Nuclear Security Culture


Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: Continuous Improvement or Dangerous Decline?
March 2016 | Report
Project on Managing the Atom, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
By Matthew Bunn, Martin Malin, William Tobey, and Nickolas Roth

This report provides a global assessment of nuclear security. Significant progress has been made securing vulnerable nuclear weapons-usable material—reducing the number of countries with these materials by more than half, securing scores of sites around the world, and much more. But the work is not done. There are new threats, and global attention to nuclear security may be waning. (click here to view)

The Quest for Nuclear Security Standards
February 2016 | Policy Brief
The Stanley Foundation
By Debra Decker and Kathryn Rauhut

This policy brief explores the question of what drives successful standards development and application and how lessons from other industries can be applied to developing nuclear security standards. To advance nuclear security standards, the authors recommend: industry responsibility for leadership; certification schemes to reduce risk; incentives for adoption of good practices; and regionally based pilot processes.

Nuclear Security in India
2015 | Study
Observer Research Foundation
By Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

This paper presents a comprehensive threat analysis of the nuclear security situation in India. It examines the measures adopted by the Indian nuclear and security establishments in response to these threats, their strengths and weaknesses, and potential incidents involving nuclear or radiological dispersal devices and insider threats to sensitive facilities.

Brazil-U.S. Workshop on Strengthening the Culture of Nuclear Safety and Security
2015 | Workshop summary
National Academy of Sciences

The Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares (IPEN, the Institute of Nuclear and Energy Research) and the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences held a joint nuclear security culture conference in August 2014. The workshop discussed how to foster a strong nuclear security culture among nuclear science, technology, and industrial sectors.

Nuclear Security Culture
2008 | Implementation Guide
International Atomic Energy Agency

"This publication defines the basic concepts and elements of nuclear security culture, with the aim of providing Member States with international consensus guidance on planning and implementing a programme to improve nuclear security culture. Particular emphasis is placed on areas such as regulation, government institutions and general public awareness. The report provides an overview of the necessary attributes of an effective nuclear security culture and emphasizes that its success is ultimately dependent on individuals: policy makers, regulators, managers, individual employees and, to a certain extent, members of the general public. Practical methods to assess and improve the effectiveness of security culture are also included." (click here to view

Strengthening International Cooperation on Nuclear Materials Security
November 2014 | Policy Memo
The Stanley Foundation
By Nickolas Roth

The Stanley Foundation convened a group of experts and policymakers from the United States and abroad to address these issues October 15–17, 2014, at its 55th annual Strategy for Peace Conference. The group discussed overcoming challenges to nuclear security cooperation faced by the United States, Russia, and China, and next steps in ensuring that countries put in place effective and sustainable nuclear security measures with strong security cultures. This policy memo offers highlights of the discussion and recommendations of roundtable participants. (click here to view)

Advancing Nuclear Security: Evaluating Progress and Setting New Goals
March 2014 | Report
Harvard Kennedy School | Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
By Matthew Bunn, Martin B. Malin, Nickolas Roth, and William H. Tobey

"In the lead-up to the nuclear security summit in The Hague, Advancing Nuclear Security: Evaluating Progress and Setting New Goals outlines what was accomplished in a four-year effort launched in 2009 to secure nuclear material around the globe—and what remains to be done....The authors conclude that “all countries with nuclear weapons, separated plutonium, or highly enriched uranium (HEU) on their soil have more to do to ensure these items are effectively and lastingly secured.”  (click here to view)

A Worst Practices Guide to Insider Threats: Lessons from Past Mistakes
Paper | April 2014
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
By Matthew Bunn and Scott D. Sagan

In this paper, authors Matthew Bunn and Scott D. Sagan present a kind of “worst practices” guide of serious mistakes made in the past regarding insider threats. While each situation is unique, and serious insider problems are relatively rare, the incidents described reflect issues that exist in many contexts and that every nuclear security manager should consider. (click here to view)


Securing China's Nuclear Future
March 2014 | Discussion Paper
Harvard Kennedy School | Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
By Hui Zhang and Tuosheng Zhang

"The purpose of this report is to provide a better understanding of Chinese perceptions of the threat of nuclear terrorism and attitudes toward the nuclear security challenge; to describe the current status of nuclear security practices in China and of planned improvements in rules and organization, management, and technologies; and to recommend steps for making further improvements." (click here to view)

Strengthening Global Approaches to Nuclear Security
July 2013 | Conference Paper
Harvard Kennedy School | Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
By Matthew Bunn

This paper recommends learning from the much stronger national and international efforts in nuclear safety, and in particular taking steps to build international understanding of the threat; establish effective performance objectives; assure performance; train and certify needed personnel; build security culture and exchange best practices; reduce the number of sites that need to be protected; and strengthen the international framework and continue the dialogue once leaders are no longer meeting regularly at the summit level. (click here to view)

Preventing Insider Theft: Lessons from the Casino and Pharmaceutical Industries
June 2013 | Journal Article
Journal of Nuclear Materials Management
By Matthew Bunn and Kathryn M. Glynn

Through structured interviews and a literature review, we assess which approaches to protection against insider thefts in the casino and pharmaceutical industries could be usefully applied to strengthen protections against insider theft in the nuclear industry, where insider thefts could have very high consequences. (click here to view)

Incentives for Nuclear Security
June 2005 | Conference Paper
Harvard Kennedy School | Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
By Matthew Bunn

This paper outlines approaches under which U.S. policy and policies by other key governments could provide incentives to put in place effective nuclear security, at the state or ministry level, at the facility level, and at the individual level. Effective regulatory approaches, decisions not to provide lucrative U.S. government contracts to foreign facilities that have not demonstrated strong nuclear security, and steps to ensure that actions related to nuclear security are appropriately included in individual performance reviews and facility-level performance fees are among the kinds of incentives that could be considered. (click here to view)

The Human Dimension of Security for Radioactive Sources
March 2014 | Report
Center for International Trade and Security - University of Georgia | Indonesia's National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN)
By Paul Ebel, Arthur Eyzaguirre, Khairul Khairul, Igor Khripunov, Sara Kutchesfahani, Heru Umbara, and Djarot S. Wisnubroto

"This report provides a roadmap for improving security management of radioactive sources with an emphasis on a culture model, including self-assessment tools and a series of indicators as benchmarks to help take a culture’s measure and identify practical ways for enhancement. The purpose of assessment is to provide a clear picture of the influence of the human factor on security-related functional areas at the level of the organization." (click here to view)

Mexico's Stolen Radiation Source: It Could Happen Here
January 2014 | Analysis
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
By Tom Bielefeld

"Although the truck-jacking of highly radioactive material outside Mexico City on December 1, 2013 ended without the worst case materializing, it should serve as a wakeup call, not just in Mexico but also in the United States and elsewhere. Dangerous radiation sources remain vulnerable to theft, especially when they are out on the road. There is also poorly protected radioactive material in hospitals and other facilities. Improving security requires tougher regulations and greater risk awareness in the industry. Unfortunately, the United States is no exception, so it’s time for the country to get serious about locking up its radioactive material." (click here to view)

Special Report - Inquiry into the Security Breach at the National Nuclear Security Administration's Y-12 National Security Complex
August 2012
U.S. Department of Energy | Office of Inspector General | Office of Audits and Inspections

This is the official Department of Energy Inspector General report regarding the July 2012 break-in at the facility, in which protesters reached the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility inside the complex without being stopped by security. The report was commissioned days after the event, and it details the security breakdowns at Y-12 on the night of the break-in. It specifically cites failures to respond to alarms, maintain critical security equipment, understand security protocols, over-reliance on compensatory measures, bad contract management, and the presence of poor communications. It also made specific recommendations to the NNSA regarding how to improve security at the facility. (click here to view)

Nuclear Security Culture
April 2012 | Presentation
National Nuclear Security Administration | Office of Nonproliferation and International Security

Presentation by the National Nuclear Security Administration's Office of Nonproliferation and International Security. (click here to view)

Nuclear and Radiological Security Culture: A Post-Seoul Summit Agenda
March 2012 | Report
Center for International Trade and Security
By Igor Khripunov

"While the 2010 Washington Summit elevated the significance of the human factor to the top of the nuclear security agenda, the mission of the 2012 Summit in Seoul is to go beyond reaffirming the  importance  of  investment  into  building  human  capacity  and launch  action‐oriented strategies. To that  end, this report  outlines specific steps to achieve three overlapping objectives: model differentiation, culture sustainability, and vision comprehensiveness." (click here to view)

Security Culture in the Nuclear Field
February 2010 | Report
Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety

"Security culture encompasses all of the characteristics and attitudes which, in both organisations and in individuals, mean that questions relative to protection with respect to the loss, the theft and the misappropriation of nuclear materials, on the one hand, and malevolent acts in nuclear facilities and during the transport of nuclear materials, on the other hand, benefit from the attention that they merit on account of their importance (update of the 2005 edition)." (click here to view)

Securing the Bomb Series
2002-2010 | Report
Nuclear Threat Initiative
By Matthew Bunn

"The NTI-commissioned reports won readership among journalists and policy experts, triggered legislation in Congress and helped frame the debate for political candidates. The comprehensive reports on nuclear materials security are researched and written under the leadership of Dr. Matthew Bunn at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs." (click here to view)

Nuclear Security Culture: From National Best Practices to International Standards
January 2007 | Book
NATO Science for Peace and Security Series | IOS Press
Edited by James Holmes, Nikolay Ischenko, and Igor Khripunov

"This NATO workshop presents the views of experts with the hope to contribute to the IAEA’s work and facilitate nuclear security culture worldwide better. Issues include: Universality of nuclear security cultures; Nuclear security in a nation’s culture; Differences and similarities between regions such as US, European Union, Japan, etc.; and The advantages of similarities between the regions." (click here to view)

Nuclear Security Culture: The Way Ahead
January 2007 | Book Chapter
U.S. Naval War College | Center for International Trade and Security
By James R. Holmes

"Discussing security culture, let alone comparing or evaluating it across national lines, will prove a stiff challenge until we can reach a common understanding of the term. Governments will find it hard to meet their international obligations absent such an understanding. Unity of effort will suffer, and security along with it.” (click here to view)

Nuclear Security Culture: The Case of Russia
December 2004 | Report
Nuclear Threat Initiative | Center for International Trade and Security
By Maria Katsva, Igor Khripunov, and Dmitriy Nikonov

"This report by the University of Georgia's Center for International Trade and Security (CITS) examines security measures at facilities in Russia's civilian nuclear security sector and finds that, after a decade of U.S. and European security assistance, security unfortunately remains porous." (click here to view)