Track II Dialogue on “Planning for the Worst: Nuclear Effect and Disaster Management in South Asia”

The Stimson Centre, Washington, D.C. and the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS) co-hosted Track II Dialogue themed “Planning for the Worst: Nuclear Effect and Disaster Management in South Asia”, from 23 – 25 February, 2018 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The aim of this Track II workshop was to provide the required space for open debate, shape policy agendas and influence real policy choices with regard to nuclear events in South Asia. The participants to the workshop included researchers, scientists, and strategists from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the United States who analyzed a range of potential consequences of nuclear events in South Asia. The interaction among the participants elicited discussion and fresh perspectives on a range of consequences and short, medium to long-term implications of nuclear disasters. Another aspect that drew attention of the participants was how these repercussions will have an impact on governments and planning mechanisms that policymakers might consider. In the first session, the Expert Panel led a discussion on four scenarios and the effects in South Asia and non-South Asian contexts. The following scenarios were highlighted in the discussion: Radiological Dispersal Device Terrorist Attack; Nuclear facility incident; International Nuclear Exchange; Nuclear Weapons Accident. This was followed by sessions covering each scenario where the participants presented their thematic papers proceeded by question and answer sessions. A panel of scholars and practitioners in the final session discussed the state responses to national disasters focused on lessons and remedies in the event of a nuclear disaster. During the thematic sessions and the expert panel session, the scenarios were discussed assessing the environmental/ medical, military/strategic, political, and social-economic effects of the scenarios which vary in terms of internationality and consequences. The three-day workshop was concluded with a dinner reception held at the Waters Edge Hotel, Colombo, providing an opportunity for the thirty foreign participants to interact with more Sri Lankan scholars to further their discussion in a friendlier atmosphere. effectiveness in providing inputs that are relevant to good policymaking in Indonesia.