Nuclear Issues

101 Items

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Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Center Experts Reflect on 75th Anniversary of Hiroshima Bombing

On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, launching the nuclear age. On the 75th anniversary of that somber event, Belfer Center experts reflect on the event and its aftermath. 

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Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

'What About China?' and the Threat to US–Russian Nuclear Arms Control

| 2020

The administration of President Donald J. Trump has consistently used fear of China to undermine nearly five decades of bipartisan consensus on US–Russian nuclear arms control. The negative consequences of these actions may last far beyond the Trump presidency. If generations of agreement between Democrats and Republicans on bilateral nuclear treaties with Russia erode, it will pose a significant setback to US national security and global stability. Future leaders may ultimately need to consider new approaches to nuclear risk reduction that preserve the benefits of the arms control regime.

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Postponement of the NPT Review Conference. Antagonisms, Conflicts and Nuclear Risks after the Pandemic

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has published a document from the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs concerning nuclear problems and tensions in the time of COVID-19. The document has been co-signed by a large number of Pugwash colleagues and personalities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow

AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

How the Next Nuclear Arms Race Will Be Different from the Last One

| 2019

All the world's nuclear-armed states (except for North Korea) have begun modernizing and upgrading their arsenals, leading many observers to predict that the world is entering a new nuclear arms race. While that outcome is not yet inevitable, it is likely, and if it happens, the new nuclear arms race will be different and more dangerous than the one we remember. More nuclear-armed countries in total, and three competing great powers rather than two, will make the competition more complex. Meanwhile, new non-nuclear weapon technologies — such as ballistic missile defense, anti-satellite weapons, and precision-strike missile technology — will make nuclear deterrence relationships that were once somewhat stable less so.

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.

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

5 Burning Nuclear Problems on Trump’s Desk

| Jan. 25, 2017

Nuclear weapons remain the most powerful weapons on the planet and how President Donald Trump’s team manages nuclear issues is critical to our security. These are hard challenges; none were perfectly addressed under President Obama’s leadership. But we made them a priority from day one. Whether or not the new team puts them at the top of the to-do list, here are five issues that will demand their attention before too long.

The Era Of U.S.-Russian Nuclear Cooperation

Siegfried Hecker

Magazine Article - Arms Control Today

The Era Of U.S.-Russian Nuclear Cooperation

| November 2016

Nickolas Roth reflects upon Doomed to Cooperate by Siegfried S. Hecker, which tells the story of how, after the Cold War ended, U.S. and Russian scientists worked together to strengthen Russian nuclear safety and security, reduce proliferation risks, and advance nuclear science. He identifies that the book provides important lessons for policymakers in each country who are, just as they were more than two decades ago, scrambling to cope with the rapidly changing relationship between the world’s two largest nuclear superpowers.

Doomed to Cooperate: How American And Russian Scientists Joined Forces To Avert Some Of The Greatest Post–Cold War Nuclear Dangers

Siegfried Hecker

Magazine Article - Physics Today

Doomed to Cooperate: How American And Russian Scientists Joined Forces To Avert Some Of The Greatest Post–Cold War Nuclear Dangers

| November 2016

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 created unprecedented dangers. The crumbling empire had thousands of nuclear weapons, enough material to make tens of thousands more, and tens of thousands of experts with sensitive nuclear expertise. To overstate only slightly, Doomed to Cooperate: How American and Russian Scientists Joined Forces to Avert Some of the Greatest Post–Cold War Nuclear Dangers is a true story of scientists and engineers successfully working together to save the world.

Journal Article - World Affairs

Was Ukraine's Nuclear Disarmament a Blunder?

| September 2016

"Ukraine's denuclearization had been a controversial issue even as it was negotiated, leaving bitter traces in the country's political and public discourse. As a student of political science in Kyiv in the mid-1990s, I remember being outraged by the sense of injustice: how could the states that rely on their own nuclear deterrents demand the nuclear disarmament of others? More so that one of these states, Russia, has never fully come to terms with Ukraine's independence. Since then, I came to research a doctoral dissertation on the denuclearization of post-Soviet successor states and, in the process, learned a great deal about Ukraine's nuclear disarmament that dispelled many of my preconceptions."