Nuclear Issues

9 Items

Presentation

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.

May 27, 2011: IAEA fact-finding team members visit the emergency diesel generator at Reactor Unit 6 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Okuma, Japan. The generator was the only one to survive the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

AP Photo

Presentation

The IAEA and Fukushima: Best Laid Plans, Reality Checks, and Doing It Better Next Time

| March 29, 2012

Professor Findlay analyzed the response of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the March 2011 nuclear reactor disaster at Fukushima, Japan. He compared the expectations that the Agency, its member states, and other nuclear stakeholders had of the IAEA's role in such a situation with the harsh reality. Drawing on these insights, he suggested possibilities for strengthening the Agency's capacities for handling the next Fukushima.

The PPL Corporation's Susquehanna nuclear power plant is shown near Berwick, Pa., in this 2005 photo.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

Can the US Handle a Nuclear Disaster?

| March 15, 2011

"Residents near the Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massachusetts, and those within the 10-mile radiation zone of Vermont Yankee and Seabrook, N.H., are used to preparing themselves and seeking assistance from the government with training and drills, access to medication, and evacuation plans. They may not be completely confident in the government's planning, but they aren't completely dependent on it, either."

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

Belfer Center Newsletter Winter 2010-11

| Winter 2010-11

The Winter 2010/11 issue of the Belfer Center newsletter features recent and upcoming activities, research, and analysis by members of the Center community on critical global issues. This issue highlights a major Belfer Center conference on technology and governance, the Center's involvement in the nuclear threat documentary Countdown to Zero, and a celebration of Belfer Center founder Paul Doty.

 

Mar. 29, 2010: a poster in Lahore, Pakistan, shows Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan. As U.S. President Barack Obama hosted a nuclear security summit in April 2010, many states remained weak links in the global defense against nuclear terrorism.

AP Photo

Report - Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies

The Armageddon Scenario: Israel and the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism

| April 2010

The following study focuses on the threat of nuclear terrorism facing Israel. It begins with an overview of the nature of the threat, before turning to the potential perpetrators of nuclear terrorism against Israel, possible delivery mechanisms and targets, and the specific scenarios under which the threat to Israel might materialize. The study then presents possible policy options for Israel to deal with the threat, both unilaterally and in conjunction with the United States.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Divining Nuclear Intentions: A Review Essay

    Authors:
  • William C. Potter
  • Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova
| Summer 2008

Although projections of nuclear proliferation abound, they rarely are founded on empirical research or guided by theory. Even fewer studies are informed by a comparative perspective. The two books under review—The Psychology of Nuclear Proliferation: Identity, Emotions, and Foreign Policy, by Jacques Hymans, and Nuclear Logics: Alternative Paths in East Asia and the Middle East, by Etel Solingen, are welcome exceptions to this general state of affairs, and represent the cutting edge of nonproliferation research. Both works challenge conventional conceptions of the sources of nuclear weapons decisions and offer new insights into why past predictions of rapid proliferation failed to materialize and why current prognoses about rampant proliferation are similarly flawed. While sharing a number of common features, including a focus on subsystemic determinants of national behavior, the books differ in their methodology, level of analysis, receptivity to multicausal explanations, and assumptions about decisionmaker rationality and the revolutionary nature of the decision. Where one author emphasizes the importance of the individual leader’s national identity conception in determining a state’s nuclear path, the other explains nuclear decisions primarily with regard to the political-economic orientation of the ruling coalition. Notwithstanding a tendency to overinterpret evidence, the books represent the best of contemporary social science research and provide compelling interpretations of nuclear proliferation dynamics of great relevance to scholars and policymakers alike.