Nuclear Issues

9 Items

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

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.

Journal Article - Washington Quarterly

The Day After: Action Following a Nuclear Blast in a U.S. City

Failure to develop a comprehensive contingency plan, such as the one proposed here, and inform the American public, where appropriate, about its particulars will only serve to amplify the devastating impact of any nuclear attack on a U.S. city

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

A Double-Edged Sword: Globalization and Biosecurity

| Winter 2003/04

Contrary to those who argue that economic globalization increases vulnerability to a bioterrorist threat—and for this reason should be restricted—Hoyt and Brooks contend that globalization is a “double-edged sword” that has the potential to increase but also decrease levels of vulnerability—for example, by facilitating the development of vaccines.

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Analysis & Opinions - The Scotsman

Nuclear and Present Danger

| January 29, 1996

ON 18 APRIL 1995, American terrorists demolished Oklahoma City's federal office building, killing 162 people. Two and a half years earlier, international terrorists attacked New York City's 110-storey World Trade Center. Had that explosion succeeded in undermining the structural foundation, 30,000 people would have died.

From Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center to the first act of nuclear terrorism is but one small step. Suppose that instead of mini-vans filled with hundreds of pounds of the crude explosives used in Oklahoma City and New York, terrorists had acquired a suitcase carrying a, grapefruit sized 100 pounds of highly-enriched uranium (HEV).