The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency is responsible for verifying the exclusively peaceful use of nuclear materials and facilities in almost every state in the world. With well over 1000 nuclear facilities to safeguard, and only a limited budget with which to do it, how does the IAEA decide where to focus its attention? In this MTA seminar, Stanton Nuclear Security Research Fellow Kalman Robertson will explain how the IAEA allocates its safeguards resources among states and how this may be changing as the IAEA develops its “state level concept” for safeguards.