Nuclear Issues

30 Items

A detail of the video board at the UN showing the votes in favor, against and the abstention after a vote to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer).

Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Journal Article - Washington Quarterly

Addressing the Nuclear Ban Treaty

| Apr. 16, 2019

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), a bedrock of international security, had the 50-year anniversary of its signing in 2018. While the existence of the treaty has not been able to prevent a handful of states from seeking nuclear weapons, for half a century the NPT has promoted norms of nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament. Only nine states possess nuclear weapons today, far below the number predicted early in the nuclear age. Nonetheless, a second nuclear treaty, adopted in 2017, represents a significant and growing crack in the foundation of the NPT and suggests that relations among its members need to change if the treaty is going to survive another 50 years.

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Just How Vulnerable Is Iran to Sanctions?

| August 3, 2015

"Although this phased-approach to sanctions relief under the JCPOA ensures that Iran does not receive benefits without first implementing its nuclear commitments, uncertainties remain. The agreement does not affect U.S. and EU non-nuclear sanctions, such as those that target human rights abuses, support for terrorism, and money laundering. One question is whether or not relief from nuclear-related sanctions will affect the usefulness of non-nuclear sanctions."

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Congress Gives Thumbs Up to International Nuclear Security Conventions

| June 03, 2015

As part of the USA Freedom Act, Congress yesterday passed key legislation that will finally permit U.S. ratification of two important treaties that strengthen international nuclear security. While the Senate gave its advice and consent for ratification of the 2005 amendment to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials (CPPNM) and the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT) years ago, the treaties require parties to criminalize certain acts related to nuclear terrorism, so passage of implementing legislation was needed before the United States could ratify them.  Failure to ratify these key treaties on nuclear security and nuclear terrorism before any of the first three nuclear security summits, when the United States was pushing the world to act on nuclear security, has been a substantial embarrassment.

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Towards a New Phase in Nuclear Security Cooperation

    Author:
  • Ambassador Klaus Korhonen
| Mar. 06, 2015

The Fourth Nuclear Security Summit (NSS2016) takes place next year in the United States. The preparations by representatives of participating countries - so called Sherpas - have started. I am pleased to discuss the prospects of NSS2016 also with the readers of Nuclear Security Matters as a follow-up to a visit to Harvard University Belfer Center.

I cannot anticipate final recommendations of 53 national Sherpas, let alone the decisions of the Heads of States or Governments in the Summit. But let me offer a few initial thoughts from a Finnish perspective on what issues will be addressed and what could be some of the outcomes. Debate on these topics is going on and will continue.

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Big Banks and Their Game of Risk

| January 21, 2015

"For US regulators, 2014 was a banner year for collecting fines against sanctions violators, according to The Economist. In June, BNP Paribas—France’s largest bank, and one of the largest in the world—agreed to shell out $9 billion to the US Department of Justice for violating sanctions against Cuba, Iran, and Sudan. This past month, US regulators slapped Germany’s Commerzbank—the country’s second-largest bank, with a similar global presence—with a $1 billion fine, after launching an investigation into its dealings with sanctioned countries. The increases in fines have signaled an aggressive, zero-tolerance policy toward violators, as well as a willingness to use the extraterritorial provisions of sanctions, which allow regulators to punish foreign-based banks..."

Analysis & Opinions - JoongAng Daily

The Case for a Nuclear-free South

| June 19, 2014

"Washington has long provided a credible security guarantee along with its declaration of the nuclear umbrella in part, in return for South Korea forgoing a nuclear option. South Korea's acquisition of nuclear weapons would remove the rationale for the extension of U.S. nuclear deterrence and undermine the U.S. security commitment to Seoul."

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Bunn on 10th Anniversary of Global Threat Reduction Initiative

June 11, 2014

I’ve got a new piece in The National Interest celebrating ten years of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI), which has made remarkable strides in reducing the risks of nuclear and radiological terrorism.  They are the ones who did the actual work of getting the highly enriched uranium out of Ukraine before this year’s crises, to take just one example.

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Culp Provides New Details on Nonproliferation Budget Cuts

May 30, 2014

Despite making reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism one of his signature issues, President Obama has proposed budget cuts that would cause delays in core nuclear security programs.  David Culp, who works for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, recently wrote an excellent article in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists that addresses this issue and provides interesting new details.

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Tenth Anniversary of Global Threat Reduction Initiative

| May 29, 2014

September 11, 2001 convinced decision-makers in Washington that terrorists were capable of carrying out catastrophic attacks on the United States. The idea that an individual or group could make a bomb from nuclear or radiological material was no longer just an outlandish scenario, but a realistic threat that needed to be addressed. Ten years ago this week, the Bush administration responded to that threat by establishing the Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI).