Nuclear Issues

387 Items

FBI agents leave a raid in Trenton, N.J. on July 19, 2012

Julio Cortez/AP

Discussion Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

The Long Arm

| February 2019

The networks of middlemen and intermediaries involved in the illicit procurement of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related goods and technologies often operate outside of the United States, which presents several legal and political challenges regarding U.S. trade control enforcement activities. This report considers the extraterritorial efforts of U.S. law enforcement in counterproliferation-related activities and their implications. In other words, how does the United States contend with violations of its weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related trade controls in overseas jurisdictions, and what are the implications for broader U.S. and international nonproliferation efforts, as well as wider international security and economic concerns? 

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

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

Revitalizing Nuclear Security in an Era of Uncertainty

| January 2019

Nuclear security around the world has improved dramatically over the last three decades—which demonstrates that with focused leadership, major progress is possible. But important weaknesses remain, and the evolution of the threat remains unpredictable. The danger that terrorists could get and use a nuclear bomb, or sabotage a major nuclear facility, or spread dangerous radioactive material in a “dirty bomb,” remains too high. The United States and countries around the world need to join together and provide the leadership and resources needed to put global nuclear security on a sustained path of continuous improvement, in the never-ending search for excellence in performance.

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

Field Experience in Pursuit of a Richer Understanding

    Author:
  • Celia Carbone
| Fall/Winter 2017-2018

Elizabeth Philipp’s passion for international relations sprouted at a young age. When learning to walk, she was also learning the French language from her Montessori school teachers. Global priorities have always been part of her life.

Civilians leave their houses, as Iraq's elite counterterrorism forces fight against Islamic State militants, in the village of Tob Zawa, about 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) from Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016.

(AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

Analysis & Opinions - Just Security

Recommendations to the New President on Countering WMD and Terrorism

| November 17, 2016

After the U.S. Presidential election, we are entering a particularly vulnerable period as militant Islamists seek to test the new American president just as al-Qaeda (AQ) tested President George W. Bush shortly after the 2000 election.

We are now 15 years into the fight against Islamic-inspired terrorism. The day after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the US and its allies launched a global anti-terrorism coalition to crush AQ and its allies; a fight that many expected to last a generation. The timing was not wrong, but the nature of the threat itself was both misunderstood and underestimated.

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Where Will the Next President Stand on Nuclear Weapons?

| May 3, 2016

"From Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis, from arms races to arms control, from the Cold War and its proxy wars to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the 2015 deal with Iran, few subjects have so consistently, and so controversially, concerned the American presidency as nuclear weapons have. A dozen men have been responsible for the decision to use the US nuclear arsenal since 1945, and whoever wins the election in November will inherit the responsibility for approximately 4,670 warheads at a time when relations with Russia (holder of 4,500 warheads) have reached a perilous low, a time when support for arms control is perhaps faltering, and a time when nuclear threats abound from the Middle East to the Korean Peninsula..."

In this March 6, 2013 photo, a warning sign is shown attached to a fence at the 'C' Tank Farm at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, near Richland, Wash.

(AP Photo)

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

Belfer Center Experts Provide Analysis and Commentary on 2016 Nuclear Security Summit

April 5, 2016

Leading up to and during the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, Belfer Center experts released reports, published commentary, and provided insight and analysis into global nuclear security. In advance of the Summit, the Project on Managing the Atom set the stage for discussion with the report Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: Continuous Improvement or Dangerous Decline?

An in-progress compilation of the expert commentary and analysis is available here.

Could There Be a Terrorist Fukushima?

commons.wikimedia.org

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

Could There Be a Terrorist Fukushima?

| April 4, 2016

The attacks in Brussels last month were a stark reminder of the terrorists’ resolve, and of our continued vulnerabilities, including in an area of paramount concern: nuclear security.

The attackers struck an airport and the subway, but some Belgian investigators believe they seemed to have fallen back on those targets because they felt the authorities closing in on them, and that their original plan may have been to strike a nuclear plant. A few months ago, during a raid in the apartment of a suspect linked to the November attacks in Paris, investigators found surveillance footage of a senior Belgian nuclear official. Belgian police are said to have connected two of the Brussels terrorists to that footage.

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Will the Nuclear Security Summit Help Stop Terrorists from Getting the Bomb?

"Today and tomorrow, world leaders will gather for what will likely be the final international summit on security for nuclear weapons and the materials needed to make them—a key tool for preventing nuclear terrorism. The last time this group met, at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in the Hague, they declared that preventing terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons or weapons-usable materials remained “one of the most important challenges in the years to come.” Yet, since then, nuclear security has improved only marginally, while the capabilities of some terrorist groups, particularly the Islamic State, have grown dramatically, suggesting that in the net, the risk of nuclear terrorism may be higher than it was two years ago..."