Nuclear Issues

56 Items

Chinese President Xi Jinping is displayed on a big screen in Beijing as Chinese battle tanks roll by during a Sept. 3, 2015 parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender during World War II.

(AP Photo)

Magazine Article - The Atlantic

The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?

| September 24, 2015

The defining question about global order for this generation is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap. The Greek historian’s metaphor reminds us of the attendant dangers when a rising power rivals a ruling power—as Athens challenged Sparta in ancient Greece, or as Germany did Britain a century ago. Most such contests have ended badly, often for both nations, a team of mine at the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has concluded after analyzing the historical record. In 12 of 16 cases over the past 500 years, the result was war. When the parties avoided war, it required huge, painful adjustments in attitudes and actions on the part not just of the challenger but also the challenged.

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

The Dannemora Prison Break: Lessons for Nuclear Facilities

| Sep. 09, 2015

In prisons as in nuclear facilities, employees are tasked with guarding something highly dangerous in high-stress environments. Both face high costs in the event of failure, and both are especially vulnerable to complacency and insider threats. Given these parallels, two inmates’ dramatic break-out from a New York prison in early June offers nuclear security practitioners valuable insights into how to avert an equally dramatic (and potentially much more consequential) breech.

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Two Recent Incidents of Insecurity

| July 21, 2015

Are nuclear sites secure?  There are some who might assume the answer is yes and that we should not worry about the possibility of nuclear bomb material being stolen. Yet, recent history has repeatedly demonstrated that high security facilities thought to be secure were actually vulnerable. Two such incidents last month illustrated this idea.

U. S. President Barack Obama (R) and Chinese President Xi JinPing review the guard of honor during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on Nov. 12, 2014.

AP Images

Analysis & Opinions - Financial Times

America and China are rivals with a common cause

| April 16, 2015

When China’s economic output eventually surpasses America’s some time in the next decade, it will be the first time since the reign of George III that the world’s largest economy belongs to a country that is not western, not English-speaking and not a liberal democratic state. Yet, in the asymmetric world that is emerging, the US will remain the dominant military force. The fulcrums of economic and military power are separating. Can these changes in the distribution of power occur peacefully?

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Why Security Fails

    Author:
  • Roger G. Johnston
| Feb. 11, 2015

In thinking about how nuclear security and safeguards can fail, it is useful to keep in mind why security usually fails in general.  Most security managers and organizations have a good understanding of the assets they are trying to protect, the resources available to them to protect those assets, and the consequences should security fail (though this is sometimes greatly underestimated).  They often have a reasonably accurate understanding of the threats they face—who might attack, why, how, when, and with what goals and resources.  What is often lacking is a good understanding of the vulnerabilities—the weaknesses in the security that can be exploited by the threats—and how those vulnerabilities can be mitigated or eliminated.

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

Belfer Center at IDEASpHERE 2014

Fall/Winter 2014 - 15

Belfer Center at IDEASpHERE 2014

Incisive questions and ambitious answers marked Harvard Kennedy School’s IDEASpHERE celebration in late spring. Belfer Center thinkers shared their big ideas in more than a dozen sessions, ranging from China's rise to nuclear weapons.

Below is a sampling of notable thoughts from those sessions. For more, including summaries and video highlights, see belfercenter.org/ideasphere2014.

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Strengthening International Cooperation on Nuclear Materials Security

Nov. 04, 2014

Matthew Bunn, Will Tobey, Hui Zhang, and Nickolas Roth recently participated in a two-day roundtable discussion sponsored by the Stanley Foundation on U.S. nuclear security cooperation with Russia and China. The discussion, which involved experts from around the world, focused on overcoming challenges to nuclear security cooperation and ensuring that countries put in place effective and sustainable nuclear security measures with strong security culture.

Analysis & Opinions - Asia Times

China Frets Over Japanese Nuclear Program

| May 30, 2014

Many Chinese worry that as Japanese politics moves rightward, it could result in the country seeking its own weapons. Beijing's concerns have intensified with its confrontation with the Abe administration over historical recognition and territorial issues. In this op-ed, Hui Zhang argues that it is time for Tokyo to stop reprocessing and eliminate its surplus plutonium as soon as possible. Tokyo should address concerns over its reprocessing plans and plutonium stocks. To reduce suspicions, Tokyo should take specific steps to abide strictly by its "no surplus plutonium policy".

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Nuclear Security Centers of Excellence

| Apr. 21, 2014

Since the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit, Centers of Excellence have been recognized as an important part of the global nuclear security architecture. Centers of Excellence serve as a mechanism for ensuring individuals, whether facility managers, regulatory staff, scientists, engineers, or technicians, are trained on a wide number of important nuclear security issues. These centers focus on the important “human factor” of the global effort to secure nuclear material.