78 Items

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Analysis & Opinions - Nuclear Threat Initiative

What Is the A/CPPNM and Why Is It Important?

| Mar. 28, 2022

This week in Vienna, experts from the Nuclear Threat Initiative are joining government officials and experts from international organizations, non-governmental organizations, academia, and the nuclear industry for the first-ever review of the only legally binding treaty on nuclear security—the amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials (A/CPPNM). The Conference of Parties to the A/CPPNMfrom March 28-April 1, 2022 at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), will review the implementation of the A/CPPNM, assess its adequacy, and consider current threats to the security of nuclear materials.

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Analysis & Opinions - Nuclear Threat Initiative

What Happened at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and What Are the Implications?

| Mar. 09, 2022

Even amid the ghastly images coming out of Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion on February 24, the footage broadcast from Enerhoder on the night of March 3 was stunning: Russian forces shelling Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, a massive facility with six nuclear reactors. Nickolas Roth, senior director for NTI’s Nuclear Materials Security program, explains what happened at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant that terrifying night, what could have happened, and what the long-term implications are for nuclear security and nonproliferation efforts around the world.

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Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Ukraine Invasion Highlights Why Biden’s Nuclear Posture Review Should Endorse Bold New Vision for Nuclear Security

| Feb. 28, 2022

The political crisis and human tragedy unfolding in Europe as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will dominate national security debates for the foreseeable future. As the world’s eyes focus on this conflict in the coming days and weeks, the Biden administration will likely also be rolling out key nuclear policy documents. There will be many issues to consider, but one that shouldn’t be missed—the urgency of which has been highlighted by recent developments in Ukraine, and particularly around the Chernobyl site—is the security of nuclear materials.

A guard passes the entrance to the International Atomic Energy Agency office in Vienna, Austria (AP Photo/Ronald Zak).

AP Photo/Ronald Zak

Analysis & Opinions - Stimson Center

Nuclear Security Year in Review, 2021

| Jan. 20, 2022

With tensions growing between the United States and other nuclear-armed rivals, it is easy to forget that non-state actors continue to pose a serious nuclear threat. Yet, despite continuing evidence of this threat, in 2021, the headwinds confronting those working to reduce it only got stronger. 

Efforts to reduce nuclear terrorism risks have entered a new era. Nuclear operators must defend against threats they have been aware of for decades—like well-funded and sophisticated non-state actors with global reach, malicious insiders, corruption—while learning to be resilient against new threats, such as those posed by adversaries employing new technologies or evolving pathogens that could cripple security forces.

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Report - Stimson Center

Nuclear Security in a Time of Crisis

| Oct. 05, 2021

While the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted nuclear facilities, it is not the first crisis to do so. This paper will review the findings from the handbook published by Kings College and the Stimson Center, “Nuclear Security in Times of Crisis.” The handbook draws on lessons learned from four case studies that examine what happens to nuclear security during emergencies. Each case varies in terms of cause, scale, and duration, while the lessons are broadly applicable to nuclear facilities and regulatory bodies. Each case identifies steps taken to protect nuclear facilities and identifies areas for improvement.

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Journal Article - Stimson Center

A Multilevel Approach to Addressing Emerging Technologies in Nuclear Security

| Oct. 05, 2021

Emerging technologies present a unique set of challenges to operators and regulators. While emerging technologies can be used to strengthen nuclear security systems, they also can increase risks to nuclear facilities. The disruptive nature of emerging technologies could also leave operators unprepared for threats to nuclear materials or facilities.

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Report - Stimson Center

Catalogue of Civil Society Activities Strengthening Nuclear Security

| Oct. 01, 2021

The International Nuclear Security Forum and the Henry L. Stimson Center are pleased to present a pilot catalogue of civil society capacity building, assistance, and/or research programs. The catalogue highlights for all interested parties, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its Member States, the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, INTERPOL, and industry stakeholders, civil society’s contributions to strengthen nuclear security and nonproliferation. By providing a uniform product, interested parties will be able to easily identify programs, experts, and organizations that support different areas of nuclear security. In total, 18 organizations submitted 64 projects to the catalogue, the majority of which were think tanks and research or academic institutes. These civil society organizations were spread across five continents, with ten organizations based in the United States, two in Austria, and the rest coming from India, Ghana, Georgia, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

The Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station in Michigan. In May 2020, the facility reported numerous infections during the midst of a planned refuelling and maintenance outage.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Journal Article - The RUSI Journal

Security Under Strain? Protecting Nuclear Materials During the Coronavirus Pandemic

| June 28, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the nuclear industry, complicating operations and altering the delivery of both safety and security. This has generated concerns over the ability of governments and industry to provide vital services, while also protecting against changing threats that have evolved to take advantage of the pandemic. Christopher Hobbs, Nickolas Roth and Daniel Salisbury examine the nuclear security community’s response to this challenge, exploring how the risk landscape has been changed by the pandemic and the efficacy of new security solutions.

An illuminated traffic barrier is seen on the Capitol grounds before sunrise in Washington, Monday, March 8, 2021.

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

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

Domestic Terrorist Plots Against the U.S. Government: How Serious is the Threat?

We asked several of our experts in intelligence and political violence to share their thoughts on the U.S. Capitol Police statement that militia groups may be planning to blow up the Capitol and “kill as many members as possible” during the upcoming (and still unscheduled) State of the Union address.  Erica Chenoweth, Paul Kolbe, Farah Pandith, and Nickolas Roth share their views. 

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Analysis & Opinions - Stimson Center

U.S. Priorities for Reducing the Risk of Nuclear Terrorism

| Jan. 14, 2021

For decades, U.S. officials have expressed that reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism is a national security priority. Despite a history of broad bipartisan support, funding for nuclear security programs has steadily declined over the past decade. The United States has taken a back seat with international leadership and cooperation on nuclear security even though adequate security measures are lacking for fissile materials and nuclear terrorism threats continue evolving. International cooperation is necessary to strengthen security around nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons-useable nuclear material, and nuclear faculties where sabotage could pose a significant risk. The Biden administration can take critical steps to ensure states stay ahead of the constantly evolving threat of nuclear terrorism by increasing nuclear security program funding, engaging with countries that face significant risks, and strengthening international treaties around nuclear security.