Nuclear Issues

28 Items

Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Security Science, July 2015

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Discussion Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

When Did (and Didn’t) States Proliferate?

| June 2017

In this Project on Managing the Atom Discussion Paper, Philipp C. Bleek chronicles nuclear weapons proliferation choices throughout the nuclear age. Since the late 1930s and early 1940s, some thirty-one countries are known to have at least explored the possibility of establishing a nuclear weapons program. Seventeen of those countries launched weapons programs, and ten acquired deliverable nuclear weapons.

Planning for Cyber in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

US Department of State

Report Chapter - Kosciuszko Institute

Planning for Cyber in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

| July 08, 2016

While the issue of cyber operations beyond NATO’s own networks is a politically difficult one given the complex mosaic of national, transnational (EU), and international law; the role of national intelligence efforts in certain types of operations; and ever-present disputes over burden-sharing, the Alliance already has invaluable experience in developing policies and procedures for contentious and sensitive tools in the form of the Nuclear Planning Group (NPG). This article begins with a brief overview of actions NATO has already taken to address cyberthreats. It will then explore why these, while important, are insufficient for the present and any imaginable future geopolitical threat environment. Next, it will address the history of the NPG, highlighting some parallels with the present situation regarding cyber and drawing out the challenges faced by, and activities and mechanisms of, the NPG. Finally, it will make the case that a group modeled on the NPG can not only significantly enhance the Alliance’s posture in cyberspace, but can serve as an invaluable space for fostering entente and reconciling differences on key aspects of cyber policy. It concludes that the Alliance needs to consider offensive cyber capabilities and planning, and it needs a Cyber Planning Group to do it.

Acting Under Secretary Rose Gottemoeller with P5 Counterparts at the State Department, 2012

US Dept. of State

Paper - Institute for Nuclear Materials Management

International Cooperation to Secure Military Nuclear Materials

| October 7, 2015

"One category of nuclear material that has not yet been adequately addressed throughout recent Nuclear Security Summits is military stockpiles.2 Instead, the Summit process has focused primarily on reducing the risk of civilian nuclear material theft..."

Paper

Nuclear Disarmament: The Legacy of the Trilateral Initiative

| March 23, 2015

In 1996, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United States and the Russian Federation entered into a cooperative effort – the Trilateral Initiative – aimed at investigating the feasibility and requirements for a verification system under which the IAEA could accept and monitor nuclear warheads or nuclear warhead components pursuant to the NPT Article VI commitments of both States. Although the Initiative ended in 2002, the Model Verification Agreement produced could still serve as the basis for bilateral or multilateral agreements between the IAEA and nuclear-weapon States.

In this paper, Thomas E. Shea and Laura Rockwood examine the potential role for international verification of fissile material in relation to nuclear disarmament, what was accomplished under the Trilateral Initiative and, more importantly, what should be done now to preserve its legacy and take concrete steps towards such verification.

Paper - Stanley Foundation

Strengthening U.S.-Chinese Nuclear Security Cooperation: Challenges and Solutions

| October 17, 2014

"Since the 9/11 attacks, China has made significant progress on its nuclear security system, with a focus on switching from the traditional “guns, gates, guards” approach to an effective mixed approach that combines well-trained personnel with up-to-date techniques and technology. The major advancements include a security approach based on a design basis threat (DBT); application of modern concepts of physical protection, based on systems-engineering approaches to analyzing vulnerabilities and designing defenses to address them; the use of modern physical protection, material control, and material accounting technologies; requirements for in-depth vulnerability assessments of security systems; and improvements to the organization of nuclear security and guard force training and equipment on the part of facility operators..."

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Cutting Too Deep: The Obama Administration’s Proposals for Nuclear Security Spending Reductions

| July 30, 2014

The Obama administration has proposed steep cuts in funding for improving security for dangerous nuclear materials. If approved, they would slow progress toward preventing the essential ingredients of nuclear bombs from falling into terrorist hands. Cutting too Deep reviews funding trends over the past four years and describes how the proposed cuts would delay nuclear and radiological material removal, research reactor conversion, and other work.

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s Pantex Plant is the only U.S. serial  production facility.

NNSA

Report - Nuclear Threat Initiative

Innovating Verification: New Tools & New Actors to Reduce Nuclear Risks

    Author:
  • Verifying Baseline Declarations of Nuclear Warheads and Materials Working Group
| July 2014

Part of NTI's Innovating Verification reports series, Verifying Baseline Declarations of Nuclear Warheads and Materials analyzes how baseline declarations can contribute to near- and long-term arms control and non-proliferation goals and how to verify them without compromising sensitive information.

Paper

Proliferation Among Friends: Taiwan's Lessons from 1970s–80s

| October 2013

The U.S. achieved nonproliferation success against Taiwan in the 1970s and 1980s by forcing this highly dependent ally to accept intrusive on-site inspections that stopped its nuclear work. Taiwan depended on the U.S. for its very survival....Repeated military punishment threats against Taiwan's security (threat to abandon) and civilian nuclear program failed to change this ally's determination to acquire nuclear weapons. Success was achieved thanks to coercion by denial and dismantlement that uncovered and stopped Taipei's nuclear work.

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

Steps to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism

| October 2, 2013

The 2011 “U.S. - Russia Joint Threat Assessment” offered both specific conclusions about the nature of the threat and general observations about how it might be addressed. This report builds on that foundation and analyzes the existing framework for action, cites gaps and deficiencies, and makes specific recommendations for improvement.

President John F. Kennedy signs the Arms Control and Disarmament Act.

C Stoughton, White House

Discussion Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Organizing for Arms Control: The National Security Implications of the Loss of an Independent Arms Control Agency

    Author:
  • Leon Ratz
| Sep. 23, 2013

Fourteen years since the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) was dissolved, Leon Ratz (HKS '13) explores the national security implications of the loss of America's independent arms control agency. Ratz argues that the organizational merger has weakened the federal government's decision-making and analytic capabilities when it comes to addressing critical arms control and non-proliferation challenges.