Nuclear Issues

22 Items

A desalination test facility on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi in 2015 (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell).

AP Photo/Jon Gambrell

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.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer uses a handheld GR135- Radiation Isttope Identifier to check a container that was stopped after passing through a radiation detection device at the port of Newark in February 2006 (AP Photo/Mel Evans).

AP Photo/Mel Evans

Journal Article - Nonproliferation Review

Combating Nuclear Smuggling? Exploring Drivers and Challenges to Detecting Nuclear and Radiological Materials at Maritime Facilities

| June 03, 2019

International concern over nuclear terrorism has grown during the past few decades. This has driven a broad spectrum of efforts to strengthen nuclear security globally, including the widespread adoption of radiation-detection technology for border monitoring. Detection systems are now deployed at strategic locations for the purported purpose of detecting and deterring the smuggling of nuclear and radioactive materials. However, despite considerable investment in this area, few studies have examined how these programs are implemented or the operational challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. This article seeks to address this with a focus on radiation-detection efforts at maritime facilities. Utilizing practitioner interviews and a survey, this article identifies the factors that influence the planning and use of these systems in this fast-moving environment. The results clearly demonstrate that the implementation of these systems varies significantly across different national and organizational contexts, resulting in a fragmented global nuclear-detection architecture, which arguably undermines efforts to detect trafficked nuclear-threat materials. Greater consideration should therefore be given to developing international standards and guidance, designing and adopting tools to support key parts of the alarm assessment process, and broader sharing of good practice.

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.

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.

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.

Presentation

The Non-State Actor Nuclear Supply Chain

| April 4-5, 2011

William H. Tobey, and Matthew Bunn presented "The Non-State Actor Nuclear Supply Chain" at the Workshop on “Cooperation to Control Non-State Nuclear Proliferation: Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction and UN Resolutions 1540 and 1373” sponsored by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability on April 4 and 5, 2011.

- 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.