Nuclear Issues

3813 Items

Photo of military delegates wearing face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus leaving the Great Hall of the People after attending an event commemorating the 110th anniversary of Xinhai Revolution in Beijing, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021.

(AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Can the U.S. and Chinese Militaries Get Back on Speaking Terms?

| Oct. 15, 2021

Nearly nine months into the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden, Washington’s relationship with Beijing has sunk to a historic low. After a high-level diplomatic meeting in March that devolved into an ugly exchange of insults, fruitless visits to China by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, and virtual climate talks that failed to produce clear deliverables, the world’s two great powers have reached a dangerous impasse. 

...If the Biden administration hopes to manage the competition and prevent it from turning into catastrophe, it must take urgent action to establish and maintain open channels of communication between the Pentagon and China’s armed forces.

Department of Defense via Flickr

Department of Defense via Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Will the Nuclear Posture Review Reveal the Biden Doctrine?

| Oct. 12, 2021

In managing expectations across a broad spectrum of stakeholders, the Biden administration should aim to release an NPR grounded in clear-eyed analysis but moderate in tone and posture. It should be guided by what international relations theorists call “defensive realism.” While depicting vividly and without hesitation a world in crisis, the NPR should argue that a return to a classical nuclear deterrence posture is the most effective strategy for the United States. 

Ahvaz, Iran is the city most at risk from spent fuel fires at Bushehr.

Arad M./Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

How to Reduce the Risk of a Catastrophic Spent Nuclear Fuel Fire Near the Persian Gulf

| Oct. 06, 2021

There are many reasons for concern about the safety of nuclear facilities in the gulf. Particularly in the region where Bushehr is located, Iran is prone to seismic activity. The UAE has limited experience in operating nuclear facilities. And terrorist groups have identified energy infrastructure as a key target—and even attacked nuclear installations.

CTBTO analysts working at the organization's International Data Centre in Vienna in 2020.

CTBTO via Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - European Leadership Network

The CTBT at 25: How Might the International Community Better Foster Its Entry Into Force?

| Sep. 24, 2021

Creating the conditions for the CTBT to enter into force has eluded the international community for the past 25 years. Since the CTBT opened for signature in 1996, the geopolitical landscape has only deteriorated.

A member of the Czech Army takes part in an anti-terrorism drill at the Temelin nuclear power plant near the town of Tyn nad Vltavou, Czech Republic, April 11, 2017.

REUTERS/David W. Cerny

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Twenty Years After 9/11, Terrorists Could Still Go Nuclear

| Sep. 16, 2021

The probability of terrorists getting and using a nuclear bomb appears to be low—but the consequences if they did would be so devastating that it is worth beefing up efforts to make sure terrorists never get their hands on a nuclear bomb’s essential ingredients. To see the possibilities, we need to look at motive, capability, and opportunity.

The infrasound station array at infrasound station IS49, Tristan da Cunha, U.K.

CTBTO/Wikimedia Commons

Journal Article - Arms Control Today

The CTBT at 25 and Beyond

| September 2021

Despite political and legal uncertainty, the CTBTO and its member states have shown remarkable ingenuity in establishing a successful global monitoring network—the International Monitoring System (IMS)—of unprecedented scale and sophistication. The system relies on superb and still unsurpassed technical capabilities for monitoring and verifying the global nuclear test ban. Nevertheless, serious technical and political challenges to the long-term sustainability of the organization and the monitoring system are slowly emerging. Consequently, although this would be undesirable and politically costly, the international community should consider taking steps to decouple the IMS from the treaty’s fate in order to maintain and expand on the extraordinary technical investments that the monitoring system represents.

The Grohnde Nuclear Power Plant in Germany.


Journal Article - Issues in Science and Technology

A Viable Nuclear Industry

| Summer 2021

Aditi Verma and Denia Djokić call for rethinking our collective approach to the benefits and risks of nuclear technology—a call that is crucial and timely. As humanity confronts the catastrophic consequences of climate change, questions related to the viability of nuclear energy to achieve a decarbonized world abound. The authors, however, push the boundaries of the current conversation by arguing that what is required to make nuclear energy “viable” for the twenty-first century is much more than just an exercise in technological development.