74 Items

China’s Nuclear Security: Progress, Challenges, and Next Steps

REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

China’s Nuclear Security: Progress, Challenges, and Next Steps

| March 28, 2016

In a new report from the Project on Managing the Atom, Senior Research Associate Hui Zhang finds that China has made important nuclear security improvements in areas ranging from its legal framework, to its approaches to physical protection and material accounting, to bolstering nuclear security culture. But China also faces ongoing threats. The possibility of insider theft of nuclear materials in China cannot be ruled out, espe­cially as China increasingly grows into a market-oriented society contending with corruption. Zhang also notes that Beijing faces a growing terrorism threat from separatists in China’s autonomous Xinjiang region.

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

The Cost of Reprocessing in China

| January 2016

Faced with the twin pressures of a still-quickly growing economy and unprecedented smog from coal-fired plants, China is racing to expand its fleet of nuclear power plants. As it does so, Beijing is considering making large capital investments in facilities to reprocess spent nuclear fuel and recycle the resulting plutonium in fast neutron reactors that breed more plutonium. This report outlines the enormous costs China would likely face if it decides to build large-scale plants for reprocessing plutonium from spent nuclear fuel and recycling the plutonium in fast neutron reactors.

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

Daniel Schrag to Direct Belfer Center's Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program

| September 16, 2015

Cambridge, MA – The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has named Daniel Schrag, Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology and Director of the Center for the Environment at Harvard University, to lead its Science, Technology, and Public Policy program. STPP, one of Harvard's most collaborative and cross-disciplinary programs, is renowned world-wide for its cutting-edge research on technology innovation, nuclear non-proliferation and safety, climate science and policy, cybersecurity, and globalization and development.

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.

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

Norberg-Bohm Fellowship Supports Research Curiosity

| Spring 2015

Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) doctoral student Daniel Velez Lopez is researching air pollution in Mexico and whether the country is willing to pay the costs to reduce it. HKS student Jennifer Kao is interviewing academics, investors, and government officials working to generate and commercialize clean energy innovations in the United Kingdom.

Journal Article - Institute of Nuclear Materials Management Journal of Nuclear Materials Management

Securing China’s Nuclear Power Plants

| Winter, 2014.

Since September 11, 2001, China has substantially advanced its physical protection system, with a switch in focus from the traditional "guns, gates, guards" approach to an effective mixed approach, combining personnel with modern techniques. Then-Chinese Preident Hu Jintao emphasized at the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit that, "In the future, China will further take nuclear security measures, make sure the security of its own nuclear materials and facilities, improve the overall nuclear security." This paper examines the specific and detailed physical protection approaches that are currently applied to China's nuclear power plants, and recommends further steps to improve China's existing nuclear security system.

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Advancing Nuclear Security: Evaluating Progress and Setting New Goals

In the lead-up to the nuclear security summit, Advancing Nuclear Security: Evaluating Progress and Setting New Goals outlines what was accomplished in a four-year effort launched in 2009 to secure nuclear material around the globe—and what remains to be done. The effort made significant progress, but some weapons-usable nuclear materials still remain “dangerously vulnerable." The authors highlight the continuing danger of nuclear and radiological terrorism and call for urgent action.

Armed guards and police protecting a spent fuel convoy while at a stopping point.

Ministry of Public Security (Ch)

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Securing China's Nuclear Future

| March 14, 2014

China’s approach to strengthening the security of its nuclear weapons, materials, and facilities plays an important role in facilitating strong global action on nuclear security. This report provides a better understanding of Chinese perceptions of the threat of nuclear terrorism and attitudes toward the nuclear security challenge; describes the current status of nuclear security practices in China and of planned improvements in rules and organization, management, and technologies; and recommends steps for further improvements.

Discussion Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Beyond Nuclear Summitry: The Role of the IAEA in Nuclear Security Diplomacy After 2016

| March 11, 2014

There has been much speculation as to what might replace the Nuclear Security Summits after 2016. One candidate touted as a suitable inheritor of the summits’ mantle is the International Atomic Energy Agency. In this discussion paper, Trevor Findlay examines whether and to what extent the IAEA could and should do so, what form its role might take, and how the Agency and summiteers might prepare for such an eventuality.

Journal Article - Science & Global Security

Securing China’s Weapon-Usable Nuclear Materials

| Feb 18, 2014

This article describes the status of China’s military and civilian nuclear programs, fissile material production and associated nuclear facilities, and the Chinese nuclear experts and officials’ perspectives on the nuclear terrorism threat. It gives details of China’s nuclear security practices, attitudes, and regulations, as well as identifying areas of concern. The article recommends ways to strengthen China’s nuclear material protection, control, and accounting systems and suggests opportunities for increased international cooperation.