responsible stewards of nuclear materials and technology to prevent acts of nuclear terrorism.
- Countries seeking to develop nuclear energy capabilities should put in place the regulatory structures required to implement nuclear security, such as an independent regulatory body and a comprehensive set of regulations. Regulations should address the vital areas of insider threat prevention, cybersecurity, and security culture, as well as traditional areas such as physical protection, control and accounting, and response capabilities.
- Countries seeking nuclear energy have a stake in a strong global nuclear security architecture and should increase their participation in strengthening global nuclear security by ratifying relevant international treaties, engaging in voluntary nuclear security initiatives, and supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
- Countries seeking nuclear energy also should build confidence in their nuclear security and their commitment to putting in place appropriate regulatory mechanisms by sharing information about their nuclear security, hosting peer reviews, and signing nuclear security Information Circulars (INFCIRCs), such as INFCIRC/869. Doing so will also help to gain public support for new nuclear energy programs.
- Countries and businesses offering to sell nuclear facilities and services should include in their proposals support for developing adequate regulatory and human resources to effectively manage client countries’ nuclear security responsibilities.
 Five other countries without weapons-usable nuclear materials or nuclear facilities are planning new nuclear power programs: Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam. They are not currently assessed in the Security and Control Measures category, and the status of their regulatory preparedness for nuclear security cannot be determined by the NTI Index.
 Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Poland, and the United Arab Emirates.
 Bangladesh, Belarus, Egypt, Jordan, and Uzbekistan.
 Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Poland, the United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan.
 Bangladesh and Egypt.
 Kazakhstan, Poland, the United Arab Emirates.
 Bangladesh, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia, and Uzbekistan.
 Bangladesh, Egypt, and Jordan.
 Belarus, Poland, and the United Arab Emirates.
 Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.
 Bangladesh, Egypt, and Uzbekistan.
 Belarus, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Poland, and the United Arab Emirates.
 Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, and Uzbekistan.