Proliferation Potential of Laser Enrichment

Faculty Lead: R. Scott Kemp

Uranium enrichment is a key process to the production of both nuclear fuel and nuclear weapons. In 2012, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued its first commercial license to Global Laser Enrichment (GLE) for the development of a new laser based uranium enrichment technology, known as SILEX, without any systematic study of its impact on nuclear security. The Laboratory for Nuclear Security and Policy (LNSP) and the Security Studies Program (SSP) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have undertaken an assessment of SILEX technology to provide policy makers with the information they will need to make informed decisions about its implementation.

IPL Support: The IPL identified and mapped out the community of policy makers who would be interested in the results of this research project. Subsequently, the IPL interviewed various policy makers to identify their specific concerns that the research could address.