A Biologist in Nuclear Engineering?
The Nuclear Engineering Division historically has used its scientific expertise to help DOE sponsors implement policies related to nuclear nonproliferation. Although the technologies and their “safeguard-ability” are different, implementation of policies related to biological nonproliferation is a natural extension. In both nuclear engineering and biotechnology, export controls are a primary tool used by governments to regulate the trade of strategic equipment and materials so they are not diverted to produce weapons of mass destruction. National export control systems are based on “control lists” of such items.
These lists are developed by consensus-based, multi-country groups like the Australia Group (AG), which addresses chemical and biological weapons threats. The United States participates in the AG and similar groups and relies upon scientists and engineers such as those in NE’s Technical Nonproliferation Policy Support (TNPS) section to provide sound technical advice for the effective development of control list entries. Andrew will discuss a recent example where TNPS’ technical expertise was critical to the addition of a new item to the AG’s List of Dual-Use Biological Equipment for Export Control. Argonne’s contribution highlights the important role of technical expertise in the formulation and implementation of nonproliferation policy.