M. V. Ramana (Ph.D. Boston University; M.Sc Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur) is the Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, as part of the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at UBC. His research interests are in the broad areas of international security and energy supply, with a particular focus on topics related to nuclear energy and fissile materials that can be used to make nuclear weapons. He combines technical skills and interdisciplinary methods to address policy relevant questions related to security and energy issues. Ramana is the author of The Power of Promise: Examining Nuclear Energy in India, Penguin Books, New Delhi (2012).
His recent work has involved studying the multiple risks associated with the acquisition and expansion of nuclear power around the world, including the linkage with nuclear weapons, the financial risks stemming from the high capital costs of reactors, the environmental risks associated with spent fuel and long-lived radioactive waste, and safety risks as a result of the potential for severe accidents like the ones at Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011. He has also carried out critical assessments of new reactor technologies. Earlier work has included studying the effects of nuclear explosions, accidents involving nuclear weapons, and the detection of ballistic missiles.
His work has been recognized through honors such as a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 and the Leo Szilard Award from the American Physical Society in 2014. He is a member of the International Panel on Fissile Materials and on the editorial board of Energy Research & Social Science.
Select Recent Publications
Bernadette K. Cogswell, Nataliawati Siahaan, Friga Siera R, M. V. Ramana, and Richard Tanter, “Nuclear Power and Small Modular Reactors in Indonesia: Potential and Challenges,” Indonesian Institute for Energy Economics and Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability, April 2017.
Matthias Englert, Friederike Frieß, and M. V. Ramana, “Accident Scenarios Involving Pebble Bed High Temperature Reactors,” Science & Global Security, 25(1), 2017.
M. V. Ramana, “An Enduring Problem: Radioactive Waste From Nuclear Energy,” Proceedings of the IEEE, 105(3), 2017.
M. V. Ramana, A. H. Nayyar, and Michael Schoeppner, “Nuclear High-level Waste Tank Explosions: Potential Causes and Impacts of a Hypothetical Accident at India’s Kalpakkam Reprocessing Plant,”Science & Global Security, 24 (3), 2016.
M. V. Ramana,“‘A fast reactor at any cost’: The perverse pursuit of breeder reactors in India,”Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 3 November 2016.
M. V. Ramana,“Second Life or Half-Life? The Contested Future of Nuclear Power and Its Potential Role in a Sustainable Energy Transition,” in Thijs Van de Graaf, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Arunabha Ghosh, Florian Kern, and Michael T. Klare, eds., The Palgrave Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy, 2016.
M. V. Ramana and Priscilla Agyapong,”Thinking big? Ghana, small reactors, and nuclear power,”Energy Research & Social Science, 21, November 2016.
M. V. Ramana,“The Checkered Operational History of High-temperature Gas-cooled Reactors,”Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 72 (3), 2016.
M. V. Ramana and Ali Ahmad, “Wishful Thinking and Real Problems: Small Modular Reactors, Planning Constraints, and Nuclear Power in Jordan,”Energy Policy, 93, 2016.
M. V. Ramana, and Zia Mian, “Scrambling to build a Nuclear Middle East,”Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 72 (1), 2016.
Amy King and M. V. Ramana, “The China Syndrome? Nuclear Power Growth and Safety After Fukushima,” Asian Perspective, 39 (4), 2015.
M. V. Ramana and Frank von Hippel,eds.,”Plutonium Separation in Nuclear Power Programs: Status, Problems, and Prospects of Civilian Reprocessing Around the World,”International Panel on Fissile Materials, July 2015.
Alexander Glaser, M. V. Ramana, Ali Ahmad, and Robert Socolow “Small Modular Reactors: A Window on Nuclear Energy,” An Energy Technology Distillate from the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University, June 2015.
M. V. Ramana,“The Forgotten History of Small Nuclear Reactors,”IEEE Spectrum, April 2015.
M. V. Ramana and Ashwin K. Seshadri,”Negligence, Capture, and Dependence: Safety Regulation of the Design of India’s Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor,”Journal of Risk Research, 18 (8), 2015.
Benjamin Sovacool and M. V. Ramana, “Back to the Future: Small Modular Reactors, Nuclear Fantasies, and Symbolic Convergence,” Science, Technology, and Human Values, 40 (1), 2015.
M. V. Ramana and Zia Mian,”One size doesn’t fit all: Social priorities and technical conflicts for small modular reactors,”Energy Research & Social Science, 1 (2), June 2014.
S. Rajendran Pillai and M. V. Ramana,“Breeder Reactors: A Possible Connection Between Metal Corrosion and Sodium Leaks,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 2014.
Ali Ahmad and M. V. Ramana, “Too Costly to Matter: Economics of Nuclear Power for Saudi Arabia,” Energy, 2014.
Zia Mian and M. V. Ramana, “Asian War Machines,” Critical Asian Studies, 46 (2) 2014.
M. V. Ramana and Ashwin Kumar, “Nuclear Safety in India: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Evidence,”OUCIP Journal of International Studies, 1 (1), 2013.
M. V. Ramana, Laura Berzak Hopkins, and Alexander Glaser, “Licensing Small Modular Reactors,”Energy, 61, November 2013.
M. V. Ramana, “Why India’s Electricity is Likely to Remain in Short Supply: The Economics of Nuclear Power,”Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 69 (6) 2013.
M. V. Ramana and Ashwin Kumar, “‘One in Infinity’: Learning from Accidents and Lessons for Nuclear Safety in India,”Journal of Risk Research, 2013.
Alexander Glaser, Laura Berzak Hopkins, and M. V. Ramana, “Resource Requirements and Proliferation Risks Associated with Small Modular Reactors,” Nuclear Technology, 184, October 2013.
M. V. Ramana, “Shifting Strategies and Precarious Progress: Nuclear Waste Management in Canada,”Energy Policy,61, October 2013.
Suvrat Raju and M. V. Ramana, “Cost of Electricity from the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant,” Economic and Political Weekly, XLVIII (26 & 27) 2013.
M. V. Ramana, “Nuclear Policy Responses to Fukushima: Exit, Voice, and Loyalty,”Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 69 (2) 2013.
M. V. Ramana,“Flunking Atomic Audits: CAG Reports and Nuclear Power,”Economic and Political Weekly, XLVII (39) 2012.
M. V. Ramana, “Flight from Disarmament,”Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Online, 10 May 2012.
M. V. Ramana and Eri Saikawa, “Choosing a Standard Reactor: International Competition and Domestic Politics in Chinese Nuclear Policy,” Energy, 36 (12) 2011.
Ashwin Kumar and M. V. Ramana, “The Limits of Safety Analysis: Severe Nuclear Accident Possibilities at the PFBR,” Economic and Political Weekly, XLVI (43) 2011.
M. V. Ramana, “Nuclear Power and the Public,”Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 67 (4) 2011.
M. V. Ramana,”Beyond our Imagination: Fukushima and the Problem of Assessing Risk,”Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Online, 19 April 2011.
J. Y. Suchitra and M. V. Ramana,”The Costs of Power: Plutonium and the Economics of India’s Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor,”International Journal of Global Energy Issues, 35(1) 2011.