Nuclear Issues

5 Items


The Evolution of the IAEA: Using Nuclear Crises as Windows of Opportunity (or Not)

| March 13, 2013

This seminar considered how the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reacted to nuclear crises. The IAEA often appears not just to have weathered such crises, but to have successfully leaped through windows of opportunity presented by them. This has resulted in periodic expansions of its mandate, capabilities, and resources. The 2011 Fukushima disaster appears to be a puzzling exception, raising the question of what concatenation of factors needs to be present for the IAEA to take advantage of nuclear crises.

Professor Tom Nichols (far left) presenting his paper.

Photo by James Wilson


Nuclear Attack and Conventional Retaliation: Small States, Proliferation, and Nuclear War

| June 19, 2010

How can large states deter small nuclear powers—and how should they respond if successfully attacked by a smaller aggressor with WMD, especially nuclear weapons? This paper considers conventional alternatives to in-kind nuclear retaliation, which may be impossible in the modern era.

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

Cooperative Denuclearization: From Pledges to Deeds

"CSIA's research on cooperative denuclearization began during the August 1991 putsch against Mikhail Gorbachev. To those of us familiar with nuclear weapons, their construction, and command and control, and with the looming revolution about to sweep the then–Soviet Union, it was plain that a new and unprecedented danger to international security was emerging. An appropriate policy response to this new form of nuclear threat could not be fashioned from traditional Cold War tools of deterrence, arms control, and military preparedness alone. Safety could only be sought through new policies emphasizing cooperative engagement with the new states, new leaders, and military and industrial heirs of the former Soviet Union...."

teaser image

Book - MIT Press

Avoiding Nuclear Anarchy: Containing the Threat of Loose Russian Nuclear Weapons and Fissile Material

What if the bomb that exploded in Oklahoma City or New York's World Trade Center had used 100 pounds of highly enriched uranium? The destruction would have been far more vast. This danger is not so remote: the recipe for making such a bomb is simple, and soon the ingredients might be easily attained. Thousands of nuclear weapons and hundreds of tons of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium from the weapons complex of the former Soviet Union, poorly guarded and poorly accounted for, could soon leak on to a vast emerging nuclear black market.