The world has witnessed a new era of cooperation on climate change between the United States and China. This cooperation between the world’s two largest economies and carbon emitters played a fundamental role in the international negotiations leading up to the adoption of the Paris Agreement in December 2015. This includes, in particular, the joint announcement of their respective post-2020 climate actions in November 2014 and the crafting of common visions on key issues related to the Paris Outcome in September 2015. The world has high expectations that the United States and China will enhance their future collaboration on climate change. These expectations will be the cornerstone of translating the Paris vision into action. Furthermore, the Joint Presidential Statement released in March 2016 also stressed that “joint efforts by the United States and China on climate change will serve as an enduring legacy of the partnership between our two countries”.
MTA in the News
Matthew Bunn appeared on Public Radio International's "The World" to discuss President Obama's efforts to reduce nuclear dangers.
The New York Times highlighted MTA's recent report "Preventing Nuclear Terrorism" as well as insight from Matthew Bunn on a piece about the vulnerability of U.S. nuclear material.
The Washington Post interviewed both Matthew Bunn and William Tobey for an article on President Obama's progress on nuclear nonproliferation.
NPR interviewed Matthew Bunn on "All Things Considered" for his insight on nuclear power's future role in light of the Paris talks. Bunn also appeared in Arms Control Today discussing the 2017 NNSA nonproliferation budget.
Martin Malin was recently interviewed by the Boston Herald about Iran's test-firing of ballistic missiles, and was quoted in PRI's The World podcast and feature story about the costs and benefits of nuclear energy.
Mansoor Ahmed was quoted in a DefenseNews article about Pakistan's test of a submarine-launched cruise missile.
The Project on Managing the Atom (MTA) has a dual mission: (1) to provide leadership in advancing policy-relevant knowledge about the future of nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, and the connections between the two; and (2) to prepare the next generation of leaders for work on these issues. MTA researchers not only engage in policy research and analysis, but also propose and promote policy innovations, and provide authoritative information for an interested public.
MTA’s research focuses primarily on four broad issues and on the interactions between them:
- Reducing the risk of nuclear and radiological terrorism: MTA has maintained a major focus on analyzing, proposing, and pushing for initiatives to keep nuclear weapons and materials out of the hands of terrorists and secure nuclear stockpiles throughout the world.
- Stopping the spread of nuclear weapons: MTA’s work focuses on strengthening nonproliferation efforts and addressing regional proliferation challenges in the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia, with attention to both constraining the supply of nuclear technology and the reducing demand for nuclear weapons.
- Reducing the dangers of existing nuclear stockpiles: MTA’s work suggests practical steps for reducing the risk of the use of nuclear weapons in war or crises for reducing the size of nuclear arsenals themselves.
- Lowering the barriers to the safe, secure, and peaceful use of nuclear energy: Nuclear energy would have to grow substantially to be a significant part of the answer to the climate change challenge. MTA examines how nuclear energy could be made as safe, secure, and proliferation-resistant as possible – and how the problem of radioactive waste can be successfully addressed.
Our research is intended for a variety of audiences: experts in nonproliferation, energy, and international politics; policy makers; and the general public. The work of the project appears in publications such as the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Arms Control Today, International Security, Foreign Policy, and Science and Global Security. Experts associated with the project also provide opinion pieces and commentary to a wide variety of media, including The New York Times, the Washington Post, National Public Radio, and the major news networks.
The Project sponsors an international group of resident fellows, who—like the project’s staff and faculty members—engage in individual and collaborative research. The purpose of fellows program is to train the next generation of nuclear researchers and scholars by exposing them to an interdisciplinary work environment—blending policy and technical concerns—and providing opportunities to interact with colleagues, faculty, and visiting policy makers and experts. In addition to pursuing their own research, MTA fellows participate in group seminars, and prepare themselves for future careers in academia and policy.
The project is a joint venture of the Belfer Center programs on Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP); International Security Policy (ISP); and Environment and Natural Resource Policy (ENRP). Major funding for MTA comes from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Belfer Center. In the recent past, additional funding was provided by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Ploughshares Fund, and AREVA, Inc.
The Managing the Atom Project is receiving generous support from the following sources:
- John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is a private, independent grant making institution dedicated to helping groups and individuals foster lasting improvement in the human condition. Through the support it provides, the Foundation fosters the development of knowledge, nurtures individual creativity, helps strengthen institutions, participates in the formation of effective policy, and provides information to the public, primarily through support for public interest media.
- Carnegie Corporation: The Carnegie Corporation supports policy relevant research and outreach to advance the further refinement and implementation of steps to reduce nuclear weapons and their proliferation risks; policy relevant research and outreach on the proliferation risks of international reliance on nuclear energy and the options available to governments to reduce the risks; and unofficial, multilateral policy discussions concerning North Korea and Iran.
- Endowment funds of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and its Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program.
The Managing the Atom Project has received generous support from the following sources:
- Nuclear Threat Initiative: NTI's mission is to strengthen global security by reducing the risk of use and preventing the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. NTI seeks to raise public awareness, serve as a catalyst for new thinking and take direct action to reduce these threats. In addition to Mr. Turner and Senator Nunn, NTI is guided by an experienced, international Board of Directors who share a common goal of taking action to reduce the gap between the global threats and the global response. The foundation's activities are directed by Senator Nunn and managed by President Joan Rohlfing, and President Emeritus Charles B. Curtis.
- The Ploughshares Fund: The Ploughshares Fund is a public grantmaking foundation that supports initiatives to prevent the spread and use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and other weapons of war, and to prevent conflicts that could lead to the use of weapons of mass destruction.
- Ford Foundation: The Ford Foundation supported MTA research on regional nuclear proliferation challenges.
Research and International Organizations
Arms Control Association
Comprehensive information on arms control proposals, negotiations, and agreements, as well as the full text of the journal Arms Control Today.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Nuclear Policy Program
Extensive resources on a wide variety of nonproliferation and arms control and disarmament topics.
Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University
CISAC research and activities focus on a broad range of topics, including nuclear risk and cooperation.
Center for Strategic and International Studies Proliferation Prevention Program
Analysis from this Washington, DC think-tank focuses on nuclear security, nuclear power, nuclear proliferation, and arms control.
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization
Provides information on the status of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the progress of its global monitoring system, the history of nuclear testing, and current events.
Department of Energy OpenNet
This site provides information about all DOE documents declassified and made publicly available since October 1994, along with guides to DOE classification policy and the complete text of documents released under the agency's Openness Initiative.
Federation of American Scientists WMD Resources
The Federation of American Scientists posts a huge quantity of information (and links to other sites) related to nuclear weapons technologies, arms control, and nonproliferation.
Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy
FAS's Project on Government Secrecy works to challenge excessive secrecy and to promote public oversight, including but not limited to the Department of Energy and nuclear policy.
Fissile Material Working Group
The FMWG is a non-governmental coalition of more than 70 U.S. and international organizations working to provide action-oriented policy solutions to keep the world safe from nuclear terrorism.
Energy Information Administration
The U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration publishes analyses of the current and projected state of the nuclear power industry worldwide, including their annual Nuclear Power Generation and Fuel Cycle Report.
Institute for Science and International Security
This research organization focuses on halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and related technology, increasing transparency of nuclear activities worldwide, and achieving deep cuts in nuclear arsenals.
International Atomic Energy Agency
The IAEA's website provides a wide range of information about nuclear power, nuclear proliferation, and nuclear safeguards.
International Panel on Fissile Materials
The mission of this Princeton-based research group is to analyze the technical basis for practical and achievable policy initiatives to secure, consolidate, and reduce stockpiles of highly enriched uranium and plutonium.
James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
The CNS website has a broad array of information on nonproliferation matters worldwide, including a journal.
National Academy of Sciences' Committee on International Security and Arms Control
The CISAC website provides links to key studies and descriptions of their policy dialogues with influential scientists and policy analysts from countries of particular U.S. security interest.
Natural Resources Defense Council
NRDC has long been one of the most knowledgeable critical voices on nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. Their website provides access to reports on nuclear topics, and their comprehensive data on the size of nuclear stockpiles around the world.
Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center is an educational organization that promotes better understanding of strategic weapons proliferation issues.
Nuclear Energy Institute
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the voice of the U.S. nuclear industry.
Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group
This is a multi-sector coalition of experts with diverse nuclear experience that has developed more than 50 recommendations for improving nuclear security.
Nuclear Threat Initiative
Website includes detailed databases in several areas, archives of the "Global Security Newswire," and other information.
Partnership for Global Security
A wide range of information and links related to nuclear security in the former Soviet Union and U.S.-Russian nuclear cooperation.
This is a Russian research organization focusing on nuclear weapons policy, nonproliferation, and nuclear security.
Project Alpha, Kings College
This is a research program based out of Kings College that studies illicit, proliferation-related trade and how to counter it.
Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
The website of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (which shared the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize with one of its founders, Joseph Rotblat) provides a wide range of reports and summaries of workshops on key issues related to arms control, conflict, energy, and development.
* Stanley Foundation
The Stanley Foundation’s nuclear security program convenes stakeholders, including international organizations, national governments, civil society, and industry, and commissions expert analysis to encourage innovative policy.
Scitech Connect combines the Energy Citations Database and the Department of Energy’s Information Bridge, both of which are great resources for scientific research on nuclear-related issues.
Union of Concerned Scientists
UCS's global security and nuclear safety programs provide extensive analyses on both nuclear weapons and U.S. nuclear safety issues.
Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation
The VCDNP's mission is to promote international peace and security by providing a platform for independent analysis and dialogue in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
World Institute for Nuclear Security
This organization is a leader in professional development and certification for nuclear security management. The site is a good resource for best practice guides related to nuclear security.
World Nuclear Association
The World Nuclear Association provides analyses, background information, and news on nuclear power generally, from an industry perspective.
All Things Nuclear
The Union of Concerned Scientists’ blog on a range of nuclear power, non-proliferation, and nuclear weapons policy issues.
Arms Control Now
Arms Control Now is the blog of the Arms Control Association, an independent membership organization working to address the threat of nuclear weapons.
Arms Control Wonk
News and analysis from Jeffrey Lewis and other experts on arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation.
Frank Munger’s Atomic City Underground
Munger, a veteran reporter, writes about the Y-12 nuclear weapons facility, where hundreds of tons of highly enriched uranium are stored.
Harvard’s Iran Matters is a one-stop shop for analysis and facts about issues relating to nuclear negotiations with Iran.
Nuclear Security Matters
Nuclear Security Matters provides accessible analysis from the world’s leading experts on nuclear security and nuclear terrorism.
Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog
Restricted Data is a blog about nuclear secrecy, past and present, run by Alex Wellerstein, a historian of science and an associate of MTA.
Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces
This blog provides Russian citizens and policymakers with information about nuclear weapons, arms control, and disarmament based on open scientific analysis.
Seeking Student Associates:
The Project on Managing the Atom (MTA) at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government seeks Student Associates for the Summer of 2017. These internships provide opportunities for undergraduate or graduate students to meet experts in nuclear policy, attend lectures and seminars, and assist MTA project faculty, staff, and fellows with their research. MTA will provide a modest hourly wage or academic credit for the internship.
The MTA project conducts and disseminates policy-relevant research on a variety of topics:
- Reducing the risk of nuclear and radiological terrorism
- Stopping the spread of nuclear weapons
- Reducing the dangers of existing nuclear stockpiles
- Lowering the barriers to the safe, secure, and peaceful use of nuclear energy
The project supports an international group of pre- and post-doctoral fellows and other experts working on these issues.
MTA Student Associates provide research assistance for faculty, fellows, and staff, and occasionally help with other tasks, such as coordinating seminars and events, or helping with website and database maintenance. This internship is a great opportunity to learn more about nuclear policy issues, while getting hands-on experience in both research and administrative work. Summer interns typically work with the MTA project for a 10 week period between mid-June and late August for up to 35 hours per week. Some flexibility is possible regarding start and end dates, and hours per week.
The deadline for applications is March 10, 2017. To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample and completed application form to Casey Campbell, the Program Assistant to the MTA Project, at firstname.lastname@example.org.