8 Items

Discussion Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

When Did (and Didn’t) States Proliferate?

| June 2017

In this Project on Managing the Atom Discussion Paper, Philipp C. Bleek chronicles nuclear weapons proliferation choices throughout the nuclear age. Since the late 1930s and early 1940s, some thirty-one countries are known to have at least explored the possibility of establishing a nuclear weapons program. Seventeen of those countries launched weapons programs, and ten acquired deliverable nuclear weapons.

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Journal Article - Journal of Conflict Resolution

Security Guarantees and Allied Nuclear Proliferation

| Nov. 12, 2013

As Iran continues its apparent pursuit of a nuclear weapons breakout capability and North Korea resists efforts to roll back its proliferation, policy makers in Washington eager to prevent further proliferation in both regions regard security guarantees to allies as crucial tools. But recent scholarship calls into question whether security guarantees ameliorate proliferation risks. Relying on a combination of large-N quantitative analysis and a case study of South Korea from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, this article argues that, consistent with policy makers’ conventional wisdom, security guarantees significantly reduce proliferation proclivity among their recipients.

Book Chapter

Why Do States Proliferate? Quantitative Analysis of the Exploration, Pursuit, and Acquisition of Nuclear Weapons

| 2010

"In Chapter 8, Philipp Bleek, like Muller and Schmidt, regards quantitative analysis as a valuable tool for understanding why states proliferate. More so than his German colleagues, he also makes the case for employing quantitative analyses explicitly for forecasting purposes...."

Analysis & Opinions - Wall Street Journal

Maybe Iran Isn't the Domino So Many Think It to Be

| May 12, 2010

"...John Bolton repeats the conventional wisdom that Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, or at least a weapons option, will prompt Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and perhaps others to "surely seek, and very swiftly, their own nuclear weapons." These concerns are widely shared across the political spectrum, but they have little basis in either historical experience or analysis of the specific countries alleged to be on the cusp of launching their own nuclear weapons programs."

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Journal Article

Minimizing Civil Highly-Enriched Uranium Stocks by 2015: A Forward-Looking Assessment of U.S.-Russian Cooperation

At a June 2015 summit, the U.S. and Russian presidents announce that by the end of the year, almost all highly enriched uranium (HEU) will have been removed from civil sites, the culmination of an effort launched by the two countries almost a decade earlier. Proliferation risks remain, but one key danger has been effectively eliminated.

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Journal Article - Nonproliferation Review

Project Vinca: Lessons for securing civil nuclear material stockpiles

| Feb. 05, 2008

By late afternoon the nuclear fuel, containing sufficient highly enriched uranium (HEU) for several nuclear bombs, had been loaded onto a canvas-sided flatbed truck.2 The technicians and scientists were shepherded into a nearby building.3 For the next dozen hours, they waited under heavy security, with strict orders not to contact friends or family and perhaps accidentally leak information about the impending transport.4 Then, in the early morning hours of August 22, 2002, at a time kept secret even from participating American nuclear scientists, the transport operation began.5 Project Vinca, a multinational, public-private effort to remove nuclear material from a poorly secured Yugoslav research institute, was entering its final phase.

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Paper

Global Cleanout: An Emerging Approach to the Civil Nuclear Material Threat

| September 2004

Nuclear proliferation to terrorists willing to sacrifice their lives to kill hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians represents a grave threat to the United States and its allies; nuclear proliferation to hostile states poses serious dangers. Yet poorly secured civil research sites with hundreds of nuclear bombs' worth of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium are scattered around the globe. Because obtaining such material is the greatest hurdle to constructing a nuclear weapon, these sites represent an urgent proliferation threat.