Senior Bradley Potter took center stage as the recipient of the Frank Shatz Prize for his essay “Charting a Path to Repair the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime” during an award ceremony sponsored by the Monitor Journal of International Studies on Nov. 7.
Potter’s article advocates creation of a “patch” for Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the clause that guarantees states the ability to utilize nuclear power for peaceful purposes. Recent attempts by some regimes, including Iran and North Korea, to secure complete domestic fuel cycles under the guises of economic and scientific development on behalf of their citizens, have brought the article into the international spotlight. Achievement of the domestic fuel cycle, which includes the ability to enrich uranium for nuclear energy and to reprocess spent uranium, would position a nation, according to Potter, “a screwdriver’s turn away from creating a nuclear weapon.”
Potter, who is majoring in physics and international relations at the College, recommended a patch that would, in effect, disallow enrichment of uranium or the reprocessing of plutonium in any state not currently engaged in such practices while creating an international nuclear fuel bank as a provider of subsidized enriched uranium to NPT-compliant states. The patch would take the form of an “additional document” to the treaty in order to avoid the prohibitive process of getting an amendment passed, which under language in the treaty would require “a majority of the votes of all the Parties to the Treaty, including the votes of all nuclear-weapons States Party to the Treaty and all other Parties which, on the date the amendment is circulated, are member of the Board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Commission.”
In presenting Potter with the prize, Frank Shatz alluded to the “Solomonic” difficulty of choosing just one essay from the list of MonitorMonitor are ‘some of the most thoughtful, sophisticated and stimulating undergraduate scholarship to be found anywhere,’” Shatz said. Ultimately, his selection came down to “which essay deals with a problem that has the greatest impact on the future of the world,” he explained.
Also during the Monitor ceremony, Kaitlyn Smoot (’09) received the first Haynes-Hankinson Prize for the best Monitor submission by a freshman, sophomore or junior at the College. Her article, “The Gem of Africa: A First-Hand Look at Botswana’s Successful Economic Development,” raised significant questions concerning the ability of a socialistic-inspired regime to provide sustained economic growth on behalf of its citizens based on Botswana’s long-term success. Smoot, who is majoring in economics, was unable to attend the reception. as she is studying abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia.
During the evening, there was considerable excitement expressed about the reconstituted Monitor. With a student editorial and production staff of more than 30 individuals, as well as a revitalized faculty mentoring board, the current edition presents compelling research. Topics include food, fuel and biodiversity, the influence of non-financial services offered by microfinance institutions on female clientele and the development of unilateral foreign policy in the United States.
Erica Chiusano, who has been part of the team that has revitalized the publication, explained that the Monitor is essential to the College for providing a scholarly format in which undergraduates can share their research and for enabling their peers to travel vicariously to places such as Botswana, where they can consider socialized economic development, or Geneva, where they can inform their understanding of concepts involved with global trade issues and policies
To read the scholarship produced by the Monitor’s staff online, including interviews with assorted international leaders, see www.wm.edu/so/monitor.
Audio: Celebrating the Monitor