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The U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism Newsletter: November 2020 - November 2021

| Dec. 10, 2021

 

  • U.S.-Russia Elbe Group Maintains Focus on Threat of Nuclear Terrorism.
  • Former Chernobyl Plant Manager Bryukhanov Dies.
  • Matthew Bunn on Threat to Nuclear and Radiological Transports.
  • On 9/11 Anniversary Russian Officials Call for Resumption of U.S.-Russian CT Cooperation.
  • Experts Weigh in on 9/11 Anniversary.
  • U.S. and Norway Agree to Eliminate All of Norway’s HEU.
  • Two Soviet Nuclear Submarine Reactors Located.
  • Russian Security Council: Terrorists Remain Interested in NBC.
  • IAEA Adopts Resolutions on Nuclear Security, NS Center Planned.
  • Allison on Risk of Mega-terrorist Attack After U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan.
  • Arbatov Warns of Enduring Threat of Nuclear Terrorism to Russia in His New Volume.
  • Russia’s New Security Strategy Drops References to CT Partnership With U.S.
  • NNSA’s Non-Proliferation Budget to Decrease in ’22, Provides for US and Russian Visits.
  • Should U.S.-Russian Interaction in Cyberspace Involve CT? 
  • Russia’s NPP Operator Conducts Emergency Preparedness Exercise.
  • Putin and Biden Discuss Terrorist Threat Emanating from Afghanistan, but No Deal.
  • U.S. Experts on Ensuring Access to Neutrons While Reducing Nuclear Terrorism Risks.
  • Beebe Weighs in on U.S.-Russian CT Interaction.
  • Duo Detained for Alleged Attempt to Sell Americium-241.
  • 12th GUMO Guard’s Sentence Upheld.
  • NDAA-Mandated Group to Identify Nuclear Terrorism Risks.
  • Belfer’s MTA Hosts Conference on Lessons of Fukushima and Chernobyl.
  • Russia Withdraws from Uranium Hexafluoride Transportation Deal with U.S.
  • Bell: U.S. Needs to Convince Russia on Contending With Nuclear Terrorism Threat.
  • U.S. and Canada Complete Repatriation of HEU Material.
  • Siegfried Hecker Outlines his Vision of Future for Nuclear Security Cooperation.
  • Hackers Breach U.S. Nuclear Agency.
  • Tobey on Assassinations of Nuclear Scientists and Terrorists.
  • Rosatom Has Checked Nuclear Sites, Following a Tip on Terrorism from U.S.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shows an atomic warehouse in Teheran during his address the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Sept. 27, 2018.

AP/Richard Drew

Report - Iran Watch

Iran's Atomic Archive: Lessons Learned for Export Controls and Inspections

| August 2021

The Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control hosted two roundtables—in September 2019 and March 2021—to identify lessons that should be drawn from the archive of Iranian documents seized by Israel in 2018, related to the effectiveness of export controls, monitoring measures such as international inspections, and other efforts to prevent material and expertise from reaching programs to develop nuclear weapons. Informed by these lessons, the group sought to develop a set of findings and recommendations to support the policymaking and monitoring communities.

Jasmine Hatcher's work in Brookhaven's Medical Isotope Research and Production Program focuses on extracting Actinium-225, a rare radioactive element that can be used in cancer radiation therapy.

Brookhaven National Laboratory via Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

How to Make Sure Neutrons Save Lives Instead of End Them

| May 12, 2021

To ensure that the world has reliable access to the neutrons it needs, at the lowest possible cost, and to facilitate further efforts to minimize and eventually eliminate civilian use of highly enriched uranium, we need an international mechanism to anticipate worldwide neutron needs and plan how to meet them. In essence, the 2016 National Academies’ report recommendation (which sadly remains unfulfilled even in the United States) should be internationalized.

Recovery work is performed on Unit 4 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in April 2013.

IAEA Imagebank/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Nuclear Safety and Security Lessons from Chernobyl and Fukushima

| Mar. 11, 2021
  1. We must learn from and remember the lessons of the past—while recognizing that Fukushima is not going to “happen again” as future accidents will have their own characteristics; while remembering the past, we must also avail ourselves of advances in seismology, climatology, engineering, etc.

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

Iran Experts on Restoring Iran Nuclear Agreement

Following the recent Biden administration announcement that the U.S. would join European nations in seeking to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, we asked several of our Iran experts for their thoughts on the next steps: What should the U.S. goal be for a renewed Iran deal and what suggestions do you have for getting there? Matthew Bunn, Mahsa Rouhi, Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, and William Tobey shared their thoughts.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the State Department in Washington on February 4, 2021. 

State Department via Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

The Iran Deal is Fragile — Here's What the Biden Administration Can Do

| Feb. 23, 2021

Rebuilding the JCPOA will require skillful diplomacy with Iran, the other parties to the deal, and Congress. It may not be possible. If it is possible, however, it cannot be done by ignoring or whitewashing the JCPOA’s flaws. The Biden administration should start with Congress. It should help to establish and offer to work with a congressional observer group, composed of supporters and opponents of the deal, to address their most pressing concerns. It should promise that, after rejoining the JCPOA, the United States will work from the inside to correct the JCPOA’s flaws (and there are provisions within the agreement for doing so). 

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (Tasnim News Agency/Wikimedia Commons)

Tasnim News Agency/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Overview: Nuclear Scientists as Assassination Targets

| Nov. 27, 2020

Since 2007, international media have reported the violent deaths of four scientists and engineers connected with Iran’s nuclear program and an attempt on the life of a fifth. The news reports on such killings are murky, incomplete, and, in some instances, likely inaccurate. The motivations and identity of the persons behind the killings are also obscure,1 but the fact that they are taking place is undeniable.

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- US-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism

The U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism Newsletter: November 2019 - November 2020

| Nov. 26, 2020

 

  • Elbe Group Discusses Strategic Stability, Hybrid Warfare and Terrorism.
  • Mowatt-Larssen’s Book Details Lessons He Learned While Tracking Al-Qaida’s WMD Programs.
  • Experts on New START Extension and Other Nuclear Priorities of Biden Presidency.
  • Kazakhstan’s Last HEU Eliminated.
  • William Potter Joins Russian Academy of Sciences.
  • COVID, Nuclear Security On Agenda of IAEA’s 64th General Conference.
  • Mayak Aims to Process Entire range of SNF.
  • Atomguard Reports Foiling Unauthorized Access.
  • Allison: US Vital Interest in Prevention of Nuclear Terrorism Will Continue to Guide Its North Korea Policy.
  • Learning from COVID-19 to Prepare for Nuclear Attack.
  • Hecker, Kassianova Encourage Young US and RF Professionals to Explore Lessons of Nuclear Accidents.
  • Experts Weigh in on 75th Anniversary of Hiroshima Bombing.
  • A New Look at IAEA’s Nuclear Security Recommendations.
  • Azerbaijan Has Threatened to Strike Armenia’s NPP With Missiles.
  • IAEA Notified of 189 Incidents Of Material Being Out Of Regulatory Control in 2019.
  • Russia To Retrieve More Radioactive Debris from Bottom of Ocean.
  • Researchers Propose Fast Way to Detect Weapons Grade Materials.
  • Keeping Nuclear Power Plants Out of Reach of Terrorists During the Coronavirus Pandemic.
  • Bunn, Tobey and Roth Testify on Prevention of Nuclear Theft, Call for Cooperation With Russia.
  • Budapest Memorandum Parsed.
  • IAEA Holds A Ministerial on Nuclear Security.
  • Assessing Progress on Nuclear Security.
  • 12th GUMO Officer On Trial for Embezzlement.
  • Lukashenko: Pompeo Alerted Me to Nuclear Materials at Border.
  • US and Russia Reported HEU and Plutonium to IAEA.
  • IAEA Bank Receives LEU.
  • GICNT Hosted 8 Multilateral Activities in 2019.

 

 

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Paper - Institute for Nuclear Materials Management

IAEA Nuclear Security Recommendations (INFCIRC/225): The Next Generation

In 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released the fifth revision of its Nuclear Security Recommendations on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities. This update of IAEA nuclear security guidance was a significant improvement upon its predecessors, suggesting new and strengthened approaches to nuclear security in a range of areas. Nearly a decade later, however, the global nuclear security landscape has changed. Nuclear security regulations and practices have improved. International institutions and norms supporting global nuclear security architecture are stronger. Countries have made new political commitments to strengthening their nuclear security. Legally binding agreements are more widely subscribed than they were before. Meanwhile, new global threats have surfaced, presenting new challenges to physical protection systems. A range of emerging technologies creates new opportunities, but also new risks.