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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



Jul 9, 2014

"Continuing and Expanding U.S.-China Cooperation on Nuclear Security"

Op-Ed, PacNet Newsletter

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

"The Chinese government has taken significant steps to develop and apply approaches to nuclear security and nuclear accounting in the aftermath of 9/11. One driver of Chinese improvements has been international cooperation, in particular with the US. Since the 9/11 attacks, China has actively cooperated with the US to improve its nuclear security in the civilian sector. Such cooperation should continue and grow stronger. More importantly, China-US cooperation should extend to the military sector that has custody of the largest stocks of weapon-usable fissile materials and all nuclear weapons."



Jun 27, 2014

"Strengthening China-U.S. Cooperation on Nuclear Security"


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

Hui Zhang presented "Strengthening China-U.S. Cooperation on Nuclear Security" at the U.S.-China Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security Dialogue in Washington, D.C., June 2627, 2014.



Jun 17, 2014

"China Worries About Japanese Plutonium Stocks"

Op-Ed, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

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

Recent news reports say that Japan failed to disclose the existence of about 640 kilograms of unused plutonium—enough to make about 80 nuclear bombs—in its annual reports to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2012 and 2013. This has raised Chinese concerns about Japan’s plutonium program...

Japanese officials claim that this under-reporting was an honest error of interpretation of the rules, because the material in question was part of the plutonium-uranium mixed oxide (MOX) fuel stored in a reactor that happened to be offline during this period.



May 30, 2014

"China Frets Over Japanese Nuclear Program"

Op-Ed, Asia Times

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

Many Chinese worry that as Japanese politics moves rightward, it could result in the country seeking its own weapons. Beijing's concerns have intensified with its confrontation with the Abe administration over historical recognition and territorial issues. In this op-ed, Hui Zhang argues that it is time for Tokyo to stop reprocessing and eliminate its surplus plutonium as soon as possible. Tokyo should address concerns over its reprocessing plans and plutonium stocks. To reduce suspicions, Tokyo should take specific steps to abide strictly by its "no surplus plutonium policy".



AP Photo

April 21, 2014

"Why China Should Observe the Nuclear Security Summit Pledge"

Op-Ed, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

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

The most significant achievement to emerge from the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit was a pledge by 35 countries to observe the terms of a joint agreement, known as Strengthening Nuclear Security Implementation. Promoted strongly by the chairs of all three nuclear summits—the United States, South Korea, and the Netherlands— the 2014 initiative is an important step towards creating a robust global security system designed to prevent nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists. Yet China, along with Russia, India, and Pakistan, did not join the pledge. Beijing has not offered any explanations. China not only can join the new initiative, it should join it—because joining is in China’s own national interest.



Apr 17, 2014

"China Must Keep Strong Awareness of Nuclear Security"

Op-Ed, Global Times

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

It is reported that the construction of Taohuajiang Nuclear Power Plant in Hunan Province, China's first inland nuclear power plant, is about to be restarted, after being halted by the State Council which suspended all approvals of the construction of nuclear power plants in March 2011. But public concerns are still the biggest barriers....



Hong Kong Nuclear Investment Co.

April 16, 2014

"China Needs to Promote a Strong Nuclear Security Culture"

Op-Ed, Global Times

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

China has substantially advanced its nuclear security system, but China should take further steps to install a complete, reliable, and effective security system to ensure that all its weapon-usable nuclear materials, nuclear facilities, and nuclear transports are effectively protected against the full spectrum of plausible terrorist and criminal threats.



Apr 9, 2014

"Securing China’s Nuclear Energy Development"

Op-Ed, Power & Policy Blog

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

Chinese president Xi Jinping said in his address at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit that, “we should place equal emphasis on development [of nuclear energy] and security, and develop nuclear energy on the premise of security.” He further emphasized that,developing nuclear energy at the expense of security can neither be sustainable nor bring real development. Only by adopting credible steps and safeguards can we keep the risks under effective control and develop nuclear energy in a sustainable way.” Xi’s speech also signals that China will actively develop its nuclear energy...



Winter, 2014.

"Securing China’s Nuclear Power Plants"

Journal Article, Journal of Nuclear Materials Management, volume 42

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

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.



Ministry of Public Security (Ch)

March 14, 2014

Securing China's Nuclear Future


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

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.



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