882 Events

Arctic Ocean off Tromso, Norway.

Wikimedia/Vinay Deep

Seminar - Open to the Public

Precaution in Action: The New Arctic Fisheries Agreement

Wed., Nov. 7, 2018 | 12:15pm - 1:30pm

John F. Kennedy School of Government - Littauer Building, Belfer Center Library, Room L369

Speaker: Amb. David A. Balton, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs

The Central Arctic Ocean has essentially been ice-covered year-round since the dawn of human history … until now. As a result of climate change, a growing portion of the Arctic Ocean is ice-free for an increasing part of the year, making it possible to contemplate the advent of high seas fisheries in the region. But on October 3, 2018, nine nations and the European Union signed an unusual international agreement that will effectively postpone the start of such fisheries and will instead launch a joint program of scientific research for the Arctic. David Balton, who chaired the negotiations that produced this agreement, will describe the geopolitical forces that made the agreement possible, outline the agreement's basic elements, and consider the place of the agreement in the growing architecture for governing the Arctic Ocean.

Lunch provided.

RSVP by 5 PM, Tuesday, November 6

President Lyndon Johnson looking on as Secretary of State Dean Rusk prepares to sign the NPT, 1 July 1968.

Courtesy of Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library

Seminar - Open to the Public

The Hegemon's Toolkit: U.S. Hegemony and the Politics of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime

Thu., Oct. 11, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

1 Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Rebecca Davis Gibbons, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program

The Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is widely credited with contributing to international security through its promotion of nuclear restraint. Whereas almost all states in the international system are members of the NPT, many of these states have not signed on to additional treaties and agreements designed to strengthen the regime. Having already committed to foreswear the possession of nuclear weapons, why would some NPT members avoid taking steps to further the treaty's proclaimed goals? States' affinity to U.S. global leadership explains such variation.

Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

Military vehicles carry DF-5B intercontinental ballistic missiles during a parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender during World War II held in front of Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, Sept. 3, 2015.

Voice of America/Wikimedia Commons

Seminar - Open to the Public

Merits of Uncertainty: The Evolution and Future of China’s Nuclear Retaliatory Capability

Wed., Sep. 12, 2018 | 10:00am - 11:30am

John F. Kennedy School of Government - Littauer Building, Fainsod Room, Littauer-324

Speaker: Wu Riqiang, Research Fellow with the International Security Program and Project on Managing the Atom
 
A simplified nuclear exchange model will be developed to evaluate China’s past and current nuclear retaliatory capability against the Soviet Union and the United States. The modeling suggests that according to Western standards, China’s nuclear retaliation has been and remains far from “assured.” This result reflects China’s special nuclear philosophy, which emphasizes the role of nuclear taboo and prioritizes political control over survivability. However, in the face of U.S. advances in the areas of counterforce and missile defense, China probably has to continue to improve its nuclear forces qualitatively and, if necessary, quantitatively, in order to maintain its deterrent level.

India test-fired its surface-to-surface nuclear capable Agni-I (A) ballistic missile off Abdul Kalam Island in its eastern state of Odisha on 6 February 2018.

Wikimedia CC/Tasnim News Agency

Seminar - Open to the Public

India's Search for Deterrence: Nuclear Subcultures and Policy Choices

Thu., May 17, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

1 Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Frank O'Donnell, Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

This seminar will first discuss how the requirements of Indian deterrence, as perceived by New Delhi's strategic elite, have evolved since 1998. It will next detail the characteristics of two "minimalist-political" and "maximalist-operational" schools of thought within Indian nongovernmental strategic elite discourse, and how their comparative influence has changed over time. The seminar will reconstruct the policy options developed by this strategic elite as it faced each nuclear policy juncture and demonstrate how a numerically dominant option in each discourse provides a reliable proxy indicator for the subsequent official strategic decision. It will conclude with an exploration of how this approach can inform scholarly understanding of current and potential future Indian nuclear policies.

Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

Signatures on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) document.

Public Domain

Seminar - Open to the Public

Iran's Nuclear Decision-Making: Historical Trends and the Role of U.S. Policy

Thu., May 17, 2018 | 10:00am - 11:30am

John F. Kennedy School of Government - Littauer Building, Fainsod Room, Littauer-324

Speaker: Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, Research Fellow with the Iran Project and Project on Managing the Atom

During this seminar, Sahar Nowrouzzadeh will examine historical trends in Iran's nuclear-decision making and discuss the role of U.S. foreign policy in shaping such decision-making.  This event comes on the heels of President Trump's May 8th decision to have the United States cease fulfilling its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or "Iran nuclear deal," reached between the P5+1, EU and Iran in 2015. The event will be off-the-record.
 

Seminar - Open to the Public

Can Nuclear Energy Thrive in a Carbon-Constrained World?

Fri., May 11, 2018 | 3:00pm - 4:30pm

John F. Kennedy School of Government - Littauer Building, Fainsod Room, Littauer-324

Speaker: Jacopo Buongiorno, TEPCO Professor and Associate Department Head, Nuclear Science and Engineering, Director, Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems (CANES), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT has recently completed a multi-disciplinary study, to assess the prospects for new nuclear technologies, policies, business models, and regulatory governance to accelerate the transition to a lower-carbon global energy system in the U.S. and around the world.  In this seminar, we will present a set of findings from the MIT study that are focused on (a) cost competitiveness of nuclear in various markets with and without carbon constraints, (b) technology innovations that could substantially reduce the capital cost of new nuclear plants, and (c) regulatory pathways to accelerate the deployment of advanced reactors.