70 Events

The newly developed DF-26 medium-range ballistic missile as seen after the military parade held in Beijing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, 3 September 2015.

Wikimedia CC/IceUnshattered

Seminar - Open to the Public

Sino-U.S. Inadvertent Nuclear Escalation

Thu., Mar. 14, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: WU Riqiang, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

It is generally believed that in peacetime current Sino-U.S. nuclear relations are stable and deliberate nuclear exchanges between these two countries are unimaginable. However, conventional conflict might escalate to nuclear level, even if both sides wish to avoid it at the beginning of the war. This seminar will provide a causal mechanism of Sino-U.S. inadvertent escalation. Three driving factors are identified: the vulnerability of Chinese nuclear forces, the not-by-design co-mingling of China's conventional and nuclear weapons, and the fog of war. The security dilemma will worsen the situation and increase the escalatory risk. The mechanism is then tested via two hypothetical scenarios: a missile campaign and submarine warfare. In order to reduce the risk of inadvertent escalation, the United States should build confidence with China by declaring mutual vulnerability vis-à-vis China and constraining its strategic capabilities. China could also demarcate its nuclear and conventional missiles and clarify its no-first-use policy that conventional attacks on nuclear weapons would be regarded as nuclear attacks.

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

NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center announced on Aug. 27, 2012, that the ice cap covering the Arctic Ocean is now smaller than ever recorded since consistent satellite measurements of the ice began more than three decades ago.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Can Women Tip the Balance for Climate Action? An Arctic Case Study

Mon., Feb. 11, 2019 | 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Taubman Building - WAPPP Cason Seminar Room, Room 102

Speakers: Fran Ulmer, Chair, U.S. Arctic Research Commission; Senior Fellow, Arctic Initiative; Elizabeth Arnold, Journalist

Moderator: Halla Hrund Logadóttir, Co-founder and Co-Director, Arctic Initiative 

As climate change begins to impact communities globally, it's crucial for women to take a stand as leaders for ethical and equitable climate adaptation. Nowhere is this leadership challenge felt more strongly than in the Arctic. 

This program is co-hosted by the Harvard Kennedy School's Arctic Initiative and the Women and Public Policy Program.

Lunch provided.  Please RSVP to karin_vander_schaaf@hks.harvard.edu by 4 PM, Friday, February 8, 2019. RSVPs recorded on a first-requested, first-reserved basis.

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

Littauer Building - Belfer Center Library, Room 369

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

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

Littauer Building - Fainsod Room, 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.

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

Littauer Building - Fainsod Room, 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.
 

View to the south of Yucca Mountain crest showing coring activities.

DOE

Seminar - Open to the Public

The Stalemate of Nuclear Waste Management and its Effect on the Fuel Cycle, Security, and Non-Proliferation Endeavors

Thu., May 10, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Katlyn M. Turner, Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

The state of long-term management of nuclear waste in the United States is at an impasse. While technical options exist for long-term radiological waste isolation, these are irrelevant in the face of the socio-political complications of siting and operating a nuclear waste repository. This lecture will outline and detail 1) the history of nuclear waste management options considered by the United States leading to its decision to pursue a long-term geologic repository for ultimate waste disposal, 2) the process—technical and political—of attempting to site Yucca Mountain as the United States' repository for civilian nuclear waste, and 3) the outlook moving forward for any attempts to site and operate a long-term geologic repositor—Yucca Mountain or otherwise—for nuclear waste in the United States. This lecture will attempt to situate the struggle to effectively manage nuclear waste within the realm of nuclear energy issues, nuclear security, and nuclear non-proliferation issues.

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

A member of the 341st Security Forces Group guards a missile launch facility during an LF recapture simulation as part of the Grizzly Rampart training exercise March 18 near Malmstrom Air Force Base. The exercise was implemented to evaluate the readiness of the 341st Missile Wing and ensure first-responder Airmen know and follow the standards set in place for real-world events.

USAF/Collin Schmidt

Seminar - Open to the Public

Training Nuclear Security Leaders: A Tiered Approach

Thu., Apr. 26, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Brian Filler, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

The leaders responsible for securing U.S. nuclear weapons, materials and infrastructure must receive the best training possible. This seminar will discuss how the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Energy (DOE) currently train their tactical and senior nuclear security leaders and where that training should be improved and augmented. The seminar will then present the recommendation that is being forwarded to the departments, calling for the establishment of Tiered DOD-DOE Nuclear Security Leaders Training. The proposed training is designed to provide breadth and depth of knowledge for all of the departments' tactical and senior nuclear security leaders. Finally, the presentation will discuss how the proposed training could improve the security of nuclear assets around the world.

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

Co-sponsored by Project on Managing the Atom