Reports & Papers

103 Items

Satellite Imagery facilities at the IAEA Department of Safeguards, March 2015.

Dean Calma/IAEA via Flickr

Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Future Directions in IAEA Safeguards

| November 2018

The IAEA safeguards system faces serious challenges, writes John Carlson in a new Managing the Atom Discussion Paper. The IAEA must not only contend with increasing tensions among the major powers and the growing salience of nuclear weapons, it must also confront a series of specific safeguards controversies.

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Paper - Institute of Nuclear Materials Management

Regaining Nuclear Security Momentum

| July 2018

The 2010-2016 nuclear security summit process focused leaders’ attention on nuclear security and preventing nuclear terrorism. Momentum has waned since the final summit in 2016. Despite continuing nuclear security improvements in some countries, and ongoing efforts to maintain or strengthen the international nuclear security framework, serious vulnerabilities still exist in nuclear security systems around the world. Many nuclear facilities are not protected against all of the plausible threats adversaries might pose—especially in the case of threats from insiders. Nuclear materials remain unnecessarily vulnerable in too many locations. The culture within many nuclear organizations is insufficiently focused on security. Many nuclear security systems are not being exposed to sufficiently in-depth, creative, and realistic vulnerability assessments and testing. This paper will summarize the post-summit evolution of nuclear security efforts and offer recommendations for regaining international nuclear security momentum through combating complacency, improving implementation on the ground, strengthening frameworks for international cooperation, and maintaining nuclear security leadership.

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Paper - Institute of Nuclear Materials Management

Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe: Strengthening DOE Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs

| July 2017

Department of Energy (DOE) nonproliferation programs are critical to U.S. national security, and have played central roles in initiatives ranging from securing high-risk nuclear weapons and materials around the globe to constraining Iran’s nuclear program. But nuclear proliferation and terrorism threats are constantly evolving, requiring new approaches to address them.

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

American Nuclear Diplomacy

| August 4, 2016

In this report, American Nuclear Diplomacy: Forging a New Consensus to Fight Climate Change and Weapons Proliferation, Former Deputy Secretary of Energy and Belfer Center Senior Fellow Daniel Poneman writes that we face two existential threats: nuclear annihilation and catastrophic climate change. Each, he says, stems from human origins. Both must be fought aggressively.

"Multiple studies confirm the grim truth that, even if all nations fulfill their Paris Climate Agreement emissions pledges, the world will still far overshoot the 2°C warming limit scientists say we must not exceed to prevent devastating climate impacts. Carbon-free nuclear energy can help close the gap. But can we expand its environmental benefits without increasing the risks of nuclear terror?"

Poneman outlines a diplomatic strategy and tough-minded, bipartisan policies to get us there.

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Paper - Institute of Nuclear Materials Management

Addressing Military Nuclear Materials Beyond the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit

| July 2016

Non-civilian or military nuclear materials comprise the vast majority of the world’s nuclear material stocks – yet they remain outside the scope of much of the existing global nuclear security architecture. Policymakers will need to consider ways to address this “military materials gap” by advancing new mechanisms and strategies in order to develop and sustain a comprehensive global nuclear security architecture. Particular attention should be placed on developing confidence building measures and other transparency tools to build international assurance in the security of military materials. This paper will discuss the various strategies for addressing military materials security and propose recommendations for how the international community can address the concept of comprehensiveness in the global nuclear security architecture going forward.

China’s Nuclear Security: Progress, Challenges, and Next Steps

REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

China’s Nuclear Security: Progress, Challenges, and Next Steps

| March 28, 2016

In a new report from the Project on Managing the Atom, Senior Research Associate Hui Zhang finds that China has made important nuclear security improvements in areas ranging from its legal framework, to its approaches to physical protection and material accounting, to bolstering nuclear security culture. But China also faces ongoing threats. The possibility of insider theft of nuclear materials in China cannot be ruled out, espe­cially as China increasingly grows into a market-oriented society contending with corruption. Zhang also notes that Beijing faces a growing terrorism threat from separatists in China’s autonomous Xinjiang region.

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: Continuous Improvement or Dangerous Decline?

In this new report, Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: Continuous Improvement or Dangerous Decline?, Matthew Bunn, Martin Malin, Nickolas Roth, and William Tobey provide a global reality check on nuclear security. They note that effective and sustainable nuclear security capable of addressing plausible threats is the single most effective chokepoint preventing terrorists from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Acting Under Secretary Rose Gottemoeller with P5 Counterparts at the State Department, 2012

US Dept. of State

Paper - Institute for Nuclear Materials Management

International Cooperation to Secure Military Nuclear Materials

| October 7, 2015

"One category of nuclear material that has not yet been adequately addressed throughout recent Nuclear Security Summits is military stockpiles.2 Instead, the Summit process has focused primarily on reducing the risk of civilian nuclear material theft..."

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Iran Nuclear Deal: A Definitive Guide

| Aug. 03, 2015

The Iran Nuclear Deal: A Definitive Guide has been produced in the interest of contributing to informed Congressional review and public discourse on a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It provides a concise description of the agreement and the accompanying UN Security Council Resolution 2231. It also includes a balanced assessment of the agreement's strengths and weaknesses with respect to its central objective to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

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Paper - Institute of Nuclear Materials Management

Corrupting Nuclear Security: Potential Gaps and New Approaches to Insider Risk Mitigation

| July 2015

This paper offers an overview of the conceptual linkages between nuclear security and corruption and presents a brief review of experience from the realms of nuclear non-proliferation, breaches of highly sensitive national security information, and high-value thefts and heists. It then offers a preliminary assessment of the degree to which current approaches to anti-corruption and human reliability successfully address corruption risks, particularly in the nuclear security context. This paper’s findings establish a need for additional research on how anti-corruption and nuclear security human reliability programs could more clearly, consistently, and proactively scrutinize and dis-incentivize behaviors that present increased risks of corruption.