Nuclear Issues

10 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.)

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Decoding the Iran Nuclear Deal

Apr. 15, 2015

On April 2, 2015, the EU (on behalf of the P5+1 countries) and Iran announced agreement on “key parameters” for a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran. The EU-Iran Joint Statement is buttressed by unilateral fact sheets issued by the U.S. and Iran, which provide further details of the framework accord.  Not surprisingly, differences have emerged between the U.S. and Iranian versions of the deal. These differences reflect both political spin and remaining issues that have not been resolved.  In the next phase of this process, the negotiators will seek to finalize a comprehensive agreement by June 30, 2015.

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.

News

Podcast: Saudi Arabia's Foreign Policy Amidst Regional Instability with Prince Turki Al Faisal

    Author:
  • Prince Turki Al Faisal
| November 18, 2014

An audio recording from His Royal Highness Prince Turki Al Faisal of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, former Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States (2005-2007) and former Director General of Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Directorate (1977-2001).

On November 18, 2014 Prince Turki spoke on regional instability and forces at work in the region, including power politics, energy markets, violent extremism, and theological divides, in a public address moderated by Kennedy School professor Nicholas Burns.

News

Nuclear Negotiations between the United States and its Allies

| March 12, 2014

What can the United States do to thwart the nuclear ambitions of its allies? Dr. Kogan analyzes past cases where the United States was able to leverage its alliance commitments to stop friendly states from going nuclear. He then asks what lessons these past nuclear negotiations hold for today.  In the coming decade, key U.S. allies in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia) and East Asia (South Korea, Japan) may consider reducing their reliance on U.S. security guarantees by acquiring independent nuclear deterrents.  In conversation with Project Director Kevin Ryan, Dr. Kogan discusses Washington's options in confronting these contemporary allies with nascent nuclear appetites.

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.

- 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.