Nuclear Issues

90 Items

US and Ukrainian soldiers stand guard during opening ceremony of the 'Fiarles Guardian - 2015', Ukrainian-US Peacekeeping and Security command and staff training, in western Ukraine, in Lviv region, Monday, April 20, 2015.

(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Magazine Article - The National Interest

Russia and America: Stumbling to War

| May-June 2015

In the United States and Europe, many believe that the best way to prevent Russia’s resumption of its historic imperial mission is to assure the independence of Ukraine. They insist that the West must do whatever is required to stop the Kremlin from establishing direct or indirect control over that country. Otherwise, they foresee Russia reassembling the former Soviet empire and threatening all of Europe. Conversely, in Russia, many claim that while Russia is willing to recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity (with the exception of Crimea), Moscow will demand no less than any other great power would on its border. Security on its western frontier requires a special relationship with Ukraine and a degree of deference expected in major powers’ spheres of influence. More specifically, Russia’s establishment sentiment holds that the country can never be secure if Ukraine joins NATO or becomes a part of a hostile Euro-Atlantic community. From their perspective, this makes Ukraine’s nonadversarial status a nonnegotiable demand for any Russia powerful enough to defend its national-security interests.

Journal Article - Institute of Nuclear Materials Management Journal of Nuclear Materials Management

Securing China’s Nuclear Power Plants

| Winter, 2014.

Since September 11, 2001, China has substantially advanced its physical protection system, with a switch in focus from the traditional "guns, gates, guards" approach to an effective mixed approach, combining personnel with modern techniques. Then-Chinese President Hu Jintao emphasized at the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit that, "In the future, China will further take nuclear security measures, make sure the security of its own nuclear materials and facilities, improve the overall nuclear security." This paper examines the specific and detailed physical protection approaches that are currently applied to China's nuclear power plants, and recommends further steps to improve China's existing nuclear security system.

Journal Article - Science & Global Security

Securing China’s Weapon-Usable Nuclear Materials

| Feb 18, 2014

This article describes the status of China’s military and civilian nuclear programs, fissile material production and associated nuclear facilities, and the Chinese nuclear experts and officials’ perspectives on the nuclear terrorism threat. It gives details of China’s nuclear security practices, attitudes, and regulations, as well as identifying areas of concern. The article recommends ways to strengthen China’s nuclear material protection, control, and accounting systems and suggests opportunities for increased international cooperation.

Test launching of Pakistan-made Ghaznavi missile at undisclosed location in Pakistan Thursday, May 10, 2012. Pakistan successfully test-fired a short-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead, Pakistan's military said.

AP Photo/ Uncredited

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Why States Won't Give Nuclear Weapons to Terrorists

    Authors:
  • Keir A. Lieber
  • Daryl Press
| Summer 2013

Many experts consider nuclear terrorism the single greatest threat to U.S. security. The fear that a state might transfer nuclear materials to terrorists was a core justification for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and, more recently, for a strike against Iran’s nuclear program. The logical basis for this concern is sound: if a state could orchestrate an anonymous nuclear terror attack, it could destroy an enemy yet avoid retaliation. But how likely is it that the perpetrators of nuclear terrorism could remain anonymous? Data culled from a decade of terrorist incidents reveal that attribution is very likely after high-casualty terror attacks. Attribution rates are even higher for attacks on the U.S. homeland or the territory of a major U.S. ally—97 percent for incidents in which ten or more people were killed. Moreover, tracing a terrorist group that used a nuclear weapon to its state sponsor would not be difficult, because few countries sponsor terror; few terror groups have multiple sponsors; and only one country that sponsors terrorism, Pakistan, has nuclear weapons or enough material to manufacture them. If leaders understand these facts, they will be as reluctant to give weapons to terrorists as they are to use them directly; both actions would invite devastating retaliation.

Running Out of Time on Iran, and All Out of Options

Wikimedia Commons CC

Newspaper Article - The Times of Israel

Running Out of Time on Iran, and All Out of Options

    Author:
  • David Horovitz
| June 19, 2013

"...[Y]es, I think Stuxnet had a few down sides. One of those down sides was that the actual attack code became publicly available. As far as I can tell the attack code was supposed to die and not get out onto the Internet, but apparently the same way it got into Natanz [Iranian nuclear enrichment facility], it got out...."

Four nuclear policy veterans — Joseph S. Nye Jr. (from left), Ashton B. Carter, Albert Carnesale, and Graham Allison — gathered at the Harvard Kennedy School for a seminar on the current challenges in avoiding nuclear war.

Photo by Sharon Wilke

Magazine Article - Harvard University Office of News and Public Affairs Harvard Gazette

Nuclear Threats, Then and Now

| May 19, 2011

In 1985, researchers at the Harvard Kennedy School published a book called “Hawks, Doves, and Owls,” and gave it an ambitious subtitle: “An Agenda for Avoiding Nuclear War.” Those scholars gathered again at the School on Monday (May 16) for a seminar on the current challenges in avoiding nuclear war — and to marvel at just how drastically the nuclear threat has morphed in the two decades since the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union collapsed.

Magazine Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Graham T. Allison: The Congenital Optimist

| September/October 2010

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School, has consistently warned policy makers about the dangers of a nuclear weapon falling into the hands of terrorist groups such as al Qaeda. Allison spoke with the Bulletinof the Atomic Scientists about what he thinks needs to be done today to turn rhetoric about tightening nuclear security into stronger action.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arriving at Oroumiyeh, 900 km NW of  Tehran, Apr. 7, 2010. He ridiculed President Barack Obama's new nuclear strategy, which aims to stop the spread of nuclear weapons to rogue states or terrorists.

AP Photo

Journal Article - InFocus

Armageddon and the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism

| Summer 2010

"Nuclear terrorism poses a unique threat not only because of the magnitude of the destruction, but because those most likely to perpetrate an attack may be fundamentally nihilistic and therefore undeterrable — prepared to pay any cost in loss of life in pursuit of their objectives. As millennial movements for whom the crippling and even destruction of the U.S. and Israel are sacred missions, a nuclear terrorist attack where even a devastating response is assumed may be a worthy means of ushering in a messianic era."

Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism Commission Chair, former Sen. Bob Graham (left), and fellow commission members testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Govt. Affairs Committee on Dec. 11, 2008.

AP Photo

Magazine Article - Foreign Policy

A Failure to Imagine the Worst

| January 25, 2010

"Thinking about risks we face today, we should reflect on the major conclusion of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission established to investigate that catastrophe. The U.S. national security establishment's principal failure prior to Sept. 11, 2001, was, the commission found, a "failure of imagination."Summarized in a single sentence, the question now is: Are we at risk of an equivalent failure to imagine a nuclear 9/11? After the recent attempted terrorist attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, this question is more urgent than ever."