Nuclear Issues

137 Items

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer uses a handheld GR135- Radiation Isttope Identifier to check a container that was stopped after passing through a radiation detection device at the port of Newark in February 2006 (AP Photo/Mel Evans).

AP Photo/Mel Evans

Journal Article - Nonproliferation Review

Combating Nuclear Smuggling? Exploring Drivers and Challenges to Detecting Nuclear and Radiological Materials at Maritime Facilities

| June 03, 2019

International concern over nuclear terrorism has grown during the past few decades. This has driven a broad spectrum of efforts to strengthen nuclear security globally, including the widespread adoption of radiation-detection technology for border monitoring. Detection systems are now deployed at strategic locations for the purported purpose of detecting and deterring the smuggling of nuclear and radioactive materials. However, despite considerable investment in this area, few studies have examined how these programs are implemented or the operational challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. This article seeks to address this with a focus on radiation-detection efforts at maritime facilities. Utilizing practitioner interviews and a survey, this article identifies the factors that influence the planning and use of these systems in this fast-moving environment. The results clearly demonstrate that the implementation of these systems varies significantly across different national and organizational contexts, resulting in a fragmented global nuclear-detection architecture, which arguably undermines efforts to detect trafficked nuclear-threat materials. Greater consideration should therefore be given to developing international standards and guidance, designing and adopting tools to support key parts of the alarm assessment process, and broader sharing of good practice.

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? 

Ambassador Douglas Lute speaks at the Future of Diplomacy Project

Benn Craig/Belfer Center

Analysis & Opinions - Future of Diplomacy Project

NATO and Russia: An Uneasy Relationship

| Nov. 08, 2017

Ambassador Douglas Lute, former ambassador to the North Atlantic Council, NATO's principal decision-making body, spoke at the Future of Diplomacy project on NATO's role today, adapting to current threats, and Russia's relationship with NATO and its member States.

Panel

Benn Craig

Analysis & Opinions - Future of Diplomacy Project

Conversations in Diplomacy: Professor Muriel Rouyer and Ambassador Boris Ruge

| Feb. 27, 2017

In this installation of 'Conversations in Diplomacy,' recorded during the Future of Diplomacy Project's annual Europe Week series, guests Muriel Rouyer and Boris Ruge speak with Professor Nicholas Burns about the rise of populism in Europe, the potential outcomes of upcoming elections in France and Germany, and the effect of such factors on the transatlantic relationship.