Arresting Nuclear Adventurism: China, Article VI, and the NPT
China refuses to participate in U.S.–Russian nuclear talks citing its refusal to engage until Russia and the U.S. come down to its level. U.S. receives intelligence of suspected Chinese reprocessing of power reactor fuel and use of civil reactors to produce tritium in violation of its peaceful end use agreements with the U.S. and possibly others, and in possible violation of its IAEA agreements. After Washington’s fourth request that China join in talks underway with Russia to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to the cessation of the nuclear arms race,” China rejects the invitation and is suspected of short cycling and reprocessing spent fuel from its civilian power reactors including the U.S. AP 1000 reactors and Westinghouse-designed Chinese design variants. Several Senators raise concerns that China may have violated its promise not to reprocess U.S.-origin spent fuel without prior U.S. consent as well as previous concerns about nuclear testing. The U.S. has evidence that China is continuing to assist Saudi Arabia in production of yellow cake. U.S. intelligence has difficulty verifying Chinese reprocessing of power reactor fuel, but multiple intelligence sources note the activity as well as the movement of a significant number of tritium containers from a number of power reactor sites to one of China’s tritium extraction plants. The U.S. has also identified an even greater increase in activity at China’s Lop Nur nuclear weapons test site. China has blocked data from its international monitoring stations. PLA commentators discuss the need to expand their nuclear arsenal, and Japan plans to raise its concerns about the PRC’s nuclear build up at an appropriate international forum.
Meanwhile, PLA commentators talk about the need to field roughly 2,500 nuclear weapons to deter the United States. In response, Japan, which has not yet begun operation of its own reprocessing plant at Rokkasho, objects at the NPT Review Conference to China’s suspect nuclear activities as being in violation of Article 6 of the treaty. In response, the Chinese complain about Japan’s planned operation of reprocessing and enrichment facilities at Rokkasho and its connivance in the Quad 4 (AUKUS) and U.S.-Japan nuclear-related activities.
China NPT Violation Diplomatic Simulation Preparatory Meeting #1
October 21, 2021
6:00 – 7:00 pm EDT
Eldon Greenberg, Retired Garvey Schubert Barer and Former Deputy General Counsel of the Agency for International Development, “Reprocessing Under the China 123 Agreement.”
China NPT Violation Diplomatic Simulation Preparatory Meeting #2
October 28, 2021
6:00 – 7:30 pm EDT
Henry Sokolski, Executive Director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center and Thomas Cochran, ACU Energy International, “Chapter 1: How Many Nuclear Warheads China Might Acquire by 2030.”
China NPT Violation Diplomatic Simulation Preparatory Meeting #3
November 3, 2021
12:00 – 1:00 pm EDT
Thomas DiNanno, Former Senior Bureau Official and Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense Policy, Emerging Threats, and Outreach, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance. Mr. DiNanno will describe the considerations governments are likely to make in any future attempts to find China in noncompliance with its NPT obligations.
Diplomatic Simulation Meetings
November 8, 2021
6:30 – 9:30 pm EDT
November 10, 2021
6:00 – 9:00 pm EDT
November 16, 2021
6:00 – 9:00 pm EDT