395 Items

Reagan and Gorbachev signing INF Treaty in 1987

(AP Photo/Bob Daugherty)

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

Center Experts Comment on Significance of Withdrawing from INF Treaty

Following the news that the Trump administration plans to abandon the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, ten Belfer Center nuclear and U.S.-Russia relations experts offered their thoughts on the significance and consequences of this action.
 

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto speaks during a press conference regarding the upcoming Trump-Putin Summit, in his official residence, Helsinki, Finland on Thursday, June 28, 2018. (Roni Rekomaa/Lehtikuva via AP)

Roni Rekomaa/Lehtikuva via AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

The Trump-Putin Summit’s Potential Nuclear Fallout

| July 10, 2018

The July 16 summit in Helsinki between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin presents a unique opportunity to reverse the dangerous nuclear competition between the United States and Russia and should be welcomed, despite its inherent risks. The opportunity to stabilize U.S.-Russian nuclear relations by extending New START, a key nuclear treaty that is set to expire in 2021, is paramount and worth the issues that come with any meeting between Trump and Putin.

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Paper - Institute of Nuclear Materials Management

Regaining Nuclear Security Momentum

| July 2018

The 2010-2016 nuclear security summit process focused leaders’ attention on nuclear security and preventing nuclear terrorism. Momentum has waned since the final summit in 2016. Despite continuing nuclear security improvements in some countries, and ongoing efforts to maintain or strengthen the international nuclear security framework, serious vulnerabilities still exist in nuclear security systems around the world. Many nuclear facilities are not protected against all of the plausible threats adversaries might pose—especially in the case of threats from insiders. Nuclear materials remain unnecessarily vulnerable in too many locations. The culture within many nuclear organizations is insufficiently focused on security. Many nuclear security systems are not being exposed to sufficiently in-depth, creative, and realistic vulnerability assessments and testing. This paper will summarize the post-summit evolution of nuclear security efforts and offer recommendations for regaining international nuclear security momentum through combating complacency, improving implementation on the ground, strengthening frameworks for international cooperation, and maintaining nuclear security leadership.

The Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in 2010 (Chuck Kennedy/White House via Flickr).

Chuck Kennedy/White House via Flickr

Journal Article - Nonproliferation Review

Nuclear Security in Russia: Can Progress Be Sustained?

| May 08, 2018

Nuclear security in Russia has continued to evolve since the suspension of nearly all US–Russian nuclear-security cooperation in 2014, but the United States and the rest of the world now know much less about the directions of this evolution. This article assesses the current state of nuclear security in Russia based on an examination of key drivers of Russia’s nuclear-security system, from allocation of resources to regulatory oversight. It then outlines four scenarios for the future of evolution of nuclear security in Russia, describing potential causes, implications, and observable indicators for each scenario. It closes with recommendations designed to maximize the chance of moving onto a path of continuous improvement of nuclear security.

A U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A-90-GR Tomcat.

U.S. Navy

Journal Article - Strategic Trade Review

Tomcat and Mouse: Iranian Illicit Procurement of U.S. Legacy Military Technologies, 1979–2016

| Autumn 2017

Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has sought to illicitly procure parts for the U.S. origin fighter aircraft sold to the country under the rule of the Shah. The U.S. has taken steps to quash this trade—these efforts have constituted a relatively large proportion of U.S. export control enforcement over the past near-to-four decades. 

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Analysis & Opinions - The Nautilus Institute

China's Nuclear Spent Fuel Management and Nuclear Security Issues

| Nov. 10, 2017

In this essay, Hui Zhang reviews the status of spent fuel storage in China.  He suggest that China should take steps to improve physical protection, reduce insider threats, promote a nuclear security culture, and improve nuclear cyber security. He also recommends China, South Korea, and Japans’ nuclear security training centers should cooperate and exchange best practices on insider threat reduction, contingency plans for emergency response, and discuss regional cooperation for long-term spent fuel storage, including building a regional center of spent fuel storage.

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Paper - Institute of Nuclear Materials Management

Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe: Strengthening DOE Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs

| July 2017

Department of Energy (DOE) nonproliferation programs are critical to U.S. national security, and have played central roles in initiatives ranging from securing high-risk nuclear weapons and materials around the globe to constraining Iran’s nuclear program. But nuclear proliferation and terrorism threats are constantly evolving, requiring new approaches to address them.

Analysis & Opinions - Russia Matters

25 Years of Nuclear Security Cooperation by the US, Russia and Other Newly Independent States: A Timeline

The timeline below was compiled by Simon Saradzhyan and Mariana Budjeryn and the foreword was written by William Tobey (author bios below). As an accompaniment, Ms. Budjeryn has also interviewed Sam Nunn, the former senator whose efforts were key to securing U.S. funding to help a disintegrating Soviet Union dismantle and safeguard its nuclear weapons. The timeline authors would like to thank former RM student associate Andre Gellerman for his research support and Susan Koch for her insightful comments. This is an evolving draft, produced in cooperation with the U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and with support from the center's Managing the Atom Project. A bibliography can be found at the bottom of the page.

President Moon Jae-in the 19th President of Republic of Korea

Republic of Korea/Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Will South Korea’s New President Foil Trump’s Attempt to Pressure North Korea?

| May 11, 2017

President Donald Trump has identified North Korea as an urgent threat from whom nobody is safe, but efforts to maximize pressure and convince Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons program have always been a long shot. The only chance of ending North Korea’s nuclear obsession is for the United States, South Korea, Japan, and China to collectively put enough pressure on Pyongyang to convince Kim Jong Un that a deal has to be made. Once North Korea comes to the table, all four states then have to be ready to take yes for an answer, offering a combination of security and economic incentives to make denuclearization a reasonable alternative for North Korea’s leader.