Nuclear Issues

13 Items

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

Belfer Experts Work to Strengthen Nuclear Security

| Spring 2016

In the months and weeks before the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., Belfer experts promoted a series of ideas to strengthen measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons or the essential ingre­dients to make them.

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Announcement

Symposium on the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Nuclear Disarmament, Non-proliferation, and Energy: Fresh Ideas for the Future

Dec. 15, 2014

The ninth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will be held at the UN Headquarters in New York from April 27-May 22, 2015. This is the fourth such conference since the indefinite extension of the NPT in 1995. Participating governments will discuss nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy with a view to arriving at consensus on a number of issues.

Gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment recovered en route to Libya in 2003.

U.S. Department of Energy

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Nonproliferation Emperor Has No Clothes: The Gas Centrifuge, Supply-Side Controls, and the Future of Nuclear Proliferation

| Spring 2014

Policymakers have long focused on preventing nuclear weapons proliferation by controlling technology. Even developing countries, however, may now possess the technical ability to create nuclear weapons. The history of gas centrifuge development in twenty countries supports this perspective. To reduce the demand for nuclear weapons, policymakers will have look toward the cultural, normative, and political organization of the world.

A firefighter stands next to the radiation head of a radiation therapy machine in the village of Hueypoxtla, Mexico, Dec. 5, 2013.

Marco Ugarte, via AP

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Mexico’s Stolen Radiation Source: It Could Happen Here

| January 23, 2014

Although the truck-jacking of highly radioactive material outside Mexico City on December 1, 2013 ended without the worst case materializing, it should serve as a wakeup call, not just in Mexico but also in the United States and elsewhere. Dangerous radiation sources remain vulnerable to theft, especially when they are out on the road. There is also poorly protected radioactive material in hospitals and other facilities. Improving security requires tougher regulations and greater risk awareness in the industry. Unfortunately, the United States is no exception, so it’s time for the country to get serious about locking up its radioactive material.

Presentation

Strengthening Global Approaches to Nuclear Security

| July 5, 2013

Despite substantial progress in improving nuclear security in recent years, there is more to be done.  The threats of nuclear theft and terrorism remain very real. This presentation recommends learning from the much stronger national and international efforts in nuclear safety, and in particular, taking steps to build international understanding of the threat; establish effective performance objectives; assure performance; train and certify needed personnel; build security culture and exchange best practices; reduce the number of sites that need to be protected; and strengthen the international framework and continue the dialogue once leaders are no longer meeting regularly at the summit level. Matthew Bunn presented this talk, based on a recent paper, on July 3rd, 2013 at the International Conference on Nuclear Security in Vienna.

Paper

Strengthening Global Approaches To Nuclear Security

| July 1, 2013

Despite substantial progress in improving nuclear security in recent years, there is more to be done.  The threats of nuclear theft and terrorism remain very real.  This paper recommends learning from the much stronger national and international efforts in nuclear safety, and in particular taking steps to build international understanding of the threat; establish effective performance objectives; assure performance; train and certify needed personnel; build security culture and exchange best practices; reduce the number of sites that need to be protected; and strengthen the international framework and continue the dialogue once leaders are no longer meeting regularly at the summit level.

Magazine Article - Foreign Affairs

The Cuban Missile Crisis at 50

| July/August 2012

"Fifty years ago, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Every president since John F. Kennedy has tried to learn from what happened back then," writes Graham Allison, Director of the Belfer Center and one of the world's foremost experts on the Cuban Missile Crisis. "Today, it can help U.S. policymakers understand what to do -- and what not to do -- about Iran, North Korea, China, and presidential decision-making in general."

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.

Book - MIT Press Quarterly Journal: International Security

Going Nuclear: Nuclear Proliferation and International Security in the 21st Century

The spread of nuclear weapons is one of the most significant challenges to global security in the twenty-first century. Limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials may be the key to preventing a nuclear war or a catastrophic act of nuclear terrorism. Going Nuclear offers conceptual, historical, and analytical perspectives on current problems in controlling nuclear proliferation. It includes essays that examine why countries seek nuclear weapons as well as studies of the nuclear programs of India, Pakistan, and South Africa.

Book Chapter - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Preface to Going Nuclear

| January 2010

"Concern over nuclear proliferation is likely to increase in the coming years. Many observers believe that the spread of nuclear weapons to one or two more states will trigger a wave of new nuclear states. More states may turn to nuclear power to meet their energy needs as other sources of energy become more costly or undesirable because they emit carbon that contributes to global climate change. As more nuclear reactors are built, the world's stock of nuclear expertise and fissionable materials is likely to grow."