Nuclear Issues

9 Items

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Fresh Thinking on Highly Enriched Uranium Research Reactor Conversions

| Feb. 03, 2016

Last week, a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine panel affirmed the goal of eliminating highly enriched uranium (HEU) from civilian use, while recommending step-wise conversion of high performance research reactors using weapon-grade uranium fuel and that the White House coordinate a 50-year national roadmap for neutron-based research. (Full disclosure:  I sat on that committee, and oversaw the NNSA reactor conversion program from 2006-9; this post, however, represents my views, not necessarily those of the committee or NNSA.)

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

Decoding the Iran Nuclear Deal

| April 2015

On April 2, 2015, the E.U. (speaking on behalf of the P5+1 countries) and Iran announced agreement on “key parameters” for a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. The E.U.-Iran Joint Statement is buttressed by unilateral facts sheets issued by the U.S. and Iran, which provide further details of the framework accord. Negotiators now turn to translating this framework accord into a final comprehensive agreement by June 30, 2015. Members of Congress and their staffs, as well as informed citizens, are now focusing on the Iranian challenge and assessing the framework accord. The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School has prepared this Policy Brief summarizing key facts, core concepts, and major arguments for and against the current deal aimed at stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The purpose of this Policy Brief is not to advocate support for or opposition to the tentative deal that has been negotiated, but rather to provide an objective, nonpartisan summary to inform Members and others in coming to their own conclusions. The team of experts who prepared this report includes Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and internationals, who have many disagreements among themselves but who agree that this Brief presents the essentials objectively.

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Nuclear Security Literacy in a Post-Cold War Age

| Feb. 13, 2014

When the Cold War ended, much of the world seemed to breathe a momentary sigh of relief. The greatest existential threat in human history, that of an all-out nuclear holocaust, appeared to have practically vanished overnight. Soon it became clear that we were not quite out of the woods yet. State-versus-state tensions between the United States and Russia did not completely dissipate. New nuclear powers, like Pakistan and North Korea, emerged publicly, and suspicions about potential future nuclear powers abound. The threat of nuclear terrorism, something which had been discussed publicly since the late 1960s, took on a new relevance in the face of threats about loose fissile material and extremist terrorism.  And the global effects of even a regional nuclear exchange, such as one in South Asia, became more acutely appreciated.

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

New Book by Graham Allison and Robert Blackwill Explores Global Insights of “Grand Master” Lee Kuan Yew

| February 1, 2013

When Lee Kuan Yew speaks, who listens? Presidents, prime ministers, chief executives, and all who care about global strategy.

Graham Allison and Robert D. Blackwill, two leading strategic thinkers, asked Lee Kuan Yew the toughest questions that matter most to thoughtful Americans weighing the challenges of the next quarter century. The result is their new book, Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World – published today by MIT Press.

Jan. 1, 2013: In an image made from video, North Korean leader Kim Jong-eun makes his first New Year's speech in Pyongyang, North Korea.

AP Photo

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

Deciphering North Korea's New Year's Address: The Real Road Ahead

| January 2013

Kim Jong-eun's New Year's Day address signaled a willingness to ease tensions with South Korea and focus on economic development, but how credible is this message? Project on Managing the Atom Associate and MIT Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow John Park analyzes the address in an HKS PolicyCast.

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

Terrorist Threat Demands Creative Intelligence

    Author:
  • Dominic Contreras
| Winter 2011-2012

Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a former director of intelligence and counterintelligence at the Department of Energy, argues that despite not falling victim to a major terrorist event in the last 10 years, the United States must not be complacent in its counter-terrorism efforts. Mowatt-Larssen said in a Belfer Center seminar in September that he believes the possibility of a major attack is higher in the next 10 years than in the preceding decade.

Four nuclear policy veterans — Joseph S. Nye Jr. (from left), Ashton B. Carter, Albert Carnesale, and Graham Allison — gathered at the Harvard Kennedy School for a seminar on the current challenges in avoiding nuclear war.

Photo by Sharon Wilke

Magazine Article - Harvard University Office of News and Public Affairs Harvard Gazette

Nuclear Threats, Then and Now

| May 19, 2011

In 1985, researchers at the Harvard Kennedy School published a book called “Hawks, Doves, and Owls,” and gave it an ambitious subtitle: “An Agenda for Avoiding Nuclear War.” Those scholars gathered again at the School on Monday (May 16) for a seminar on the current challenges in avoiding nuclear war — and to marvel at just how drastically the nuclear threat has morphed in the two decades since the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union collapsed.