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Warheads of Energy: Exploring the Linkages between Civilian Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons in Seven Countries

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Lars Sorge, Anne Neumann

In: Energy Research & Social Science 81 (2021), 102213, 17 S.


This paper focuses on the causal determinants of the accumulation of nuclear weapons, also known as vertical nuclear proliferation, in China, France, India, Pakistan, Russia, UK, and the US. It empirically analyzes the causal relationships between the civilian uses of nuclear energy, military expenditures, trade openness, and the stockpiling of nuclear warheads. Results from the Toda and Yamamoto (1995) version of the Granger non-causality test suggest a causal relationship in five of the seven states. A potential nuclear power lock-in into their energy systems induced by vertical proliferation aspirations is also plausible for some of the states. We suggest that military nuclear relationships affect energy system developments and impede a nuclear phase-out in the seven states. Emphasizing the mutually beneficial relationship between a state’s nuclear warhead stockpiles and its civil nuclear capabilities helps to explain nuclear incumbency and the future use of nuclear power in nuclear armed states. We also discuss the implications from our results for sociotechnical transition theories which usually neglect the role of military nuclear related factors in describing energy system trajectories.

JEL-Classification: Q40;H56;C22
Keywords: Nuclear warheads, Nuclear proliferation, Nuclear armed states, Nuclear energy consumption, Military expenditures, Toda–Yamamoto causality