Chairman of the US NRC at PSSI

PSSI Headquaters, Prague; September 14, 2007 

On September 14, PSSI hosted an expert roundtable on Nuclear Energy Security in the age of uncertainity with a special guest Dr. Dale Klein, the head of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Dr. Klein addressed several challenges the nuclear energy sector will have to face in the coming years.

There has been a revival of nuclear energy in recent years and this trend is very likely to continue due to apparent security and economy related reasons. Only in the United States there are currently steps being taken to build over thirty new nuclear energy power facilities with the expected lifetime of approximately sixty years! However, as Dr. Klein pointed out, there are numerous difficulties related to such enormous demand for nuclear power. The shortages of capable human resources and components needed for the building process might prove to be critical for further progress. The costly process of training new experts takes up to two years forcing companies to fight over each trained individual. Furthermore, only five companies world wide are able to build nuclear reactors and their capacities are already overstretched for several years to come.

As Dr. Klein further explained, some level of uncertainty still persists among potential investors. Thus the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has started to issue integrated licenses which provide additional guarantees to the investors that they will be able to finish and run the facilities when all requirements are met. Dr. Klein further stressed that despite the boom in nuclear energy, the United States will continue in its efforts to diversify energy resources.

In the following discussion, Dr. Klein expressed his concerns related to nuclear proliferation and smuggling of nuclear materials. He illustrated the danger by pointing out to the case of infamous A. Q. Khan, who helped several undemocratic regimes to gain knowledge and technology needed for activities restricted by the NPT.  

Aramco Senior Vice president at PSSI

PSSI Headquaters, Prague; June 20, 2006

On June 20, Abdulaziz F. Al-Khayyal, Senior Vice President of Saudi Aramco, visited PSSI to discuss current trends in the global oil market. Introduced by Hon. William F. Martin, PSSI‘s Corporate Council Chairman, Mr. Al-Khayyal emphasized what he sees as widespread misperceptions about the adequacy of global oil supplies to meet future demand. „There is plenty of oil in the world,“Mr.Al-Khayyal said, adding that the focus should be on deploying more advanced technologies to boost recovery rates. He likewise argued it is wrong-headed to characterize oil use as an addiction, „because oil means energy and energy means economic growth.“ Mr. Al-Khayyal also cited energy in efficiency as a global challenge that must be addressed. Also present at this informative session was Robert A. Manning, Senior Counsel for Science and Technology, U.S. State Department, who talked about the booming Asian economies and their rising demand for oil. 

James Kemler Addresses PSSI’s Coporate Council

PSSI Headquaters, Prague; June 2, 2006

James Kemler, Group President of Stryker Corporation, a global developer and manufacturer of orthopedic implants and surgical products, addressed PSSI about the growing importance of health in securitypolicy-making. Kemler talked extensively about the escalating costs of health care and how it detracts from other national priorities such as defense spending.

“The interaction between health and security can be viewed as one of competing recourses,” argued Kemler. The lecture underscored the importance of the health factor in security thinking.

David Elliman speaks to RMSSP Scholars

PSSI Headquaters, Prague; February 22, 2006

On February 22, RMSSP Scholars had a special opportunity to attend a lecture by David Elliman, Chairman of Elmrock Capital. Mr. Elliman discussed the importance of capital markets to global security. Elaborating further on the overlapping worlds of business and security, Mr. Elliman explained how robust markets allow for the development of an industrial base and technological expertise necessary to support a national defense infrastructure. Thelecturewasanother attempt by PSSI to reaffirmitslong-term commitment to increasing awareness of the crucial role played by private enterprises in enhancing global security. See also the PSSI/PASS Business and Security Conference held in October 2005, in Prague. An interview with David Elliman can be viewed in the first issue of the PSSI Quarterly.