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Olli Heinonen

Olli Heinonen

Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Email: olli_heinonen@hks.harvard.edu

 

Experience

Olli Heinonen is a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. His research and teachings include: nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, verification of treaty compliance, enhancement of the verification work of international organizations, and transfer and control of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Before joining the Belfer Center in September 2010, Olli Heinonen served 27 years at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. Heinonen was the Deputy Director General of the IAEA, and head of its Department of Safeguards. Prior to that, he was Director at the Agency’s various Operational Divisions, and as inspector including at the IAEA’s overseas office in Tokyo, Japan.

Heinonen led teams of international investigators to examine nuclear programmes of concern around the world and inspected nuclear facilities in South Africa, Iraq, North Korea, Syria, Libya and elsewhere, seeking to ensure that nuclear materials were not diverted for military purposes. He also spearheaded efforts to implement an analytical culture to guide and complement traditional verification activities. He led the Agency’s efforts to identify and dismantle nuclear proliferation networks, including the one led by Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan, and he oversaw its efforts to monitor and contain Iran’s nuclear programme.

Prior to joining IAEA, he was a Senior Research Officer at the Technical Research Centre of Finland Reactor Laboratory in charge of research and development related to nuclear waste solidification and disposal. He is co-author of several patents on radioactive waste solidification.

Heinonen is the author of several articles, chapters of books, books, in publications ranging from the IAEA and nuclear non-proliferation issues, to regional nuclear developments. His writings and interviews have be published in various newspapers and magazines including: Foreign Policy, The Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, the Bulleting of the Atomic Scientists, Arms Control Today, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, the Helsingin Sanomat, the New York Times, the Mehr news, Die Stern, the Haaretz, the New Statesman, the Washington Post, the BBC, and the Time. His policy briefings have been published by the Belfer Center,  the Atlantic Council, the Nautilus Institute, the Institute for Science and International Security, the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center,  the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the Carnegie Endowment.

Olli Heinonen studied radiochemistry and completed his PhD dissertation in nuclear material analysis at the University of Helsinki.

 

 

By Date

 

2016

AP

May 24, 2016

"Growth of Nuclear Energy: Issues in Safety, Safeguards and Security"

Op-Ed

By Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Nuclear energy is seeing a revival post-Fukushima, with interest shifting away from Europe to Asia. As nuclear power use grows, so must the international community bear in mind the 3S - safety, safeguards and security.

 

 

AP

April 28, 2016

"IAEA Takes a Light Touch on Iran’s Heavy Water"

Policy Brief

By Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The IAEA’s reporting has been insufficiently clear regarding Iranian inventories of nuclear material. Iran is continuously enriching uranium and producing heavy water, and exceeding the JCPOA’s limits threatens to cut its nuclear breakout time. A clear, unambiguous IAEA accounting of Tehran’s nuclear inventories is therefore all the more essential.

 

 

AP

March 2016

"A New Nuclear World Order: Safety, Security and Safeguards"

Book Chapter

By Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

“A New Nuclear World Order: Safety, Security and Safeguards” in Die Zwischengesellschaft, written by Senior Fellow Olli Heinonen, reviews in detail measures to strengthen nuclear safety, security and safeguards to support states in developing and using nuclear energy in a safe, secure and peaceful manner.

 

 

AP

April 15, 2016

Correlating the Operation of the Coal Plant to Reprocessing Activities at Yongbyon

Report

By Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

As of April 2016, there are growing indications that North Korea has separated, is separating, or will soon be separating plutonium from irradiated fuel at the Radiochemical Laboratory, a process commonly referred to as reprocessing. An analysis of recent satellite imagery obtained shows several activities, which could be correlated to the preparation or actual reprocessing activities underway.

 

 

AP

March 15, 2016

"Heinonen: IAEA Needs Detailed Reporting to Draw ‘Broader Conclusion’"

News

By Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Javad Heirannia

Olli Heinonen is of the opinion that the first report that the UN nuclear watchdog presented about Iran’s nuclear program after the implementation of the nuclear deal (JCPOA) was expected to be more detailed in order to reach a “broader conclusion”.

 

 

AP

March 4, 2016

"The IAEA’s Latest Report Falls Short"

Op-Ed, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

By Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s most recent report on Iran’s nuclear activities provides insufficient details on important verification and monitoring issues. Over the longer term, this will hamper efforts to reach a “broader conclusion” that all nuclear material and activities are accounted for and for peaceful use.

 

 

AP

January 2016

"Beyond Implementation Day: A Brief Statement on U.S. Policy Toward Iran"

Op-Ed, Washington Institute for Near East Policy

By Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

For more than three years, members of the bipartisan Iran Study Group have convened regularly under the auspices of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy to discuss the status of the Iran nuclear issue, frequently benefitting from the input of senior administration officials. Last June, with the target date looming for completion of the nuclear talks, members of the group issued a statement offering their consensus view on aspects of those negotiations and on broader U.S. Middle East policy. As the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) now moves into a new phase with Implemen- tation Day, members of the group believe it is timely and appropriate to issue this new consensus statement on U.S. policy. The Belfer Center's Olli Heinonen joined the Iran Study Group to produce the attached detailed statement.

 

 

AP

January 21, 2016

"Beyond Implementation Day: Transparency and Enforcement for the Long Term"

Op-Ed

By Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Implementation Day marked the beginning of the true test of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The success of the JCPOA in containing Iran’s nuclear capabilities depends on full transparency and vigorous verification and monitoring. While the JCPOA caps Tehran’s nuclear capabilities in the early years, the deal may, over the long term, contribute to a proliferation cascade that will make the world’s most volatile region all the more combustible.

 

2015

AP

December 18, 2015

"Evolving International Nuclear Safeguards"

Event Summary

By Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Olli Heinonen led a seminar at the Argonne National Laboratory on the International Atomic Engergy Agency (IAEA) nuclear safeguards on December 18th as part of the Physics Division Colloquium Series.

 

 

AP

December 8, 2015

"Next Steps in the Implementation of the JCPOA"

Policy Brief

By Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

When the new report is brought before the IAEA’s Board of Governors on December 15, it should adopt a resolution based on: a credible baseline for monitoring and verification; assurances, with high confidence, that all weapons-related activities have been terminated; and future sampling and investigations carried out in-situ by IAEA inspectors and experts.

 
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.