Nuclear Issues

7 Items

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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.

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.

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.

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.