Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 - Faculty of Law

The silent masters of the oceans: the strategic and non-proliferation implications of nuclear-powered submarines in Australia and Brazil

At the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference in 2022, Director General Rafael Grossi emphasizes that “the world of nuclear proliferation and safeguards is changing,” and that this change creates important technical and political challenges. The announcement of the AUKUS agreement and the progress of Brazil’s nuclear-powered submarine program reflect regional geopolitical realignments. Internationally, the IAEA safeguards system is challenged by these developments insofar as they entail risks of nuclear proliferation. How does the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines impact both the regional and international strategic balance and nuclear non-proliferation norms? The purpose of this research note is to analyze the geopolitical motivations of nuclear-powered submarine programs in Australia and Brazil and their implications for nonproliferation instruments.

𝐉𝐚𝐧𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑

By Douglas Rocha

The Nuclear Sea-Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM-N): Implication for U.S. nuclear strategy and arms control

In May 2021, soon after taking office, the Biden administration confirmed the decision to fund the NucleaSea-launched Cruise Missile (SLCM-N), one of the most controversial programs of Donald Trump’s term. The decision was received with surprise by some analysts: Joseph Biden had argued against this new weapon during his campaign. Finally, after considerable discussion within the government and the armed forces, the Democratic administration appears to have reconsidered its decision and canceled the SLCM-N program.

By Douglas Rocha

The political construction of the French nuclear consensus

Strategic research and historiography put forward the idea of ​​a French national consensus on foreign and security policy based on the rallying of the left to the strike force at the end of the 1970s.

By Yannick Pincé

Alternatives to the aircraft carrier: an analysis of the French strategic debate

Since the end of the Second World War, the status of capital ship of the aircraft carrier has been a consensus. However, the criticisms against him seem to be on the increase today. These are based on geostrategic, techno-capability and / or economic considerations.

By Pierre Vallée

Floating and submerged nuclear power plants: towards the emergence of energy thalassocracies?

Moving nuclear power generation out to sea is not as innocuous as one might think. At a time when Russia and China have embarked on the construction of vast fleets of offshore nuclear power plants destined to conquer new markets, the emergence of these small disruptive reactors raises the question of their
possible exploitation for geostrategic purposes.

By Hélène Lecomte