454 Events

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

Wed., May 16, 2018 | 10:00am - 11:30am

John F. Kennedy School of Government - Littauer Building, Fainsod Room, Littauer-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 will take place following the May 12th deadline for the United States to renew or not renew waivers related to U.S. nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, as called for under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or "Iran nuclear deal". The event will be off-the-record. 

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

1 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

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Seminar - Open to the Public

A Nuclear Role in Decarbonization?

Wed., Apr. 25, 2018 | 10:00am - 11:30am

John F. Kennedy School of Government - Littauer Building, Fainsod Room, Littauer-324

Speaker: Michael Ford, French Environmental Fellow, Harvard University Center for the Environment.

The need to mitigate emissions of global warming gases in the energy sector is critical. It has been widely argued that the most plausible and cost effective strategy to achieve deep decarbonization is by deploying a portfolio of “everything we’ve got.” Most integrated assessment models ascribe a future role in the low carbon energy mix to nuclear power.  But burdened with extensive regulation, a dated development model, and longstanding negative externalities such as waste and perceived accident risk, the future role of nuclear in decarbonization is uncertain. In this seminar, we will briefly examine the history of the U.S. Department of Energy in advanced nuclear research and development and propose an alternative path that be better suited to the market and technical realities of advanced nuclear concepts.  We also examine broader issues of institutional capacity that may impact the wider deployment of nuclear power to meet carbon mitigation goals.

People watch a TV news program showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with superimposed letters that read: "North Korea has made nuclear warheads small enough to fit on ballistic missiles" at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

AP/Ahn Young-joon

Seminar - Open to the Public

A Brief History of Nuclear Weaponization

Wed., Apr. 18, 2018 | 10:00am - 11:30am

John F. Kennedy School of Government - Littauer Building, Fainsod Room, Littauer-324

Speaker: Amit Grober, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

How fast can a state develop a nuclear device? How do nuclear weapons programs evolve from political decisions? The issue of “nuclear latency” has been widely studied. Yet, the nonproliferation community has endorsed a single measure for latency - the capability to produce fissile materials (highly enriched uranium or plutonium). A direct consequence is that scholars, policy-makers, and nonproliferation experts sometimes trivialize or underestimate the preconditions and requirements of “weaponization” – the robust process of developing, manufacturing, and testing an initial nuclear explosive device. The seminar will draw on multiple historical case-studies to provide insights into the dynamics of nuclear weaponization and will explore their relevance to current nonproliferation policies.

 

Gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment recovered from the BBC China in Italy, en route to Libya, in 2003.

DOE

Seminar - Open to the Public

Stop or I'll Shoot, Comply and I Won't: The Paradox of Coercion

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

1 Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Reid Pauly, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

In making demands, coercers must communicate the credibility of their threats to punish. They must also, however, communicate the credibility of corresponding assurances not to punish if the target complies. This presentation will explain the paradox at the heart of coercion and explore how states overcome it by signaling the contingency of their actions.

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

Cascade of gas centrifuges used to produce enriched uranium. This photograph is of a the U.S. gas centrifuge plant in Piketon, Ohio from 1984.

U.S. Department of Energy

Seminar - Open to the Public

The Past, Present, and Future Development of International Safeguards for Gas Centrifuge Enrichment Plants

Wed., Apr. 11, 2018 | 10:00am - 11:30am

1 Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Mark Walker, Ph.D. Candidate in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

This seminar presents the results of archival research undertaken in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany into the origins of international safeguards approaches for gas centrifuge enrichment plants (GCEPs). 

Glass mural found in an office of the former East German Ministry for State Security (Stasi).

Alexander K. Bollfrass

Seminar - Open to the Public

Blinded by Belief: U.S., UK, and East German Nuclear Espionage in West Germany

Thu., Apr. 5, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

1 Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Alexander K. Bollfrass, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

Fears of a West German bomb sharpened Cold War tensions, making the country's nuclear program an intelligence priority for all concerned states. Based on original archival and newly declassified files, this presentation evaluates the accuracy of U.S., UK, and East German intelligence assessments of the Federal Republic's proliferation risk. Despite spectacular collection successes, the Stasi's analysts were required to view the world through thick ideological lenses. The result was a distorted picture of West German ambition to arm itself with nuclear weapons.

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

Blogtrepreneur/Flickr

Blogtrepreneur/Flickr

Seminar - Open to the Public

Solving the Jurisdictional Conundrum: The Use of Domestic Civil Courts to Disrupt Overseas Illicit Procurement

Wed., Apr. 4, 2018 | 10:00am - 11:30am

1 Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Aaron Arnold, Associate Project on Managing the Atom; Assistant Professor at Curry College

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 (WMD). 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 arrangement with US enforcement agencies. While this may be an attractive strategy to bolster enforcement efforts against overseas illicit procurement such tools are not without consequence.

Azadi Tower, Azadi Square, Meydea-e Azadi, Meydan-e Shahyad, Tehran province, Iran Flag colors

Creative Commons/Mahdi Kalhor

Seminar - Open to the Public

Iranian Grand Strategy: Deterring and Contesting the American Hegemon since 1979

Thu., Mar. 29, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

1 Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Mahsa Rouhi, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

Theories of grand strategy tend to focus on major powers. This seminar sheds light on the grand strategy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a regional power. It explores the principles of Iranian grand strategy, whether explicitly stated or implicit in its national policies. The speaker will provide an analysis that lays out the grand strategy, its elements, and how it provides a framework to guide all Iranian foreign policy. 

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

Salem and Hope Creek Nuclear Reactors

Peretz Partensky/Flickr

Seminar - Open to the Public

Can we break the link between nuclear energy and nuclear weapons?

Wed., Mar. 28, 2018 | 10:00am - 11:30am

1 Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: AMB Laura S. H. Holgate

Advanced nuclear reactors offer enormous promise as carbon-free solutions for a range of energy and development challenges due to their potentially lower cost, flexibility, and enhanced safety. To meaningfully influence climate change, these reactors will need to be widely deployed, including in countries without extensive nuclear experience and in designs using novel fuel cycles. And policymakers, regulators, and civil society will need to have confidence that these reactors are designed not only with safety and cost in mind but also with due consideration to whether terrorists, insiders, or even governments can sabotage a facility or acquire or divert nuclear material that could be used for weapons. Meeting these challenges requires more than a slogan of “proliferation resistance” and relates to security- and safeguards-by-design as well as fuel cycle characteristics. Reactors that incorporate security- and safeguards-by-design could become more attractive exports, maximizing economic and national security benefits for the United States.