Nuclear Issues

1424 Items

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Policy Brief

Verifying the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and Providing Assurance against Breakout

| February 2018

Effective verification will be absolutely essential to achieving nuclear disarmament. Developing effective verification may seem an impossible challenge, but there is substantial experience to build on, including IAEA safeguards and bilateral arms control processes. Examining the specific steps required to progress disarmament, we are not starting with a blank sheet, many verification missions are similar to those existing or under development today. International collaboration in developing new verification applications will contribute to the confidence and trust required to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons.

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

Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall on Office Hours

| Feb. 01, 2018

Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall (@LSRTweets), former Deputy Secretary of Energy and Belfer Center Senior Fellow, talks with Aroop Mukharji (@aroopmukharji) about the mystery surrounding the Energy Department’s National Laboratories, the smart grid, the U.S. nuclear arsenal, energy sources of the future, and her favorite energy bar.

An unarmed Minuteman 3 ICBM launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California on Wednesday, August 2, 2107. (Senior Airman Ian Dudley/Vandenberg Air Force Base via AP)

Senior Airman Ian Dudley/Vandenberg Air Force Base via AP

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

Pentagon Suggests Countering Devastating Cyberattacks With Nuclear Arms

| Jan. 16, 2018

A newly drafted United States nuclear strategy that has been sent to President Trump for approval would permit the use of nuclear weapons to respond to a wide range of devastating but non-nuclear attacks on American infrastructure, including what current and former government officials described as the most crippling kind of cyberattacks.

Report - International Panel on Fissile Materials

China’s Fissile Material Production and Stockpile

| January 2018

China began producing highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium for nuclear weapons in the 1960s and is believed to have halted production the 1980s. Despite the passage of thirty years there has been no official policy declaration in this regard. This report uses newly available public information from Chinese sources to provide an improved reconstruction of the history of China’s production of HEU and plutonium for nuclear weapons. This allows improved estimates of the amount of HEU and plutonium China has produced and of its current stockpiles.

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

New Ways to Detect Nuclear Misbehavior

| Jan. 08, 2018

If we had the technology to detect nuclear materials remotely it could help deter smuggling and make it easier to monitor international nuclear agreements. Several recent breakthroughs, if followed up with continued research and funding, could deliver on this promise. They include technological advances in x-ray and neutron radiography; a method that measures how plasma breaks down when exposed to a radioactive source; and developments in antineutrino detection. While all require more development and testing, they are important steps as the global need for ways to detect nuclear materials grows.

In this Oct. 16, 2016, file photo, a man in Seoul, South Korea watches a TV news program showing an image of a missile launch conducted by North Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File

Newspaper Article - The New York Times

Is Nuclear War Inevitable?

| Dec. 28, 2017

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un trading threats with words like “fire and fury”; Pakistan deploying tactical nuclear weapons to counter Indian conventional threats; Russia enunciating an Orwellian doctrine of “escalate-to-de-escalate” that calls for early use of battlefield nuclear weapons; and major nuclear-weapons states modernizing their arsenals — nukes are back. The cruel irony: This is happening after eight years of a president who won the Nobel Peace Prize largely for his vision of a world free of nuclear weapons.

Paper - Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Interpreting the Bomb: Ownership and Deterrence in Ukraine's Nuclear Discourse

| December 2017

Nuclear deterrence thinking has become so entrenched in U.S. academic and policy circles that it only seems natural that other states regard nuclear weapons in the same terms. Yet is it necessarily so? In this working paper, Polina Sinovets and Mariana Budjeryn examine the case of Ukraine to understand how its leaders interpreted the value of the nuclear weapons deployed on Ukrainian territory in 1990–1994.