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You searched for: Content Type Working Paper Remove constraint Content Type: Working Paper Publishing Institution Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University Remove constraint Publishing Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University Political Geography China Remove constraint Political Geography: China Topic Security Remove constraint Topic: Security
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  • Author: Hui Zhang
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: China is currently operating eleven nuclear power reactors with installed capacity of 9 GWe, and it plans to increase its total nuclear capacity to 40 GWe by 2020. China is seeking to reprocess the civilian spent fuel, and to recycle the plutonium in MOX fuel for its light water reactors (LWRs) and fast breeder reactors (FBRs). A pilot reprocessing plant with a capacity of 50-100 THM/a is ready to operate now. A larger commercial reprocessing plant and a MOX fabrication plant are expected to be in commission around the year 2020. Also, the China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR), capable of producing 25 MWe of power, will be operating soon. Furthermore, larger commercial FBRs are planned to be commissioned around 2030-2035. This paper will first discuss the status of China's nuclear power reactors, breeders, and civilian reprocessing programs. In addition, this paper will examine whether the breeders and civilian reprocessing programs make sense for China, taking into account costs, proliferation risks, energy security tradeoffs, health and environmental risks, and spent fuel management issues.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Environment
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Doug Blum, Carol Saivetz
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Carol Saivetz and Doug Blum spoke about Russia's policies toward the Caspian under President Putin at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs on May 2, 2001 in an event sponsored by the Caspian Studies Program. Carol Saivetz, Research Associate at the Davis Center for Russian Studies at Harvard and Executive Director of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, noted a trend toward more coherence in Russia's foreign policy, although she said it is occurring despite a split within the foreign policy establishment. Doug Blum, who spoke second, focused on the bilateral relationships between Russia and other Caspian Basin countries, and on those countries' responses to Russian policy, singling out Kazakhstan's relations with Russia as the most cooperative. Melissa Carr, Caspian Studies Program Director, chaired the event. Carol Saivetz opened by arguing that President Putin has being working to correct the foreign policy "freelancing" rampant in the late Yeltsin years, bringing more coherence to Russian foreign policy in general. However, at the same time, she said, the Putin Administration seems to be split into two different camps. Moscow analysts, when describing this trend to Saivetz, used the terms "integrationists" and "isolationists." The "integrationists" are those interested in reforming the Russian economy and linking it to the outside world (through WTO membership, for example) and who welcome globalization. The "isolationists" are in Saivetz's opinion the "derzhavniks," those who long for Russia's superpower status and for increasing Russia's power in the CIS. Putin has decided, Saivetz argued, that the Caspian is one of Russia's vital interests and therefore a region to concentrate on. Shortly after he was elected President, a Security Council meeting took place in which the two items on the agenda were the new military doctrine and Caspian issues. After this meeting, Putin declared that Russia must be "competitive" in the region and to this end he created a new department for Caspian policy, appointing Viktor Kalyuzhny as Caspian envoy. The Russian President also talked about the need to balance state interests with the interests of the oil companies. Following that statement (and probably with Kremlin backing), Yukos, LUKoil and Gazprom joined in a new consortium called the Caspian Oil Company to start developing reserves in the Russian sector. Next Saivetz discussed Putin's January trip to Azerbaijan and the agreements that emerged from his meetings with Aliyev. There was compromise on the division of the Caspian Sea, and in parallel the signing of an oil deal between LUKoil and SOCAR during the visit. On the other hand, at that time Russia was still trying to block the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (since then they have withdrawn overt opposition but continued to waver), and could not find agreement with Azerbaijan about Nagorno-Karabagh. Saivetz also briefly discussed Khatami's trip to Moscow, which ended up being about arms deals and not the Caspian, precisely because of the lack of agreement on a legal regime. The final resolution of the Caspian demarcation remains one of the key issues in the region, she noted. Saivetz made several broader conclusions: 1) Putin has made the Caspian a priority; 2) Putin's policy blends economic and geopolitical calculations; he has shifted the emphasis in foreign policy from macro ties (state-to-state relations) to a combination of macro and micro (i.e. trade and economic) ties. 3) There is a notable militarization of Russian pressures on other littoral states, particularly Azerbaijan and Georgia; many analysts explain Russia's intention to keep the waters of the Caspian common as a way to ensure Moscow the right to project its naval power. 4) Increased attention to the Caspian reflects a larger Russian policy towards what Russians have called the "Near Abroad," and particularly the Caucasus (Chechnya, Georgia, Armenia). Returning to the idea of integrationists and isolationists, Saivetz remarked that there is a debate in the U.S. about which of these two tendencies is driving Russian policy. It seems that Putin has not made a choice: the Russian government is pressuring Georgia and Azerbaijan at the same time as Viktor Kalyuzhny has backed off from opposing BTC. It seems that Russia's ideal model for pipeline development is reflected in the CPC: outside investment went into a pipeline that traverses Russian territory (where Russia gets transit fees). This pipeline reflects a policy that is simultaneously both integrationist (bringing in Western investment) and isolationist (forcing North-South routes). Doug Blum began by registering his agreement with Saivetz's presentation. He structured his talk by focusing on Russia's bilateral relationships with Caspian littoral states one by one, in "declining order of [Russia's] success": Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Georgia. He pointed out that Russia's place is extremely important in all the significant issue areas that concern the Caspian countries. "This is not simply a matter of Russia being effectively able to exert leverage on these countries," he remarked, "there are shared and overlapping interests." Russia is an important transit route for Central Asian goods, and these countries also share an interest in combating terror, drugs, crime, and "Islamic fundamentalism." Russia has the logistical and military resources to help in these areas, and is unparalleled by all other countries in the region. Russia's successes in Kazakhstan include the achievement of increased energy transit through Russian territory with the Caspian Pipeline Consortium line and also with added volumes from on the Aktau-Samara route. Also, Russia and Kazakhstan have concluded formal accords on trade and the possible implementation of a Eurasian Economic Union. In security, there is cooperation on an air defense system. Also, Russia has retained access to the Baikonur Space Facility. In sum, Russia has succeeded in fulfilling its goals in Kazakhstan, but this is largely due to overlapping interests. On the other hand, Kazakhstan is and has for the past decade been interested in balancing its orientation between Russia, China, and the West. This balancing act has resulted in strains with Russia, for example over the possible Kazakh commitment to BTC. Kazakhstan also disagrees with Russia about the ownership of some offshore oil islands, and about Russia's naval presence in the Caspian Sea. Azerbaijan, according to Blum, presents a "much more complex picture of balancing and bandwagoning," being limited to some extent by Nagorno-Karabagh and, relatedly, the U.S. Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, which limits direct government assistance from the U.S. to Azerbaijan. He noted that Azerbaijan of necessity has been searching for a modus vivendi with Russia, a pursuit that has been made easier given the new Russian flexibility towards Azerbaijan under Putin. Azerbaijan and Russia have started to form agreements on trade and investment, and also humanitarian relief and treatment of migrants. The two countries are cooperating on combating terrorism, organized crime, and drug smuggling. Also, Azerbaijan is increasing imports of Russian gas as a trade-off for exporting more oil through Novorossiisk. Total trade between Azerbaijan and Russia remains low, however. Azerbaijan is trying to attract Western investment and balance against Russia through membership in groups such as GUUAM. Blum emphasized that both Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are attempting to accommodate to geopolitical reality. In addition, he pointed out that both countries are "very sensitive and very angry about repeated Western, and especially American, criticisms of human rights and the lack of political progress"; and this motivates compromise with Russia. Iran's relationship with Russia involves both conflict and cooperation. There is disagreement over Russia's naval presence in the Caspian and about the ownership of the Sea. On the other hand, there is significant military cooperation. Turkmenistan's relationship with Russia is "quite strained," according to Blum, especially over the Caspian legal regime, where Turkmenistan has sided with Iran. Turkmenistan has, however, negotiated a favorable deal for gas transit through the ITERA system. However, on the whole Turkmenistan remains "a very isolated and extraordinary backwards, removed country." Blum termed Georgia's relationship with Russia "extremely strained." Russian policymakers see it in zero-sum terms, especially over energy transit issues (what goes through Georgia is a Russian loss) and over the pending loss of military bases in the region. Georgia has shown some willingness to form a working relationship with Russia, but still the Shevardnadze regime is understandably very reluctant (given how the Russian security apparatus relates to him, as a wishful target for assassination). Blum closed by reiterating that the cornerstone of current Russian policy is international integration. Russia is pushing a north-south route that would bring trade from Iran and India up through Russia's Caspian port of Astrakhan then up the Volga. The Caspian States also want to enter into the international economy, with the help of multiple trading routes, north south and also the east west.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia