Nuclear Issues

25 Items

Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, left, speaks next to Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, during a news conference

AP/Jacquelyn Martin

Policy Brief - Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament; Toda Peace Institute

Nuclear Battleground: Debating the US 2018 Nuclear Posture Review

| June 2018

This Policy Brief compares and contrasts the Trump administration’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review with past reviews and its Obama predecessor. It concludes that this review offers a much harsher assessment of the security environment; it posits a more expansive role for nuclear weapons; and proposes a substantial de-emphasis on arms control.

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Policy Brief

Verifying the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and Providing Assurance against Breakout

| February 2018

Effective verification will be absolutely essential to achieving nuclear disarmament. Developing effective verification may seem an impossible challenge, but there is substantial experience to build on, including IAEA safeguards and bilateral arms control processes. Examining the specific steps required to progress disarmament, we are not starting with a blank sheet, many verification missions are similar to those existing or under development today. International collaboration in developing new verification applications will contribute to the confidence and trust required to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant

Wikimedia Commons

Policy Brief - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Iran Stockpiling Uranium Far Above Current Needs

| January 10, 2017

In a televised speech on January 1, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran had imported 200 metric tons of yellowcake uranium and would import another 120 tons at an unspecified future date. The imports are permitted by the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but nonetheless significantly exceed Iran’s needs for natural (that is, unenriched) uranium over the next 15 years. Iran’s import of such high levels of uranium suggests it may be stockpiling uranium to reach nuclear breakout before the deal’s initial limitations expire in 2031.

The JCPOA permits Iran to buy natural uranium to “replenish” its stocks as it sells enriched uranium on the international market. To date, Iran has had difficulties locating a buyer for its enriched uranium stocks – unsurprising, given the current excess of commercially available enriched uranium. This, however, has not stopped Iran from buying and stockpiling more yellowcake.

North Korea’s 5th Nuclear Test – What now?

Roman Harak

Policy Brief - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

North Korea’s 5th Nuclear Test – What now?

| Friday, September 16, 2016

North Korea just heralded the 68th anniversary of its founding by conducting its fifth nuclear test. The initial seismic recordings were larger than previously recorded activity. This, coupled with other indicators, suggests that Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons capability is accelerating.

President Barack Obama of the United States meets with Russian President Vladmir Putin at the G8 Summit in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland on 17 June 2013.

White House Photo

Policy Brief - Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, University of Hamburg

U.S.-Russian Nuclear Security Cooperation: Rebuilding Equality, Mutual Benefit, and Respect

| June 2015

The United States and Russia are the two countries with the vast majority of the world's nuclear weapons and material. In an age of global terrorism, they share both a special responsibility in ensuring that they each employ effective nuclear security systems and an understanding of the unique challenge of securing hundreds of tons of nuclear material. For two decades, the United States and Russia lived up to this responsibility by working together to strengthen nuclear security in Russia and around the globe. That ended in 2014 when Russia halted the majority of its work on nuclear security with the United States. The negative consequences of that decision could seriously affect international security and cooperation in the nuclear realm.

Policy Brief - Stanley Foundation

Strengthening International Nuclear Security Cooperation

| Jan. 22, 2015

Last fall, experts from around the world gathered to identify ways to strengthen nuclear security cooperation between the United States and Russia and the United States and China. In this Policy Brief, Nickolas Roth summarizes that conversation and provides policy recommendations based on it.

Policy Brief - Stanley Foundation

Strengthening International Cooperation on Nuclear Materials Security

| Nov. 04, 2014

The Stanley Foundation convened a group of experts and policymakers from the United States and abroad to address these issues October 15–17, 2014, at its 55th annual Strategy for Peace Conference. The group discussed overcoming challenges to nuclear security cooperation faced by the United States, Russia, and China, and next steps in ensuring that countries put in place effective and sustainable nuclear security measures with strong security cultures. This policy memo offers highlights of the discussion and recommendations of roundtable participants.

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.

Policy Brief - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Smashing Atoms for Peace: Using Linear Accelerators to Produce Medical Isotopes without Highly Enriched Uranium

| October 2013

Accelerators can eventually be substituted for nuclear research reactors for the production of medical isotopes and for neutron-based research and other applications. The use of accelerators would reduce dependence on HEU and decrease the resulting risks. The United States and other countries should work together to provide the funding and exchange of information and ideas needed to speed up the development, demonstration, and deployment of technically and economically viable accelerator technologies to substitute for research reactors.

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, June 19, 2013. He called for a reduction in global nuclear weapons through more negotiations with Russia.

    White House Photo

    Policy Brief - PacNet Newsletter

    The United States, China, and Nuclear Arms Control: Time for a Creative Spark

    | August 8, 2013

    While the United States and Russia have a responsibility to draw down their arsenals, these bilateral nuclear reductions will be increasingly difficult if other nuclear powers do not join in....[I]t is time to engage the so-called "second tier" nuclear powers, especially China. The evolution of the US-China strategic relationship can affect the next stages of international arms control, even if China does not directly participate.