Nuclear Issues

10 Items

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

India’s Nuclear Security

    Author:
  • Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan
| Jan. 04, 2016

Situated in a difficult neighborhood, New Delhi has laid strong emphasis on both nuclear safety and security for a couple of decades now. Almost three decades of state-sponsored terrorism and insurgencies of varying scale and proportion within India have meant that security of nuclear materials and installations has been a great worry to India’s security and atomic energy establishments. India’s concerns even predate the Western focus on WMD terrorism, which gained prominence only after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States.  Unfortunately, India’s excessive caution and secrecy in the nuclear arena has led the world to assume that India does not pay much attention to this issue or that it has inadequate security, which is far from the truth.

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.

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Iran's Radioactive Financial Industry

| June 12, 2015

Aaron Arnold, Associate of the Project on Managing the Atom at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, writes that while Iran may receive sanctions relief as part of a final nuclear deal, it needs to take actions to strengthen its financial laws and regulations in order for it to truly be integrated into the global economy. He argues that Iranian financial laws, specifically those relating to money-laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing, remain weak and do not meet the standard of the international financial community. These legal weaknesses have caused Iran to remain designated by the U.S. Treasury as a "jurisdiction of primary money-laundering concern," making it much harder for the Iranian financial sector to operate using American currency or the American financial system, which, despite recent developments such as the launch of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, maintains the dominant role in global finance. He concludes that without these reforms to Iran's banking sector, its benefits from the ending of sanctions will be much smaller than desired by Iranian policymakers.

Blog Post - Iran Matters

How to Know if Iran Breaks its Word: Financial Monitoring

| May 26, 2015

Aaron Arnold, Associate with the Project on Managing the Atom at the Belfer Center, and Nikos Passas, Professor of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University, argue in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that an important, and generally overlooked, aspect of any deal with Iran is the role of banks and financial institutions in monitoring proliferation related transactions and keeping Iran from cheating on the agreement. They point out that banks are necessary for the monitoring and verification of a nuclear agreement because they provide the information used by sanctions enforcers to track illicit proliferation financing. At this point, several holes exist in detecting proliferation financing, including the lack of a clear template for banks and regulatory agencies to be searching for, and the lack of binding regulations for all forms of financial institutions, such as money remitters. They suggest that the Iranian nuclear deal offers a chance for these systematic holes to be plugged by centralizing analysis of data for proliferation financing and seeking reforms in the Iranian financial system.

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.

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.

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.

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Is China Complacent About Nuclear Security?

Mar. 13, 2014

Like dozens of other world leaders, Chinese President Xi Jinping is preparing to attend the third Nuclear Security Summit, which will take place in The Hague on March 24 and 25.  China actively participated in the first two summits, and since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, China has indeed made strides in strengthening its system for protecting nuclear facilities.  To make sure that nuclear security systems are actually implemented effectively, however, the development of a strong security culture—in which the relevant individuals hold a deeply rooted belief that insider and outsider threats are credible—is imperative.