Nuclear Issues

68 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? 

Wearing traditional Kazakh costumes on the shoulders, from left, U.S. astronaut Michael Hopkins and Russia's cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky attend a press conference in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, shortly after their landing aboard Soyuz TMA-10M capsule. Hopkins together with the two Russia's cosmonauts landed safely in the Kazakh steppe aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule after a stay of over five months aboard the International Space Station. (AP Photo/Vasily Maximov, pool)

AP Photo/Vasily Maximov, pool

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

US-Russian space cooperation: a model for nuclear security

| Mar. 07, 2017

This interdependence between the US and Russian space programs persists even though the two countries are now living through what some pundits describe as a new Cold War. There was a time not so long ago, however, when the two nations viewed space solely as an area of strategic competition. The steps that Washington and Moscow took to transform their space rivalry into cooperation can serve today as a model for working together to help prevent nuclear terrorism, no matter how strained relations may seem.

Announcement - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

2016-2017 Harvard Nuclear Policy Fellowships

| December 15, 2015

The Project on Managing the Atom offers fellowships for pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, and mid-career researchers for one year, with a possibility for renewal, in the stimulating environment of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. The online application for 2016-2017 fellowships opened December 15, 2015, and the application deadline is January 15, 2016. Recommendation letters are due by February 1, 2016.

US Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif meet in Paris to discuss the Iranian nuclear deal.

United States Department of State

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Assessing an Iran Deal: 5 Big Lessons from History

| July 7, 2015

As the policy community prepares to assess an agreement between the U.S. and its P5+1 partners and Iran, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker asked me to review the history of analogous agreements for lessons that illuminate the current challenge. In response to his assignment, I reviewed the seven decades of the nuclear era, during which the U.S. negotiated arms-control treaties, including the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968; strategic arms limitation talks and agreements from SALT to New Start; the North Korean accord of 1994; the agreements that helped eliminate nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus in the early 1990s; and the pact that eliminated the Libyan nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Among many lessons and clues from this instructive history, five stand out

Presentation - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

The China-India Space Race: Rhetoric or Reality?

| March 3, 2014

The space exploration agendas of China and India have progressed rapidly in the last decade, spanning from human spaceflight to missions to the Moon and Mars.  Their growing economies have made it possible to fund these programs at a level unconceivable before now. This has therefore stimulated the scientific communities in both states to be more ambitious. In this presentation to the Harvard University South Asia Institute, MTA/ISP Fellow Jaganath Sankaran explores the intracacies of this delicate relationship.

Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei, Nov. 9, 2012. China's astronauts remain banned from the International Space Station.

Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - ISN Blog

Can Trust-Building Be Risk Free?

| November 29, 2013

"if both the top-down and bottom-up methods of trust building are never going to be risk free, is there a more plausible third option? For example, what if Washington and Beijing forget about trust-building and instead opt for a relationship based on mutual deterrence? Unfortunately, the risks of this option — arms racing, a return to a Cold War-like MAD doctrine, and forever teetering on the brink of conventional conflict — might not just upend US-China relations, they might sabotage regional and global security as well."

Analysis & Opinions - Power & Policy Blog

The Plutonium Mountain Mission: Lessons

| Sep. 27, 2013

In Summer of 2013, The Project on Managing the Atom released “Plutonium Mountain: Inside the 17-Year Mission to Secure a Dangerous Legacy of Soviet Nuclear Testing.” In the report, Eben Harrell and David Hoffman tell how dedicated scientists and engineers in three countries overcame suspicions, secrecy, bureaucracy, and logistical obstacles to secure more than a dozen bombs worth of plutonium that had been left behind at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although the outline of the Semipalatinsk operation had been made public before, the report filled in new details.

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Saving the World at Plutonium Mountain

| August 16, 2013

Last October, at the foot of a rocky hillside near here, at a spot known as Degelen Mountain, several dozen Kazakh, Russian and American nuclear scientists and engineers gathered for a ceremony. The modest ribbon-cutting marked the conclusion of one of the largest and most complex nuclear security operations since the Cold War — to secure plutonium (enough to build a dozen or more nuclear weapons) that Soviet authorities had buried at the testing site years before and forgotten, leaving it vulnerable to terrorists and rogue states. The effort spanned 17 years, cost $150 million and involved a complex mix of intelligence, science, engineering, politics and sleuthing. This op-ed is based on documents and interviews with Kazakh, Russian and U.S. participants, and reveals the scope of the operation for the first time.

Presentation

Cyber Disorders: Rivalry and Conflict in a Global Information Age

| May 3, 2012

The risks posed by the proliferation of cyber weapons are gaining wide recognition among security planners. Yet the general reaction of scholars of international relations has been to neglect the cyber peril owing to its technical novelties and intricacies. This attitude amounts to either one or both of two claims: the problem is not of sufficient scale to warrant close inspection, or it is not comprehensible to a non-technical observer. This seminar challenged both assertions.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Quarterly Journal: International Security

Paul Doty's Legacy Lives on Through Influential Journal

| Spring 2012

As soon as Paul Doty launched what is now Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in 1974, he began planning a scholarly journal on international security. He shrugged off colleagues’ concerns that there would be little market for such a journal.Thirty-six years after the first issue appeared in the summer of 1976, the Belfer Center’s quarterly International Security consistently ranks No. 1 or No. 2 out of over 70 international affairs journals surveyed by Thomson Reuters each year.