Has AUKUS Torpedoed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime? nationalinterest.org

The Russo–Ukrainian War has raised concerns in the arms control community about potential nuclear use and the tremendous strain on the global nonproliferation regime. But the year-old AUKUS (Australia–United Kingdom–United States) nuclear submarine deal has already set a dangerous precedent for states seeking nuclear weapons. A loophole in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which will be exercised for the first time through AUKUS, has raised the risk of proliferation and could be used clandestinely by non-nuclear states to build weapons.

Australia, a signatory to the NPT, will become the first non-nuclear weapons state to acquire nuclear-powered submarines (SSN). Until now, only declared nuclear weapon states under the NPT (which includes the United States, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, and France) and India (which is not a signatory to the NPT) operated SSNs. Thanks to the AUKUS deal, however, Australia will exploit a loophole in the treaty that allows member states to remove nuclear fissile material from the inspection mechanism of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Läs artikel