Nuclear Issues

21 Items

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Conflicting Views on Nuclear Security in House Armed Services Committee

| May 21, 2014

Funding U.S. programs that enhance nuclear security has been a controversial issue this year in Congress. The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) recently released its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015. The results are a mixed bag on the nuclear security front. The committee proposes picking up some of the slack the Obama administration left for nonproliferation programs — increasing the administration’s request by $10 million overall — but it also slashed a key nuclear security effort and called for putting all nuclear security cooperation with Russia on hold.

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Plutonium Mountain: Inside the 17-Year Mission to Secure a Legacy of Soviet Nuclear Testing

| August 15, 2013

The Belfer Center’s Eben Harrell and Pulitzer Prize-winning author David E. Hoffman for the first time report the details of one of the largest nuclear security operations of the post-Cold War years — a  secret 17-year, $150 million operation to secure plutonium in the tunnels of Degelen Mountain.

Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

Russia, China on 'Wrong Side of History' in Arab World

| October 29, 2012

"China, a great power in the making, and Russia, a fading but nonetheless aspiring power, have repeatedly positioned themselves on 'the wrong side of history' in regard to the Iranian nuclear program, events in Syria, and more. Great power status confers not just prestige and influence, but also a need to share responsibility for international security and the 'global good.' With their uncaring pursuit of narrow national interests, neither is demonstrating a predilection to do so."

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

What Happened to the Soviet Superpower’s Nuclear Arsenal? Clues for the Nuclear Security Summit

| March 2012

Twenty years ago Russia and fourteen other newly-independent states emerged from the ruins of the Soviet empire, many as nations for the first time in history. As is typical in the aftermath of the collapse of an empire, this was followed by a period of chaos, confusion, and corruption. As the saying went at the time, “everything is for sale.” At that same moment, as the Soviet state imploded, 35,000 nuclear weapons remained at thousands of sites across a vast Eurasian landmass that stretched across eleven time zones. 

Today, fourteen of the fifteen successor states to the Soviet Union are nuclear weapons-free. This paper will address the question: how did this happen? Looking ahead, it will consider what clues we can extract from the success in denuclearizing fourteen post-Soviet states that can inform our non-proliferation and nuclear security efforts in the future. These clues may inform leaders of the U.S., Russia, and other responsible nations attending the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit on March 26-27, 2012. The paper will conclude with specific recommendations, some exceedingly ambitious that world leaders could follow to build on the Seoul summit’s achievements against nuclear terrorism in the period before the next summit in 2014. One of these would be to establish a Global Alliance Against Nuclear Terrorism.

President Barack Obama shares the podium with MIT's Susan Hockfield and Paul Holland of Serious Materials during the President's remarks on investments in clean energy and new technology, March 23, 2009, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

White House Photo

Journal Article - Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change

Trends in Investments in Global Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration

| May/June 2011

Recent national trends in investments in global energy research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) are inconsistent around the world. Public RD&D investments in energy are the metric most commonly used in international comparative assessments of energy-technology innovation, and the metric employed in this article. Overall, the data indicate that International Energy Agency (IEA) member country government investments have been volatile: they peaked in the late 1970s, declined during the subsequent two decades, bottomed out in 1997, and then began to gradually grow again during the 2000s.

- 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.

 

Report - International Panel on Fissile Materials

The Uncertain Future of Nuclear Energy

    Editor:
  • Frank N. von Hippel
    Authors:
  • Anatoli Diakov
  • Ming Ding
  • Tadahiro Katsuta
  • Charles McCombie
  • M.V. Ramana
  • Tatsujiro Suzuki
  • Susan Voss
  • Suyuan Yu
| September 2010

In the 1970s, nuclear-power boosters expected that by now nuclear power would produce perhaps 80 to 90 percent of all electrical energy globally. Today, the official high-growth projection of the Organization for Economic Co‑operation and Developments (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) estimates that nuclear power plants will generate about 20 percent of all electrical energy in 2050. Thus, nuclear power could make a significant contribution to the global electricity supply. Or it could be phased out — especially if there is another accidental or a terrorist-caused Chernobyl-scale release of radioactivity. If the spread of nuclear energy cannot be decoupled from the spread of nuclear weapons, it should be phased out.

Book - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center and Nuclear Threat Initiative

Securing the Bomb 2010

| April 2010

Associate Professor of Public Policy and Project on Managing the Atom Co-Principal Investigator Matthew Bunn provides a comprehensive assessment of global efforts to secure and consolidate nuclear stockpiles, and a detailed action plan for securing all nuclear materials in four years.  Securing the Bomb 2010 was commissioned by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). The full report, with additional information on the threat of nuclear terrorism, is available for download on the NTI website.