March 8, 2014
"The Obama administration is fully cognizant of Israel's concerns and greater stakes in the nuclear talks. It is also aware that influential circles in Washington may have even greater sensitivity and sympathy for Israel’s worries. Especially important is the U.S. Congress, whose approval of any agreement reached with Iran will be crucial. This is because almost all that Iran seeks to achieve in any agreement reached—namely, significant sanctions relief—cannot be implemented without the Congress's consent. For the Obama administration, therefore, the Israeli-alliance-management challenge has an important U.S. domestic dimension as well."
March 3, 2014
By Sharon Wilke, Associate Director of Communications
Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs today launches a new website – Nuclear Security Matters – that provides policymakers, researchers, journalists, and the interested public with a wealth of facts, analysis, key documents, and other resources critical to the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit goal of preventing nuclear terrorism around the globe.
Nuclear Security Matters was developed by the Belfer Center’s Project on Managing the Atom with input from Center nuclear experts Graham Allison, Matthew Bunn, Trevor Findlay, Gary Samore, William Tobey, and others.
Leaders at the 2010 nuclear security summit agreed on the goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear material in four years, but the factors that drive and/or constrain changes in nuclear security are not well understood. Matthew Bunn and Eben Harrell surveyed selected nuclear security professionals in countries with nuclear weapons, HEU, or separated plutonium, to explore this issue. This first-of-its-kind paper describes the survey, its results, and implications for strengthening global nuclear security.
February 11, 2014
By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom
In this presentation to an Institute for Nuclear Materiials Management workshop on risk-informing security, Matthew Bunn proposes a new approach to judging which materials would be easiest or more difficult for terrorists to use in a nuclear bomb, and hence which materials require more or less security.
February 27, 2014
The Project on Managing the Atom seeks Student Associates for the Summer of 2014. 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. Full-time and part-time arrangements may be possible.
February 27, 2014
By Eugene B. Kogan, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
Dr. Eugene Kogan examines the West's approach to Iran and Syria through the lens of coercive diplomacy. Both cases, he argues, offer a chance to revitalize coercion as a tool of American diplomacy.
February 19, 2014
By Nickolas Roth, Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
A series of high profile scandals in the US nuclear missile force have raised questions over security. In this HKS PolicyCast, MTA Research Associate Nick Roth explains the problem, what it means for nuclear security, what has been done to remedy the situation and how it might impact the Obama administration’s efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation.
Feb 18, 2014
Science & Global Security, The Technical Basis for Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation Initiatives, issue 22, volume 1
By Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
This article describes the status of China’s military and civilian nuclear programs, fissile material production and associated nuclear facilities, and the Chinese nuclear experts and officials’ perspectives on the nuclear terrorism threat. It gives details of China’s nuclear security practices, attitudes, and regulations, as well as identifying areas of concern. The article recommends ways to strengthen China’s nuclear material protection, control, and accounting systems and suggests opportunities for increased international cooperation.
February 7, 2014
By Ariane Tabatabai, Stanton Nuclear Security Predoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
Ariane Tabatabai examines the evolution of Iran's nuclear narrative and the ways in which President Rouhani's rhetoric on the issue differs from his predecessor's.
By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
In the dead of night on July 28, 2012, three senior citizens, including an 82-year-old Catholic nun, Sister Megan Rice, broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, site of the US Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility (HEUMF). This self-proclaimed “Fort Knox of uranium” is America’s central repository for weapons-grade uranium.
....The security failings revealed by the nun and her fellow protesters are legion. The protesters were on the site for over an hour and 20 minutes, trekking about seven-tenths of a mile as the crow flies, but far longer as they traversed a steep ridge. They pierced fences equipped with sophisticated sensors. Yet the Y-12 Protective Force failed to spot them until they enjoyed unimpeded access to the exterior of the HEUMF forabout 20 minutes. Had these individuals been well-armed, well-equipped terrorists, instead of Bible-toting peace protesters, the incident would have been far more dire.