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Hui Zhang

Mailing address

One Brattle Square 531
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Mailbox 134
Cambridge, MA, 02138

Hui Zhang

Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom

Telephone: 617-495-5710
Fax: 617-496-0606



Hui Zhang is a Senior Research Associate at the Project on Managing the Atom in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.  Hui Zhang is leading a research initiative on China's nuclear policies for the  Project on Managing the Atom in the Kennedy School of Government. His researches include verification techniques of nuclear arms control, the control of fissile material, nuclear terrorism, China's nuclear policy, nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation, policy of nuclear fuel cycle and reprocessing.

Before coming to the Kennedy School in September 1999, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, Princeton University from 1997-1999, and in 1998-1999, he received a post-doctoral fellowship from the Social Science Research Council, a MacArthur Foundation program on International Peace and Security. From 2002-2003, he received a grant for Research and Writing from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Hui Zhang received his Ph.D. in nuclear physics in Beijing in 1996.

Dr. Zhang is the author of several technical reports and book chapters, and dozens of articles in academic journals and the print media including Science and Global Security, Arms Control Today, Bulletin of Atomic Scientist, Disarmament Diplomacy, Disarmament Forum, the Non-proliferation Review, Washington Quarterly, Journal of Nuclear Materials Management , INESAP, and China Security. Dr. Zhang gives many oral presentations and talks in international conferences and organizations.



By Date



Tomas Roggero

July 24-28, 2016

"Assessing China’s Uranium Enrichment Capacity"


By Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom

This paper will offer a significant new assessment of uranium enrichment capacity in China, based on satellite imagery, Chinese publications, and discussions with Chinese experts. It concludes that China has a lot more enrichment capacity now than we thought and even more on the way.



Will Clayton

June 27-28, 2016

"China And FM(C)T"


By Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom

In June 2016, Hui Zhang presented "China and FM(C)T" at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C. 2016.




July 24-28, 2016

"Improving China's Nuclear Security"


By Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom

China’s approach to strengthening the security of its nuclear weapons, materials, and facilities is important in facilitating strong global action on nuclear security. At the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, Chinese President Xi Jinping made commitments to strengthening nuclear security.



April 8, 2016

"China Makes Significant Nuclear Security Pledges at 2016 Summit"

Op-Ed, Nuclear Security Matters

By Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom

One important outcome of the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) is that China, for the first time ever, joined six “gift baskets” and also made significant additional commitments.  Most notably, China joined the 2014 gift basket on “strengthening nuclear security implementation” and agreed to a U.S.-Chinese joint statement on nuclear security cooperation.



March 31, 2016

"Towards Deeper U.S.-China Nuclear Security Cooperation"

Op-Ed, The Huffington Post

By Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom

"China and the United States have made remarkable strides in cooperating on nuclear security matters—in every area except the one that arguably matters most: the military sector. On March 18, shortly before Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Washington for the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit at the end of the month, the two countries opened a Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security in Beijing..."



REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

March 28, 2016

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


By Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom

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.



March 24, 2016

"It’s Time for China to Turn Nuclear-Security Pledges into Reality"

Op-Ed, Defense One

By Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom

"There is no shortage of terrorist groups – homegrown and international alike – that see opportunity in China’s nuclear enterprise, the fastest-growing in the world. Some would like to steal radioactive material for nuclear or dirty bombs; others may be pondering ways to breach a facility’s containment walls or even induce a Fukushima-style meltdown." In this op-ed for Defense One, Hui Zhang aruges that though Beijing's made a good start on fulfilling its nuclear security pledges, it must buckle down before terror groups exploit corruption to devastating effect.



March 24, 2016

How China Needs to Improve Its Legal Framework on Nuclear Security

Op-Ed, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

By Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom

"On March 31, Chinese President Xi Jinping will be among world leaders attending the fourth and last Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., where they will try to strengthen nuclear security to deal with the evolving threat of nuclear terrorism. Such efforts are badly needed, in light of the facts that there have been approximately 20 documented cases of theft or loss of highly enriched uranium or plutonium (although more may have occurred) since the early 1990s,and that there are nearly 2,000 metric tons of dangerous nuclear materials scattered across hundreds of sites around the globe..."



March 14-15, 2016

"China’s Civilian Reprocessing Programs"


By Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom

Hui Zhang presented "China’s Civilian Reprocessing Programs" to the International Panel on Fissile Materials meeting in Washington, D.C., March 14-15, 2016.



January 2016

The Cost of Reprocessing in China


By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom and Li Kang

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.

Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.