27 Items

Senator John F. Kennedy listens to Dr. Alvin Weinberg, Director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Tennessee in February 1959.

Department of Energy via Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

Where Does Kennedy’s Nuclear Legacy Leave Us 60 Years Later?

| June 10, 2023

It is extraordinarily challenging to re-read President Kennedy’s speech at American University 60 years ago and not feel a profound loss for a historical moment when negotiations on arms control were nascent and seen as an indispensable instrument for peace and stability worldwide.

A wide shot of a crowd watching two large video screen with Ukraine President Zelenskyy on them at the Munich Security Conference

AP Photo/Michael Probst

Center Nuclear Experts Highlight Escalating Risks at Munich Security Conference

| Spring 2023

The Project on Managing the Atom co-hosted a side event at the Munich Security Conference (MSC) in partnership with the Center for International Security of Berlin’s Hertie School. The event focused on nuclear threats and nuclear deterrence.

Satellite photo: North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear reactor

DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images

Report Chapter - Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

A Disaster in Waiting or Simple Paranoia? Examining the Status of Nuclear Safety in North Korea and the Factors that Might Strengthen It

| February 2023

The development of North Korea’s nuclear program has been accompanied by a spectrum of emotions, from fear to anxiety, from resentment to amazement. Despite its isolation, North Korea has continued its relentless pursuit of nuclear capabilities. While angering neighboring countries, North Korea has equally demonstrated an unparalleled resolve, unwavering commitment to its security ambitions, and extraordinary ingenuity in overcoming the international sanction regime’s technical challenges. Whereas the debate over North Korea, especially in the West, has been predominantly confined to the discussion over its nuclear arsenal, its delivery system, and its ill-formed nuclear posture, much less has been discussed over the nuclear safety culture that ultimately rules over the management of an ever-extending nuclear infrastructure. And in the debate that does exist in this regard, diverging views have emerged. For some commentators, the fact that North Korea has never witnessed a major nuclear accident is simply a miracle. For others, the depiction of North Korea as a “walking nuclear disaster in waiting” is not only exaggerated but also merely inaccurate

Ukrainian servicemen of the 3rd Separate Tank Iron Brigde take part in an exercise in the Kharkiv area, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, the day before the one year mark since the war began

AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

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

What the Ukraine War Has Revealed About the Indispensability of Multilateral Governance

| Feb. 23, 2023

The war itself has exposed the current limitations of the United Nations system, especially when facing mighty Security Council member-states with intractable political grievances.

French President Emmanuel Macron, Polish President Andrzej Duda and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz make a statement after their meeting during the Munich Security Conference


Analysis & Opinions - la Repubblica

L'occasione persa dall'Italia assente ai tavoli di Monaco

| Feb. 19, 2023

Ad un anno dall'inizio dell'invasione russa in Ucraina, i Paesi europei si sono ritrovati a Monaco per discutere le conseguenze di una guerra inaspettata e protratta. Insieme al presidente ucraino Volodymyr Zelensky, il cancelliere tedesco Olaf Scholz e il presidente francese Emmanuel Macron hanno aperto i lavori sottolineando la necessita di una forte coesione transatlantica a sostegno dell'Ucraina.

Insieme ai leader di Francia e Germania, la presenza del primo ministro inglese, dei presidenti di Svezia, Finlandia, Danimarca, Moldavia, Estonia e Lituania ha evidenziato come il baricentro politico dell'Europa si sia spostato nettamente a favore dei Paesi nordici e baltici.

Analysis & Opinions - East Asia Institute

The Ukraine War and Its Repercussions on East Asia Security and Stability

| Jan. 20, 2023

On February 24, 2022, the post-World War Ⅱ world order ceased. What comes next is unclear, but all signs point to a more unstable, unpredictable international landscape where brute force and military superiority are the ordering principles. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, inevitably and inexorably, will bear immense consequences for what once was a rule-based global order. Let me highlight the main four.

First, the Ukraine war has sparked what the United Nations has called a complex emergency, where multiple crises, including food, energy, and security, are unfolding concurrently and at a very rapid pace worldwide. Second, the invasion of Ukraine has further amplified the centrality of nuclear weapons in the 21st-century strategic landscape. Third, it has brought China, India, and the Russian Federation’s “friendship” into greater focus. Fourth, it has encouraged countries like Iran and North Korea to continue expanding their illicit military technology exports.

All these factors will play a vital role in Asia. How the Asian countries will choose to manage them will very much determine the prospects for peace and security in the region and beyond.


Managing the Atom at NPT RevCon 2022

The Project on Managing the Atom participated as a NGO delegation in the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) at the United Nations in New York. This review conference comes at a time when nuclear fears amid the conflict in Ukraine loom large.

Meeting of the President of Ukraine with the President of the European Commission and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on April 8, 2022

Wikimedia Commons/ President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy Official website

Magazine Article - Arms Control Today

Negative Security Assurances After Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

| July 07, 2022

On February 24, the international community took a catastrophic blow. Already battered by two years of the COVID-19 pandemic and deteriorating interstate relations, it stood in horror as Russian forces unleashed an unprovoked war on a neighboring country. Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine and reject Ukraine’s very existence as a separate state is ominous and highly momentous for the future of the world order.

Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant Groundbreaking Ceremony

Press Service of the President of the Russian Federation via Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Five reasons that Russia’s nuclear exports will continue, despite sanctions and the Ukraine invasion. But for how long?

| May 17, 2022

By many measures, Russia’s state-controlled nuclear energy company, Rosatom, has primacy in the global nuclear energy market. At any given moment, the firm provides technical expertise, enriched fuel, and equipment to nuclear reactors around the world. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and, more acutely, the Russian military’s dangerous actions at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and in the Chernobyl exclusion zone have many countries rethinking their dependence on Russian nuclear products and searching for alternatives. Additionally, the ensuing global effort to cripple Russian access to international markets calls into question the viability of current contracts, government licensing, and financial instruments involved in Russia’s nuclear exports.

Released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile is launched from Plesetsk in Russia's northwest.

Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP

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

The Role of Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century

| Spring 2022

On May 10, the Belfer Center Project on Managing the Atom launched the Research Network on Rethinking Nuclear Deterrence to address two fundamental and interrelated questions: (1) Given the deteriorating geopolitical and security landscape, how do we make sure nuclear deterrence does not fail? And (2) What alternatives can replace nuclear deterrence, and what conditions should exist to materialize them?