Nuclear Issues

14 Items

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Blog Post - Atlantic Council

A Strategy for Dealing with North Korea

| Sep. 12, 2017

New sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council on September 11 in response to North Korea’s latest nuclear test are “not significant enough,” according to R. Nicholas Burns, an Atlantic Council board member who served as undersecretary of state for political affairs in the George W. Bush administration.

Sanctions must be part of a “patient long-term strategy” that includes deterrence, working closely with allies, and negotiations, said Burns, laying out the United States’ options for dealing with the North Korean crisis.  

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

Dirty bomb efforts and uranium seizure in Ukraine may be less than meets the eye

    Author:
  • Artur Saradzhyan
| Aug. 12, 2015

Ukraine-based journalist Maxim Tucker has just published two articles to claim that pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine are plotting to manufacture a dirty bomb with the help of Russian scientists, using radioactive waste from a storage facility at the Donetsk Chemical Factory.

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

What Can the Secret Service Teach Us About Nuclear Security?

| Jan. 12, 2015

One of the more notable storylines throughout 2014 was the continued failures of the U.S. Secret Service. There were three striking high profile lapses in the Secret Service’s ability to protect President Obama: one where a man jumped over the White House fence, running through the front door of the White House and throughout its main floor; another where an armed man with an arrest record was able to ride on the same elevator as the President; and another where a man posing as a Member of Congress was able  to sneak into a secured area where the President was speaking. Towards the end of the year, problems within the Secret Service became a hotly debated political football, resulting in the resignation of the Service’s director.

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

GAO Report on Radiological Security

| July 02, 2014

Recently, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing that highlighted some truly alarming information about the status of radiological security in the United States.  The hearing began with a description from Senator Carper (D-DE) of the Boston marathon bomb attacks. He then speculated on the hypothetical consequences of the use of a Radiological Dispersion Device (RDD) or “dirty bomb” (interestingly, an old high-activity Cs-137 source was removed from Massachusetts General Hospital after the bombing).

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Harrington on Radiological Security

July 02, 2014

“An RDD [Radiological Dispersion Device] detonated in a major metropolitan area could result in economic costs in the billions of dollars as a result of evacuations, relocations, cleanup, and lost wages. Radioactive sources such as Cobalt, Cesium, Americium, and Iridium are used worldwide for many legitimate purposes and are located at thousands of sites in the United States and around the world.

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

How Nuclear Material Accounting Can Contribute to Nuclear Security

May 16, 2014

Like its predecessor summits, the recently concluded Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague acknowledged the role that nuclear material accounting can play in securing materials from unauthorized use. The emphasis of this and past initiatives, however, has been on improving national laws and regulations—and primarily in states without nuclear weapons. States have yet to develop comprehensive requirements that address the full scope of nuclear risks and that are meant to be adopted by all states—including nuclear weapons states.