68 Items

Stan Osserman, director of the Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies, speaks in front of a new waste to energy facility at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

AP/Audrey McAvoy

Journal Article - Journal of Cleaner Production

Stochastic Cost-benefit Analysis of Urban Waste-to-Energy Systems

Municipal solid waste generation is a rapidly increasing challenge that is leading to severe pollution and environmental degradation in many urban areas of developing countries. This study presents the Waste to Energy Recovery Assessment (WERA) framework, a new quantitative decision support model for initial evaluation and alternative comparisons of different thermochemical treatments of municipal wastes. The framework is used to study waste-to-energy (WtE) systems for Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Tokyo, and New York. The results show that WtE systems can fulfill only 1.4–3.6% of 2014 electricity demand in the analyzed cases.

A North Korean military parade (Stefan Krasowski via Flickr).

Stefan Krasowski via Flickr

Journal Article - Defense and Security Analysis

An Evolving State of Play? Exploring Competitive Advantages of State Assets in Proliferation Networks

| Jan. 17, 2019

Illicit procurement networks often target industry in developed economies to acquire materials and components of use in WMD and military programs. These procurement networks are ultimately directed by elements of the proliferating state and utilize state resources to undertake their activities: diplomats and missions, state intelligence networks, and state-connected logistical assets. These state assets have also been utilized to facilitate the export of WMD and military technologies in breach of sanctions. While used in most historic proliferation cases, their role has seen limited consideration in the scholarly literature. This article seeks to systematically contextualize state resources in proliferation networks, arguing that their use lies between state criminality and routine activity in support of national security. Considering the competitive advantages of these assets compared to similar resources available in the private sector, the article argues that nonproliferation efforts have caused states to change how they use these resources through an ongoing process of competitive adaptation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow

AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

How the Next Nuclear Arms Race Will Be Different from the Last One

| 2019

All the world's nuclear-armed states (except for North Korea) have begun modernizing and upgrading their arsenals, leading many observers to predict that the world is entering a new nuclear arms race. While that outcome is not yet inevitable, it is likely, and if it happens, the new nuclear arms race will be different and more dangerous than the one we remember. More nuclear-armed countries in total, and three competing great powers rather than two, will make the competition more complex. Meanwhile, new non-nuclear weapon technologies — such as ballistic missile defense, anti-satellite weapons, and precision-strike missile technology — will make nuclear deterrence relationships that were once somewhat stable less so.

Blogtrepreneur/Flickr

Blogtrepreneur/Flickr

Journal Article - Nonproliferation Review

Solving the Jurisdictional Conundrum: How U.S. Enforcement Agencies Target Overseas Illicit Procurement Networks Using Civil Courts

| September 2018

Over the past two decades, the United States has increasingly turned to targeted sanctions and export restrictions, such as those imposed against Iran and North Korea, in order to curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction. One vexing problem, however, is how to contend with jurisdictional hurdles when the violations occur overseas, in countries that are unable or unwilling to assist US enforcement efforts. To solve this problem, US prosecutors are turning to strategies with significant extraterritorial implications—that is, exercising legal authority beyond national borders. One such tool is to use civil legal procedures to seize assets linked to sanctions or export-control violations in jurisdictions that lack cooperative arrangements with US enforcement agencies. While this may be an attractive strategy to bolster enforcement efforts against overseas illicit procurement, using such tools is not without consequence. This article explores the political, legal, and technical implications of enforcing extraterritorial controls against overseas non-state actors by exploring the recent uses of civil-asset forfeiture against Iranian and North Korean procurement networks.

Reactor Building of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant

AP Photo/Mehr News Agency/Majid Asgaripour

Journal Article - Afkar/Ideas

Nuclear Energy in the Middle East? Regional Security Cooperation Needed

| Spring 2017

Nuclear power in the Middle East has appeared poised for dramatic growth for more than a decade.  Iran’s nuclear power plant at Bushehr, the first of its kind in the Middle East, began producing electricity in 2011. Tehran has plans or proposals for additional 11 reactors, according to the World Nuclear Association. Saudi Arabia has announced plans to build 16 nuclear power reactors by 2040. The UAE has four nuclear power reactors under construction, the first of which is expected to come online later this year.  Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan, are each pursuing the development nuclear energy at their own pace.  The appearance of activity is impressive. 

Journal Article - PLoS ONE

Scientific Wealth in Middle East and North Africa: Productivity, Indigeneity, and Specialty in 1981–2013

| November 2016

Several developing countries seek to build knowledge-based economies by attempting to expand scientific research capabilities. Characterizing the state and direction of progress in this arena is challenging but important. In this article, the authors employ three metrics: a classical metric of productivity (publications per person), an adapted metric which we denote as Revealed Scientific Advantage (developed from work used to compare publications in scientific fields among countries) to characterize disciplinary specialty, and a new metric, scientific indigeneity (defined as the ratio of publications with domestic corresponding authors) to characterize the locus of scientific activity that also serves as a partial proxy for local absorptive capacity.

Syrian Desert, Eastern Jordan, November 12, 2012.

Creative Commons

Journal Article - Systems Engineering

Formulating Expectations for Future Water Availability through Infrastructure Development Decisions in Arid Regions

| May 24, 2016

In this research paper, the authors propose that future human mediated water availability in arid regions may be assessed by considering key projects that have been identified or proposed by regional experts and organizations. Using Multicriteria Decision Methods as a framework to organize a set of decision criteria and their relative salience, the likelihood of selection (and development) of a project can be determined and used to form expectations of future regional water availability. The authors apply this approach in a case study of Jordan.

The agricultural fields in active use (dark green) or fallow (brown to tan), are approximately 1 km in diameter. Much of the Saudi Arabia's Wadi As-Sirhan Basin shown here is sandy (light tan to brown surfaces).

Wikimedia CC 2.0

Journal Article - Sustainable Production and Consumption

Food Security Amidst Water Scarcity: Insights on Sustainable Food Production from Saudi Arabia

Water, energy, and food security are of critical concern as rising population growth and rapid urbanization place greater pressure on our natural resources. This study evaluates the growing internationalization of food production in water-scarce countries using the case of Saudi Arabia as a microcosm to illustrate the tradeoffs in resource consumption associated with crop selection and farming practices.

Unmaking the Bomb: A Fissile Material Approach to Nuclear Disarmament and Nonproliferation (Book Review)

PhysicsToday

Magazine Article - Physics Today

Unmaking the Bomb: A Fissile Material Approach to Nuclear Disarmament and Nonproliferation (Book Review)

| May 04, 2015

"Plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) are the essential ingredients of nuclear weapons. They do not exist in appreciable quantities in nature and are quite difficult to produce. But with such materials in hand, most states—and potentially even some particularly sophisticated terrorist groups—would be able to make at least a crude nuclear explosive. Hence controlling those materials and the means to make them is a critical element of regulating the path to the bomb..."