Regional cooperation on nuclear safeguards : an evaluation of existing and proposed regional safeguards regimes and a proposal for increased cooperation in South America
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The proposed expansion of nuclear fuel cycle facilities in many parts of the world has raised concerns about the potential of nuclear weapons proliferation. The International Atomic Energy Agency implements and verifies nuclear safeguards as measures to detect and deter undeclared nuclear activities. Some regions have elected to implement additional safeguards measures through the creation of regional safeguards organizations -- EURATOM in the European Union, ABACC in Argentina and Brazil, and a proposal for ASIATOM in Southeast Asia. This research employs a utility model based on expert elicitation to evaluate the regional safeguards regimes based on three objectives -- timeliness, cost, and deterrence. ABACC was the only regional safeguards regime that produced a positive weighted utility score. Based on the expected nuclear energy expansion in South America and the region's existing successful regional safeguards model (while taking into consideration lessons learned from other regional regimes) an extension of ABACC membership is proposed to include Chile, Venezuela, Colombia, and Peru.