Nuclear Issues

38 Items

Nigeria's Miniature Neutron Source Reactor was the last operational research reactor in Africa to make the conversion from HEU to LEU. Here, the HEU once used in the reactor is loaded for shipment back to China, the supplier (IAEA).

IAEA

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

Securing Nuclear Weapons and Materials Worldwide: Expanded Funding Needed for a More Ambitious Approach

| Apr. 19, 2019

The Trump administration budget request for programs to reduce the dangers of nuclear theft and terrorism is too small to implement the ambitious approach that is needed. Congress should increase funding in this critical area; direct the administration to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for improving security for nuclear weapons and materials worldwide; and exert expanded oversight of this effort. This brief highlights the importance of ongoing nuclear security work; describes the evolving budget picture; and outlines recommendations for congressional action.

A building at a Pakistani naval aviation base burns during an attack by a substantial group of well-armed, well-trained militants, apparently with insider help, in May 2011. Nuclear weapons and materials must be protected against comparable adversary capabilities and tactics (AP Photo/Shakil Adil).

AP Photo/Shakil Adil

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

Combating Complacency about Nuclear Terrorism

Complacency about the threat of nuclear terrorism—the belief that nuclear and radiological terrorism threats are minimal and existing security measures are sufficient to address them—is the fundamental barrier to strengthening nuclear security. Many factors can lead to complacency, but the most significant contributors are lack of knowledge about: events related to nuclear terrorism; weaknesses of nuclear security systems; and the capabilities demonstrated by thieves around the world. People will be more likely to take action to strengthen nuclear security if they believe that nuclear terrorism poses a real threat to their own country’s interests and their actions can significantly reduce the threat. There have been many incidents in recent years that demonstrate the need for strong and sustainable security at both military and civilian nuclear facilities.

A member of the Czech Army takes part in an anti-terrorism drill at the Temelin nuclear power plant near the town of Tyn nad Vltavou, Czech Republic, April 11, 2017.

REUTERS/David W. Cerny

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

A Vision for Nuclear Security

| January 2019

The goal of global nuclear security efforts should be a world in which all countries with nuclear weapons, highly enriched uranium (HEU), separated plutonium, and nuclear facilities whose sabotage could cause a major radiation release have reduced the risk of nuclear theft and sabotage to the lowest possible level. This will require policymakers, regulators, and operators to commit to a continuous process of striving for excellence in nuclear security performance.

Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant

Wikimedia Commons

Policy Brief - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Iran Stockpiling Uranium Far Above Current Needs

| January 10, 2017

In a televised speech on January 1, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran had imported 200 metric tons of yellowcake uranium and would import another 120 tons at an unspecified future date. The imports are permitted by the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but nonetheless significantly exceed Iran’s needs for natural (that is, unenriched) uranium over the next 15 years. Iran’s import of such high levels of uranium suggests it may be stockpiling uranium to reach nuclear breakout before the deal’s initial limitations expire in 2031.

The JCPOA permits Iran to buy natural uranium to “replenish” its stocks as it sells enriched uranium on the international market. To date, Iran has had difficulties locating a buyer for its enriched uranium stocks – unsurprising, given the current excess of commercially available enriched uranium. This, however, has not stopped Iran from buying and stockpiling more yellowcake.

Olli Heinonen at the Belfer Center.

Belfer Center

Testimony

The Iran Nuclear Deal and its Impact on Terrorism Financing

| July 23, 2015

Olli Heinonen, senior fellow at the Belfer Center, testified on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services' Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing. The hearing was titled “The Iran Nuclear Deal and its Impact on Terrorism Financing.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a statement on the Iran talks deal at the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria Tuesday July 14, 2015.

(AP Photo)

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

Elements of the Iran Nuclear Deal

| July 15, 2015

The July 14, 2015 comprehensive nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) consists of the agreement itself and five technical annexes: Annex I – Nuclear-related measures; Annex 2 – Sanctions-related commitments; Annex III- Civil Nuclear Cooperation; Annex IV – Joint Commission; and Annex V – Implementation Plan. The version issued by the EU is used here because pages and paragraphs are numbered in proper order.

This article describes the main elements of the JCPOA. In coming days, the Belfer Center plans to publish a more detailed description and assessment of the agreement.

President Barack Obama of the United States meets with Russian President Vladmir Putin at the G8 Summit in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland on 17 June 2013.

White House Photo

Policy Brief - Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, University of Hamburg

U.S.-Russian Nuclear Security Cooperation: Rebuilding Equality, Mutual Benefit, and Respect

| June 2015

The United States and Russia are the two countries with the vast majority of the world's nuclear weapons and material. In an age of global terrorism, they share both a special responsibility in ensuring that they each employ effective nuclear security systems and an understanding of the unique challenge of securing hundreds of tons of nuclear material. For two decades, the United States and Russia lived up to this responsibility by working together to strengthen nuclear security in Russia and around the globe. That ended in 2014 when Russia halted the majority of its work on nuclear security with the United States. The negative consequences of that decision could seriously affect international security and cooperation in the nuclear realm.

Policy Brief - Stanley Foundation

Strengthening International Nuclear Security Cooperation

| Jan. 22, 2015

Last fall, experts from around the world gathered to identify ways to strengthen nuclear security cooperation between the United States and Russia and the United States and China. In this Policy Brief, Nickolas Roth summarizes that conversation and provides policy recommendations based on it.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan addressing the 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), April 2000, New York, NY.

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Policy Brief - Academic Peace Orchestra Middle East

Possible Frameworks for Verification of a WMD/DVs Free Zone in the Middle East - The Nuclear Dimension

| August 2014

This policy brief argues that, on balance, a Middle East Nuclear Weapon Free Zone would be better off relying on IAEA verification and safeguards at the beginning. Over the medium- to longer- term, given the political will, financial, and human resources, the regional states could invest in a regional authority to build up their own capacity and thereby contribute to strengthening mutual confidence and trust.