93 Items

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Postponement of the NPT Review Conference. Antagonisms, Conflicts and Nuclear Risks after the Pandemic

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has published a document from the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs concerning nuclear problems and tensions in the time of COVID-19. The document has been co-signed by a large number of Pugwash colleagues and personalities.

Chernobyl welcome sign

Wikimedia CC/Jorge Franganillo

Journal Article - Futures

Accumulating Evidence Using Crowdsourcing and Machine Learning: A Living Bibliography about Existential Risk and Global Catastrophic Risk

    Authors:
  • Gorm E. Shackelford
  • Luke Kemp
  • Catherine Rhodes
  • Lalitha Sundaram
  • Seán S. ÓhÉigeartaigh
  • Simon Beard
  • Haydn Belfield
  • Shahar Avin
  • Dag Sørebø
  • Elliot M. Jones
  • John B. Hume
  • David Price
  • David Pyle
  • Daniel Hurt
  • Theodore Stone
  • Harry Watkins
  • Lydia Collas
  • Bryony C. Cade
  • Thomas Frederick Johnson
  • Zachary Freitas-Groff
  • David Denkenberger
  • Michael Levot
  • William J. Sutherland
| February 2020

The study of existential risk — the risk of human extinction or the collapse of human civilization — has only recently emerged as an integrated field of research, and yet an overwhelming volume of relevant research has already been published. To provide an evidence base for policy and risk analysis, this research should be systematically reviewed. In a systematic review, one of many time-consuming tasks is to read the titles and abstracts of research publications, to see if they meet the inclusion criteria. The authors show how this task can be shared between multiple people (using crowdsourcing) and partially automated (using machine learning), as methods of handling an overwhelming volume of research.

Members of the 576th Flight Test Squadron monitor an operational test launch of an unarmed Minuteman III missile

USAF/Michael Peterson

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Overwhelming Case for No First Use

| Jan. 13, 2020

The arguments in favor of the United States' declaring that the only purpose of its nuclear weapons is to deter others who possess them from using theirs — in other words, that in no circumstances will this country use nuclear weapons first — are far stronger than the arguments against this stance. It must be hoped that the next US administration will take this no-first-use step promptly.

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

China's Uranium Enrichment Capacity: Rapid Expansion to Meet Commercial Needs

| August 20, 2015

Based on satellite imagery, Chinese publications, and discussions with Chinese experts, This report suggests that China has much more civilian enrichment capacity than previously thought, and even more is on the way. If these new estimates are correct, China has enough enrichment capacity to meet its nuclear power fuel requirements for the coming decade and beyond. Further, China will have excess enrichment capacity and will likely become a net exporter of commercial enrichment services.

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Plutonium Reprocessing, Breeder Reactors, and Decades of Debate: A Chinese Response

| July 1, 2015

Some observers believe that plutonium reprocessing is on the verge of an expansion, while others argue that the end of the practice is in sight. The risk of nuclear proliferation has always been the chief objection to reprocessing but proponents argue that today, with uranium enrichment technology more easily available, reprocessing no longer represents an efficient route toward nuclear weapons...

Analysis & Opinions - European Leadership Network

On the Road to Nowhere? New Proposals on the Middle East WMD-Free Zone May Backfire

| May 11, 2015

"One of the dramas playing out this month in New York at the 2015 Review Conference for parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) concerns the future of discussions on establishing the weapons of mass destruction free zone in the Middle East..."

News - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Fresh Ideas for the Future: Symposium on the NPT Nuclear Disarmament, Non-proliferation, and Energy

Apr. 30, 2015

On April 28, the Project on Managing the Atom joined the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, The Netherlands government, and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) in convening nuclear nonproliferation experts from around the world at the United Nations to participate in a Symposium on the 2015 Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference.

Journal Article - St Anthony's International Review St. Anthony’s International Review

Beyond Carrots and Sticks: The Role of Status Ambitions and the NPT's “Double Standard” in Nuclear Arms Control Negotiations

| May 2015

This article examines why India walked away from the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). After having spent years strongly advocating for a test ban accord, India changed course in the aftermath of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty's (NPT) indefinite extension in 1995, becoming the most outspoken opponent of the CTBT. This article argues that India's reversal cannot be explained by the conventional wisdom about (non-)compliance in nuclear arms control negotiations, which usually highlights the power of material interests. Since there was no development in the nuclear realm that might have compromised India's interests prior to its decision to change course, these theories fall short of explaining India's sudden opposition to the CTBT. The same holds true for the influence of norms. This article instead argues that perceived disrespect precipitated India's decision to abandon the treaty. India criticized the NPT as biased because it enforced non-proliferation without obligating the nuclear superpowers to disarm. Similarly, New Delhi believed the NPT's indefinite renewal made a mockery of a proud country's political claims.

Analysis & Opinions - Iran Matters

Current State of Global Sanctions Against Iran

| Mar. 23, 2015

In this op-ed for Iran Matters, Aaron Arnold provides a crucial update on the status of the economic sanctions placed on Iran. He argues that in the short term, a lack of sanctions relief will continue to damage the Iranian economy and undercut efforts by the Rouhani Administration to revitalize growth. However, he points out that new developments in the global economy, such as the creation of an alternative to the SWIFT financial messaging system pushed by Russia and China, will possibly degrade the effectiveness of sanctions in the long run.