Nuclear Energy Readiness Indicator Index (NERI): A benchmarking tool for assessing nuclear capacity in developing countries Page: 3 of 10
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Nuclear Energy Readiness Indicator Index (NERI):
A benchmarking tool for assessing nuclear capacity in developing countries
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Declining natural resources, rising oil prices, looming climate change and the
introduction of nuclear energy partnerships, such as GNEP, have reinvigorated global
interest in nuclear energy. The convergence of such issues has prompted countries to
move ahead quickly to deal with the challenges that lie ahead. However, developing
countries, in particular, often lack the domestic infrastructure and public support needed
to implement a nuclear energy program in a safe, secure, and nonproliferation-conscious
environment. How might countries become ready for nuclear energy?
What is needed is a framework for assessing a country's readiness for nuclear energy.
This paper suggests that a Nuclear Energy Readiness Indicator (NERI) Index might serve
as a meaningful basis for assessing a country's status in terms of progress toward nuclear
energy utilization under appropriate conditions.
The NERI Index is a benchmarking tool that measures a country's level of "readiness"
for nonproliferation-conscious nuclear energy development. NERI first identifies 8 key
indicators that have been recognized by the International Atomic Energy Agency as key
nonproliferation and security milestones to achieve prior to establishing a nuclear energy
program.2 It then measures a country's progress in each of these areas on a 1-5 point
scale. In doing so NERI illuminates gaps or underdeveloped areas in a country's nuclear
infrastructure with a view to enable stakeholders to prioritize the allocation of resources
toward programs and policies supporting international nonproliferation goals through
responsible nuclear energy development.
On a preliminary basis, the indicators selected include: 1) demonstrated need; 2)
expressed political support; 3) participation in nonproliferation and nuclear security
treaties, international terrorism conventions, and export and border control arrangements;
4) national nuclear-related legal and regulatory mechanisms; 5) nuclear infrastructure; 6)
the utilization of IAEA technical assistance; 7) participation in regional arrangements;
and 8) public support for nuclear power.
1 Notice: This manuscript has been authored by employees of Brookhaven Science Associates, LLC under Contract
No. DE-AC02-98CH10886 with the U.S. Department of Energy. The publisher by accepting the manuscript for
publication acknowledges that the United States Government retains a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide
license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for United States
2 "Milestones in the Development of a National Nuclear Power Infrastructure," IAEA Nuclear Energy
Series, No. NG-G-3.1, 2007.
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Saum-Manning, L. Nuclear Energy Readiness Indicator Index (NERI): A benchmarking tool for assessing nuclear capacity in developing countries, article, July 13, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc896900/m1/3/: accessed September 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.