Nuclear Issues

25 Items

A water desalination plant near an Abu Dhabi beach in 1980.

AP Photo/Randy Taylor

Analysis & Opinions - LobeLog

Gulf Escalation Threatens Drinking Water

| June 26, 2019

The Persian Gulf is one of the most populous and environmentally-sensitive regions in the world. Consequently, it is no surprise that Gulf states are increasingly dependent on desalination for their drinking water. But that dependence carries severe risks in a region as volatile as the Gulf has been, especially in light of recent tensions between the United States and Iran. Any accident or military conflict in the Gulf could cause massive spills of long-lasting contaminants such as crude oil or radioactive material into its waters, which could seriously threaten the lives and well-being of millions of people in the region.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative public policy think tank, in Washington on May 21, 2018. Pompeo issued a steep list of demands Monday that he said should be included in a nuclear treaty with Iran to replace the Obama-era deal, threatening "the strongest sanctions in history" if Iran doesn't change course (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press).

J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

Congress Must Manage the Consequences of the Withdrawal From the Iran Nuclear Deal

| May 22, 2018

President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran will undermine U.S. power and influence around the world. Congress must closely monitor the reinstatement of sanctions on Iran to reduce the blowback on U.S economic interests, and provide strict oversight of the Trump administration’s evolving strategy toward Iran.

Journal Article - Institute of Nuclear Materials Management Journal of Nuclear Materials Management

Securing China’s Nuclear Power Plants

| Winter, 2014.

Since September 11, 2001, China has substantially advanced its physical protection system, with a switch in focus from the traditional "guns, gates, guards" approach to an effective mixed approach, combining personnel with modern techniques. Then-Chinese President Hu Jintao emphasized at the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit that, "In the future, China will further take nuclear security measures, make sure the security of its own nuclear materials and facilities, improve the overall nuclear security." This paper examines the specific and detailed physical protection approaches that are currently applied to China's nuclear power plants, and recommends further steps to improve China's existing nuclear security system.

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Advancing Nuclear Security: Evaluating Progress and Setting New Goals

In the lead-up to the nuclear security summit, Advancing Nuclear Security: Evaluating Progress and Setting New Goals outlines what was accomplished in a four-year effort launched in 2009 to secure nuclear material around the globe—and what remains to be done. The effort made significant progress, but some weapons-usable nuclear materials still remain “dangerously vulnerable." The authors highlight the continuing danger of nuclear and radiological terrorism and call for urgent action.

Armed guards and police protecting a spent fuel convoy while at a stopping point.

Ministry of Public Security (Ch)

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Securing China's Nuclear Future

| March 14, 2014

China’s approach to strengthening the security of its nuclear weapons, materials, and facilities plays an important role in facilitating strong global action on nuclear security. This report provides a better understanding of Chinese perceptions of the threat of nuclear terrorism and attitudes toward the nuclear security challenge; describes the current status of nuclear security practices in China and of planned improvements in rules and organization, management, and technologies; and recommends steps for further improvements.

Journal Article - Science & Global Security

Securing China’s Weapon-Usable Nuclear Materials

| Feb 18, 2014

This article describes the status of China’s military and civilian nuclear programs, fissile material production and associated nuclear facilities, and the Chinese nuclear experts and officials’ perspectives on the nuclear terrorism threat. It gives details of China’s nuclear security practices, attitudes, and regulations, as well as identifying areas of concern. The article recommends ways to strengthen China’s nuclear material protection, control, and accounting systems and suggests opportunities for increased international cooperation.

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Time is Now

| August 7, 2013

Ayman Khalil asked whether the effort to create a WMD-free zone in the Middle East is dead. Martin's answer is this: The effort will continue, but the opportunity presented by the 2010 Review Conference for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) may be slipping out of reach.

Jaako Laajava, facilitator of the 2012 Middle East WMD-Free Zone conference, right, meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali akbar Salehi

Press TV

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Prospects for a WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East

| May 28, 2012

As negotiations with Iran over the future of its nuclear program inch toward a possible deal, another intractable Middle East problem with a nuclear dimension is likely to start getting more serious attention. It is the question of whether there is any chance that Israel, Iran, and their Arab neighbors will agree to discuss establishing a regional zone free of all nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and their delivery systems. After decades of backsliding, proliferation, and conflict in the Middle East, the conventional wisdom says the current round of efforts will fail. I think the conventional wisdom is wrong.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Quarterly Journal: International Security

Belfer Center Newsletter Spring 2011

| Spring 2011

The Spring 2011 issue of the Belfer Center newsletter features recent and upcoming activities, research, and analysis by members of the Center community on critical global issues. This issue highlights the Belfer Center’s continuing efforts to build bridges between the United States and Russia to prevent nuclear catastrophe – an effort that began in the 1950s. This issue also features three new books by Center faculty that sharpen global debate on critical issues: God’s Century, by Monica Duffy Toft, The New Harvest by Calestous Juma, and The Future of Power, by Joseph S. Nye.

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

Promoting Safe, Secure, and Peaceful Growth of Nuclear Energy: Next Steps for Russia and the United States

| October 2010

The Managing the Atom (MTA) Project and the Russian Research Center’s "Kurchatov Institute" collaboratively authored a report entitled Promoting Safe, Secure, and Peaceful Growth of Nuclear Energy: Next Steps for Russia and the United States. This report is intended to provide recommendations for enabling large-scale growth of nuclear energy while achieving even higher standards of safety, security, and nonproliferation than are in place today.