Nuclear Issues

324 Items

The nuclear archive warehouse outside Tehran (Satellite image via Google).

Satellite image via Google

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

The Iran Nuclear Archive: Impressions and Implications

In mid-January, a team of scholars from the Belfer Center’s Intelligence and Managing the Atom Projects traveled to Tel Aviv, Israel to examine samples of, and receive briefings on, an archive of documents related to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The large cache includes some 55,000 pages of documents and a further 55,000 files on CDs that included photos and videos. A clandestine Israeli intelligence operation spirited the materials out of Iran in early 2018.

The documents that the Belfer group were shown confirm that senior Iranian officials had decided in the late 1990s to actually manufacture nuclear weapons and carry out an underground nuclear test; that Iran’s program to do so made more technical progress than had previously been understood; and that Iran had help from quite a number of foreign scientists, and access to several foreign nuclear weapon designs. The archive also leaves open a wide range of questions, including what plan, if any, Iran has had with respect to nuclear weapons in the nearly 16 years since Iran’s government ordered a halt to most of the program in late 2003. 

This brief report summarizes the group’s conclusions about what the archive reveals about Iran’s program and questions that remain open.

Monument for victims of Chernobyl in front of covef

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

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

Thirty-three Years Since the Catastrophe at Chernobyl: A Universal Lesson for the Global Nuclear Power Industry

| Apr. 25, 2019

The world will soberly commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant catastrophic accident on Friday, April 26, 2019.  Some may wonder why bother with a gone-by historical event that happened in a distant land — a country that no longer exists — the former Soviet Union (now Ukraine).  On the contrary, Chernobyl and its legacy, with its specters of lingering human toll, radiation contamination, and the massive new shelter ("New Safe Confinement") installed over the old sarcophagus encasing the reactor, will be with us for a long time.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin during their joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Analysis & Opinions - Just Security

Helsinki Summit: A Time for Choosing—Three observations by former senior CIA officer

| July 16, 2018

Rolf Mowatt-Larssen: "The US intelligence community can no longer trust the President’s judgment after he clearly sided with Russia in the Mueller investigation and the underlying intelligence information that formed the basis of the indictments of twelve Russian military intelligence officers."

Donald Trump in Syracuse, New York, April 16, 2016; Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, April 14, 2016

Carlo Allegri/Reuters; Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Analysis & Opinions - The Cipher Brief

Top-Down Presidential Leadership: The Helsinki Summit

| July 11, 2018

Two conditions are clear as the U.S. and Russian Presidents prepare meet in Helsinki. First, U.S.-Russian relations are arguably at their lowest point since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Second, both presidents have domestic realities that constrain their flexibility to achieve compromise in the many areas that have caused relations to falter.

Vladimir Putin meets with U.S. President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 2017

Kremlin.ru

News

US Retired General: At the Meeting With Trump, Putin Will Have the Advantage

| July 09, 2018

On 16 July in Helsinki, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin will meet his American colleague Donald Trump. The leaders will discuss a number of complicated questions, but the summit will be a success, even if the government leaders cannot reach agreement - so thinks retired Brigadier General and Associate Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Kevin Ryan. Ryan talked to "Eurasia Expert" about the significance of the meeting between the American and Russian leaders for relations between the two countries, the future of NATO, and explained how American space forces will differ from Russian or Chinese space forces.

Paper - Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy

Stabilizing Sino-Indian Security Relations: Managing the Strategic Rivalry After Doklam

| June 21, 2018

The paper provides a detailed analysis of the contemporary Sino-Indian conventional ground and nuclear force balances and carefully reconstructs how mutual developments in these areas are perceived by both New Delhi and Beijing.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry delivers a speech during the general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency

AP/Ronald Zak

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Post-Iran Deal, the US Needs a Plan to Keep Nuclear Weapons from Spreading

| May 11, 2018

The authors lay out their case for the United States maintaining a coherent nonproliferation policy in the Middle East and beyond to limit the damage to nuclear nonproliferation efforts and offer three steps for strengthening nonproliferation after withdrawal from the JCPOA.

Palgrave Pivot

Palgrave Pivot

Book Chapter - Palgrave Pivot

A History of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540

| 2018

This chapter seeks to provide an original account of the origins and purpose of resolution 1540. The account builds on the author’s experience, first-hand accounts, and interviews with former government officials, including Stephen Hadley, John Bolton, and Robert Joseph. It seeks to generate insights into the intended purpose of the resolution, its drafting, the diplomacy surrounding its passage, and the effects that this had on the text which was adopted by the Security Council. In doing so, the chapter also seeks to situate the resolution amongst other non-proliferation and counter-WMD-terrorism tools and initiatives.

Palgrave Pivot

Palgrave Pivot

Book - Palgrave Pivot

Preventing the Proliferation of WMDs: Measuring the Success of UN Security Council Resolution 1540

| 2018

This edited volume provides a fresh analysis for researcher and practitioners regarding United Nations Security Council resolution 1540, the status of its implementation, and its future by providing an original evaluation of progress in implementation and challenges faced during the resolution’s first decade. In doing so, the book will consider the resolution’s utility as a non-proliferation tool with a view to identifying what further actions are required for the objectives and goals embodied by UNSCR 1540 to be achieved and sustained.  The book progresses by exploring the history of the resolution, implementation trends, implementation from a regional perspective, challenges, and future ways forward. The book appeals to a wide readership of scholars, policymakers, and other stakeholders of the 1540 process.