Nuclear Issues

29 Items

The logo of Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi terrorist network based in the United States.

Skjoldbro/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

A Threat to Confront: Far-Right Extremists and Nuclear Terrorism

| Jan. 14, 2021

Every president serving in the last two decades has said that nuclear terrorism is a significant national security threat. Analysis of this threat has been, for good reason, mostly focused on foreign extremist groups, but recent events raise questions of whether there should be greater focus in the United States on far-right, domestic extremist threats. These extremists represent a unique danger because of their prevalence in federal institutions such as the military and the potential that they might infiltrate nuclear facilities, where they could access sensitive information and nuclear materials.

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.

Testimony

Public Testimony on Trump Administration Funding for Nuclear Theft Preventing Programs

| Mar. 31, 2020

A nuclear explosion detonated anywhere by a terrorist group would be a global humanitarian, economic, and political catastrophe. The current COVID-19 pandemic reminds us not to ignore prevention of and preparation for low-probability, high-consequence disasters. For nuclear terrorism, while preparation is important, prevention must be the top priority. The most effective strategy for keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists is to ensure that nuclear materials and facilities around the world have strong and sustainable security. Every president for more than two decades has made strengthening nuclear security around the globe a priority. This includes the Trump administration, whose 2018 Nuclear Posture Review states: “[n]uclear terrorism remains among the most significant threats to the security of the United States, allies, and partners.”

Policy Brief - Stanley Foundation

Planning for Success at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit

| December 2013

In the dead of night on July 28, 2012, three senior citizens, including an 82-year-old Catholic nun, Sister Megan Rice, broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, site of the US Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility (HEUMF). This self-proclaimed “Fort Knox of uranium” is America’s central repository for weapons-grade uranium.

....The security failings revealed by the nun and her fellow protesters are legion. The protesters were on the site for over an hour and 20 minutes, trekking about seven-tenths of a mile as the crow flies, but far longer as they traversed a steep ridge. They pierced fences equipped with sophisticated sensors. Yet the Y-12 Protective Force failed to spot them until they enjoyed unimpeded access to the exterior of the HEUMF forabout 20 minutes. Had these individuals been well-armed, well-equipped terrorists, instead of Bible-toting peace protesters, the incident would have been far more dire.

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.

Book Chapter - Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

Beyond Crises: The Unending Challenge of Controlling Nuclear Weapons and Materials

| July 30, 2013

This chapter explores how nuclear security measures evolved in the United States, drawing lessons about the factors that lead states to improve their nuclear security approaches—a crucial question for today's efforts to convince states around the world to beef up nuclear security.

Security detail overseeing the secure transportation of highly enriched uranium to Russia in Poland, October 2010

USA.gov

Journal Article - Journal of Nuclear Materials Management

Preventing Insider Theft: Lessons from the Casino and Pharmaceutical Industries

| June 17, 2013

Through structured interviews and a literature review, we assess which approaches to protection against insider thefts in the casino and pharmaceutical industries could be usefully applied to strengthen protections against insider theft in the nuclear industry, where insider thefts could have very high consequences.

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

Terrorist Threat Demands Creative Intelligence

    Author:
  • Dominic Contreras
| Winter 2011-2012

Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a former director of intelligence and counterintelligence at the Department of Energy, argues that despite not falling victim to a major terrorist event in the last 10 years, the United States must not be complacent in its counter-terrorism efforts. Mowatt-Larssen said in a Belfer Center seminar in September that he believes the possibility of a major attack is higher in the next 10 years than in the preceding decade.