Nuclear Issues

35 Items

People at Seoul Train Station watch a a local news program reporting about a North Korean missile launch. Aug. 30, 2017 (Lee Jin-man/Associated Press).

Lee Jin-man/Associated Press

Journal Article - The RUSI Journal

North Korea’s Missile Programme and Supply-Side Controls: Lessons for Countering Illicit Procurement

| Oct. 17, 2018

Despite one of the most extensive sanctions regimes in history, including an embargo on missile technologies, North Korea has taken huge steps forward in its ballistic missile programme. Daniel Salisbury explores the limitations of, and challenges of implementing, supply-side approaches to missile nonproliferation. Considering North Korea’s recent progress and efforts to evade sanctions, the article highlights the continuing need to strengthen efforts to counter illicit trade in missile-related technologies.

Blogtrepreneur/Flickr

Blogtrepreneur/Flickr

Journal Article - Nonproliferation Review

Solving the Jurisdictional Conundrum: How U.S. Enforcement Agencies Target Overseas Illicit Procurement Networks Using Civil Courts

| September 2018

Over the past two decades, the United States has increasingly turned to targeted sanctions and export restrictions, such as those imposed against Iran and North Korea, in order to curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction. One vexing problem, however, is how to contend with jurisdictional hurdles when the violations occur overseas, in countries that are unable or unwilling to assist US enforcement efforts. To solve this problem, US prosecutors are turning to strategies with significant extraterritorial implications—that is, exercising legal authority beyond national borders. One such tool is to use civil legal procedures to seize assets linked to sanctions or export-control violations in jurisdictions that lack cooperative arrangements with US enforcement agencies. While this may be an attractive strategy to bolster enforcement efforts against overseas illicit procurement, using such tools is not without consequence. This article explores the political, legal, and technical implications of enforcing extraterritorial controls against overseas non-state actors by exploring the recent uses of civil-asset forfeiture against Iranian and North Korean procurement networks.

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

New Ways to Detect Nuclear Misbehavior

| Jan. 08, 2018

If we had the technology to detect nuclear materials remotely it could help deter smuggling and make it easier to monitor international nuclear agreements. Several recent breakthroughs, if followed up with continued research and funding, could deliver on this promise. They include technological advances in x-ray and neutron radiography; a method that measures how plasma breaks down when exposed to a radioactive source; and developments in antineutrino detection. While all require more development and testing, they are important steps as the global need for ways to detect nuclear materials grows.

A U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A-90-GR Tomcat.

U.S. Navy

Journal Article - Strategic Trade Review

Tomcat and Mouse: Iranian Illicit Procurement of U.S. Legacy Military Technologies, 1979–2016

| Autumn 2017

Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has sought to illicitly procure parts for the U.S. origin fighter aircraft sold to the country under the rule of the Shah. The U.S. has taken steps to quash this trade—these efforts have constituted a relatively large proportion of U.S. export control enforcement over the past near-to-four decades. 

Analysis & Opinions - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Imagining a Post-Sanctions Iran

| October 8, 2014

Financial sanctions against Iran are contributing to the growth of regional criminal networks, which use fraud, bribery, and corruption to facilitate commerce. From airplane parts and medical equipment, to specialized materials for weapons programs, an intricate underground economy of financial and logistic intermediaries play a critical role in helping Iran circumvent Western sanctions. Do not expect this to change in a post-sanctions world...

Molten Salt Reactor diagram

DOE

Book Chapter

Design for Values in Nuclear Technology

| 2014

Safety has always been an important criterion for designing nuclear reactors, but in addition to safety, there are at least four other values that play a key role, namely, security (i.e., sabotage and proliferation), sustainability (i.e., environmental impacts, energy resource availability), economic viability (i.e., embarking on new technology and its continuation), as well as intergenerational justice (i.e., what we leave behind for future generations). This chapter reviews the evolution of generations of nuclear reactors (I, II, III, III, and IV) in terms of these values.

Analysis & Opinions - Nuclear Security Matters

Beyond the Summits: The Way Forward for Nuclear Security in the Middle East

| April 11, 2014

"This short piece provides a number of recommendations for countries in the region to strengthen nuclear security through a regional process, independent of a global one. In addition to enhancing nuclear security and ensuring that nuclear materials and weapons do not fall into the hands of terrorists, our approach would also help establish confidence and security-building measures in a region that lacks both security and confidence."

Analysis & Opinions - Power & Policy Blog

The Fallout from Jang Song-taek's Execution

| December 13, 2013

"With the elimination of Jang and the dismantling of his lucrative patronage system, there will be setbacks in Sino-DPRK commercial interactions that will decrease the generation of funds for the Kim regime. In order to fill these funding gaps, it's now more likely that the Kim regime may try to increase revenues from illicit activities like WMD-related sales."

Paper

Strengthening Global Approaches To Nuclear Security

| July 1, 2013

Despite substantial progress in improving nuclear security in recent years, there is more to be done.  The threats of nuclear theft and terrorism remain very real.  This paper recommends learning from the much stronger national and international efforts in nuclear safety, and in particular taking steps to build international understanding of the threat; establish effective performance objectives; assure performance; train and certify needed personnel; build security culture and exchange best practices; reduce the number of sites that need to be protected; and strengthen the international framework and continue the dialogue once leaders are no longer meeting regularly at the summit level.