Recent Work


Featured Publications


MTA in the News

Matthew Bunn was featured in a Council on Foreign Relations podcast, discussing  Insider Threats, a new book co-edited by Bunn and Scott Sagan. 


Newsweek sought Matthew Bunn's weapons expertise in an article on President Trump's recent threats to North Korea. 


The Hill sought Matthew Bunn's expertise on insider threats in an article on the White House's efforts to eradicate recent leaks. Bunn and Scott D. Sagan recently released their edited volume Insider Threats.


Matthew Bunn appeared on The World to discuss the work that both he and his father have contributed to influencing nuclear policy.


DefenseNews quoted Research Fellow Mansoor Ahmed in an article about Pakistan's recent test of a submarine-launched cruise missile. Ahmed said it was a “‘significant milestone’ in Pakistan’s effort to complete its nuclear triad. 


Hui Zhang appeared in a New York Times article on China’s 816 project, their first attempt to build a nuclear reactor. Construction was halted in 1984, and the site revamped for tourism in 2010.


 

FiveThirtyEight quoted Matthew Bunn in an article on the probability of nuclear conflict. 


MTA Associate Aaron Arnold was quoted in Politico in an article on the prisoner exchange between the U.S. and Iran under the Obama administration last year.


The Huffington Post  quoted Matthew Bunn in an article on a potential nuclear crisis in South Asia. 


MTA Associate Jon Wolfsthal testified on Russian violations of the INF Treaty. 


The Harvard Gazette covered a recent MTA Seminar, with speakers Matthew Fuhrmann and Todd Sechser. They discussed their new book, titled Nuclear Weapons and Coercive Diplomacy.


Science Mag quoted Matthew Bunn in a piece on the  efforts underway to prevent nuclear weapons from being smuggled into U.S. ports. 


 

MTA

The Project on Managing the Atom (MTA) has a dual mission: (1) to provide leadership in advancing policy-relevant knowledge about the future of nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, and the connections between the two; and (2) to prepare the next generation of leaders for work on these issues.  MTA researchers not only engage in policy research and analysis, but also propose and promote policy innovations, and provide authoritative information for an interested public.

MTA’s research focuses primarily on four broad issues and on the interactions between them:

  • Reducing the risk of nuclear and radiological terrorism: MTA has maintained a major focus on analyzing, proposing, and pushing for initiatives to keep nuclear weapons and materials out of the hands of terrorists and secure nuclear stockpiles throughout the world.
  • Stopping the spread of nuclear weapons: MTA’s work focuses on strengthening nonproliferation efforts and addressing regional proliferation challenges in the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia, with attention to both constraining the supply of nuclear technology and the reducing demand for nuclear weapons.
  • Reducing the dangers of existing nuclear stockpiles: MTA’s work suggests practical steps for reducing the risk of the use of nuclear weapons in war or crises for reducing the size of nuclear arsenals themselves.
  • Lowering the barriers to the safe, secure, and peaceful use of nuclear energy: Nuclear energy would have to grow substantially to be a significant part of the answer to the climate change challenge. MTA examines how nuclear energy could be made as safe, secure, and proliferation-resistant as possible – and how the problem of radioactive waste can be successfully addressed.

Our research is intended for a variety of audiences: experts in nonproliferation, energy, and international politics; policy makers; and the general public.  The work of the project appears in publications such as the Bulletin of Atomic ScientistsArms Control TodayInternational SecurityForeign Policy, and Science and Global Security. Experts associated with the project also provide opinion pieces and commentary to a wide variety of media, including The New York Times, the Washington Post, National Public Radio, and the major news networks.

The Project sponsors an international group of resident fellows, who—like the project’s staff and faculty members—engage in individual and collaborative research.  The purpose of fellows program is to train the next generation of nuclear researchers and scholars by exposing them to an interdisciplinary work environment—blending policy and technical concerns—and providing opportunities to interact with colleagues, faculty, and visiting policy makers and experts.  In addition to pursuing their own research, MTA fellows participate in group seminars, and prepare themselves for future careers in academia and policy.

The project is a joint venture of the Belfer Center programs on Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP); International Security Policy (ISP); and Environment and Natural Resource Policy (ENRP). 


    Sponsors

    Major funding for MTA comes from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Belfer Center. In the recent past, additional funding was provided by the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the Ploughshares Fund.

      Our seminar series has concluded for the semester. Please check this space for future events. If you would like to be added to our events list, please email atom@hks.harvard.edu.

      For a listing of current Fellows and Associates, please click here.

      Resources

      Research and International Organizations

      Arms Control Association
      Comprehensive information on arms control proposals, negotiations, and agreements, as well as the full text of the journal Arms Control Today.

      Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Nuclear Policy Program
      Extensive resources on a wide variety of nonproliferation and arms control and disarmament topics.

      Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University
      CISAC research and activities focus on a broad range of topics, including nuclear risk and cooperation.

      Center for Strategic and International Studies Proliferation Prevention Program
      Analysis from this Washington, DC think-tank focuses on nuclear security, nuclear power, nuclear proliferation, and arms control.

      Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization
      Provides information on the status of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the progress of its global monitoring system, the history of nuclear testing, and current events.

      Department of Energy OpenNet
      This site provides information about all DOE documents declassified and made publicly available since October 1994, along with guides to DOE classification policy and the complete text of documents released under the agency's Openness Initiative.

      Federation of American Scientists WMD Resources
      The Federation of American Scientists posts a huge quantity of information (and links to other sites) related to nuclear weapons technologies, arms control, and nonproliferation.

      Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy
      FAS's Project on Government Secrecy works to challenge excessive secrecy and to promote public oversight, including but not limited to the Department of Energy and nuclear policy.

      Fissile Material Working Group
      The FMWG is a non-governmental coalition of more than 70 U.S. and international organizations working to provide action-oriented policy solutions to keep the world safe from nuclear terrorism.

      Energy Information Administration
      The U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration publishes analyses of the current and projected state of the nuclear power industry worldwide, including their annual Nuclear Power Generation and Fuel Cycle Report.

      Institute for Science and International Security
      This research organization focuses on halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and related technology, increasing transparency of nuclear activities worldwide, and achieving deep cuts in nuclear arsenals.

      International Atomic Energy Agency
      The IAEA's website provides a wide range of information about nuclear power, nuclear proliferation, and nuclear safeguards.

      International Panel on Fissile Materials
      The mission of this Princeton-based research group is to analyze the technical basis for practical and achievable policy initiatives to secure, consolidate, and reduce stockpiles of highly enriched uranium and plutonium.

      James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
      The CNS website has a broad array of information on nonproliferation matters worldwide, including a journal.

      National Academy of Sciences' Committee on International Security and Arms Control 
      The CISAC website provides links to key studies and descriptions of their policy dialogues with influential scientists and policy analysts from countries of particular U.S. security interest.

      Natural Resources Defense Council
      NRDC has long been one of the most knowledgeable critical voices on nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. Their website provides access to reports on nuclear topics, and their comprehensive data on the size of nuclear stockpiles around the world.

      Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
      The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center is an educational organization that promotes better understanding of strategic weapons proliferation issues.

      Nuclear Energy Institute
      The Nuclear Energy Institute is the voice of the U.S. nuclear industry.

      Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group
      This is a multi-sector coalition of experts with diverse nuclear experience that has developed more than 50 recommendations for improving nuclear security.

      Nuclear Threat Initiative
      Website includes detailed databases in several areas, archives of the "Global Security Newswire," and other information.

      Partnership for Global Security
      A wide range of information and links related to nuclear security in the former Soviet Union and U.S.-Russian nuclear cooperation.

      PIR Center
      This is a Russian research organization focusing on nuclear weapons policy, nonproliferation, and nuclear security.

      Project Alpha, Kings College
      This is a research program based out of Kings College that studies illicit, proliferation-related trade and how to counter it.

      Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
      The website of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (which shared the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize with one of its founders, Joseph Rotblat) provides a wide range of reports and summaries of workshops on key issues related to arms control, conflict, energy, and development.

      * Stanley Foundation
      The Stanley Foundation’s nuclear security program convenes stakeholders, including international organizations, national governments, civil society, and industry, and commissions expert analysis to encourage innovative policy.

      Scitech Connect
      Scitech Connect combines the Energy Citations Database and the Department of Energy’s Information Bridge, both of which are great resources for scientific research on nuclear-related issues.

      Union of Concerned Scientists
      UCS's global security and nuclear safety programs provide extensive analyses on both nuclear weapons and U.S. nuclear safety issues.

      Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation
      The VCDNP's mission is to promote international peace and security by providing a platform for independent analysis and dialogue in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

      World Institute for Nuclear Security
      This organization is a leader in professional development and certification for nuclear security management. The site is a good resource for best practice guides related to nuclear security.

      World Nuclear Association
      The World Nuclear Association provides analyses, background information, and news on nuclear power generally, from an industry perspective.

      Blogs

      All Things Nuclear
      The Union of Concerned Scientists’ blog on a range of nuclear power, non-proliferation, and nuclear weapons policy issues.

      Arms Control Now
      Arms Control Now is the blog of the Arms Control Association, an independent membership organization working to address the threat of nuclear weapons.

      Arms Control Wonk
      News and analysis from Jeffrey Lewis and other experts on arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation.

      Frank Munger’s Atomic City Underground
      Munger, a veteran reporter, writes about the Y-12 nuclear weapons facility, where hundreds of tons of highly enriched uranium are stored.

      Iran Matters
      Harvard’s Iran Matters is a one-stop shop for analysis and facts about issues relating to nuclear negotiations with Iran.

      Nuclear Security Matters
      Nuclear Security Matters provides accessible analysis from the world’s leading experts on nuclear security and nuclear terrorism.

      Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog
      Restricted Data is a blog about nuclear secrecy, past and present, run by Alex Wellerstein, a historian of science and an associate of MTA.

      Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces
      This blog provides Russian citizens and policymakers with information about nuclear weapons, arms control, and disarmament based on open scientific analysis.