186 Items

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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.

A tractor works the land on a farm in front of a nuclear power plant in Doel, Belgium, Monday, March 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

How to Keep Nuclear Power Plants Operating Safely During the Coronavirus Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic devastates the world, nuclear power plants must remain safe and secure to provide electricity for food supply chains, emergency response teams, hospitals, and telecommunications in countries home to more than half of all people. Meanwhile, the Islamic State terror group has already announced its intent to exploit the pandemic, and other violent extremist organizations are also taking pains to use the crisis for their own purposes.

Testimony

Public Testimony on Trump Administration Funding for Nuclear Theft Preventing Programs

| Mar. 31, 2020

A nuclear explosion detonated anywhere by a terrorist group would be a global humanitarian, economic, and political catastrophe. The current COVID-19 pandemic reminds us not to ignore prevention of and preparation for low-probability, high-consequence disasters. For nuclear terrorism, while preparation is important, prevention must be the top priority. The most effective strategy for keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists is to ensure that nuclear materials and facilities around the world have strong and sustainable security. Every president for more than two decades has made strengthening nuclear security around the globe a priority. This includes the Trump administration, whose 2018 Nuclear Posture Review states: “[n]uclear terrorism remains among the most significant threats to the security of the United States, allies, and partners.”

A screen showing U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara).

AP Photo/Koji Sasahara

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

U.S. and Iranian Choices Are Getting Dangerously Narrow

| Jan. 08, 2020

The smoke is still clearing from the drone strike that killed Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani, and from the Iranian retaliation against U.S. bases in Iraq, and any conclusions have to be tentative ones. But the history of U.S.-Iran conflict points to a narrow, and possibly dangerous, set of choices ahead.

In this Sept. 18, 2016 photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Revolutionary Guard commanders in Tehran, Iran.

Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Impacts of the U.S. Killing of Qassem Soleimani

Belfer Center experts weigh in on potential impacts of the U.S. killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

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- US-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism

The U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism Newsletter: November 2018 - November 2019

| Dec. 15, 2019
  • Russians View Terrorists as Third Most Probable Source of Nuclear Attack
  • U.S. Adopts New Strategy for Countering of WMD Terrorism
  • Elbe Group Calls for U.S.-Russian Cooperation against Terrorism
  • Belfer Center Experts on Combatting Complacency about Nuclear Terrorism
  • Can Threat Emanating from Jihadists of Central Asia Have a WMD Dimension?
  • NTI and CENESS on Radiological Risks in Central Asia
  • Hecker Assesses Probability of Radiological and Nuclear Terrorism
  • Luxembourg Forum: It’s Vital for US and Russia to Intensify Cooperation to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

Futuristic weapon

Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Russia Matters

Expert Survey: Is Nuclear Arms Control Dead or Can New Principles Guide It?

| July 30, 2019

With the historic INF Treaty more than likely to terminate, and the future of New START in doubt, what guiding principles for interstate nuclear arms control can we hope for? Of eight U.S., Russian, European and Chinese experts surveyed by Russia Matters, most agree that bilateral agreements between the world’s two nuclear superpowers still have a role to play in any new arms control regime, but they differed considerably on the nature of that role.

A Russian Air Force A-50 Mainstay aircraft (Alan Wilson/Creative Commons via Flickr).

Alan Wilson/Creative Commons via Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - Russia Matters

Russian Plane Draws Shots from South Korea in First Air Patrol with China: Belfer Experts Weigh In

| July 25, 2019

South Korean fighter jets fired over 300 warning shots at a Russian Air Force A-50 Mainstay Airborne Early Warning aircraft on July 23 after the Russian plane twice violated South Korea’s airspace above the East Sea, according to South Korean authorities cited by The Aviationist. Earlier that day, Russian and Chinese bombers had conducted their first long-range joint air patrol in the Asia-Pacific. Russia’s Defense Ministry said there had been “no violations of airspaces of foreign countries” in its joint patrol with China, according to the New York Times, and Russian diplomats in Seoul reportedly complained of inaccuracies in the official comments from South Korea.

Russia Matters asked some members of the Belfer Center’s Russia team for their take on the developments.

President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un in the Demilitarized Zone

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Analysis & Opinions - Fox News

Trump Takes Risky Gamble Meeting with Kim and Walking Into North Korea

| June 30, 2019

President Trump’s trip Sunday to the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea and his historic decision to cross briefly into North Korea was a made-for-TV diplomatic spectacular. But it was also a test of whether personal diplomacy can trump (so to speak) longstanding definitions of a country’s national interests by persuading North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to end his nuclear weapons program.

Senator Lugar at a 2012 ceremony where he received the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award the Department of Defense can give a civilian, for his work to help denuclearize countries after the fall of the Soviet Union (DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo).

DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Senator Richard G. Lugar: An Appreciation

| Apr. 30, 2019

Sen. Richard Lugar—with his legislative partner, Sen. Sam Nunn—imagined the unimaginable. He championed a program to provide assistance to military forces in the former Soviet republics holding tens of thousands of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons aimed at the United States and our allies, shortly after America’s existential enemy, the Soviet Union, expired. All told, the Nunn-Lugar cooperative threat reduction program provided more than $14 billion to, among other things, deactivate 13,300 nuclear warheads, eliminate 1,473 intercontinental ballistic missiles, and destroy almost 40,000 metric tons of chemical agents. The US departments of Defense and Energy also worked with Russia to improve security at 148 sites still holding nuclear weapons or weapons-grade material from Murmansk to Kamchatka.