July 20, 2015
By Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom and Yun Zhou, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom (MTA), 2013–2014; Former Research Fellow, International Security Program (ISP)/MTA, 2011–2013; Former Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow, ISP/MTA, 2010–2011; Former Research Fellow, ISP/MTA, 2009–2010
"Plutonium was first separated by the United States during the Second World War. Uranium was loaded into nuclear reactors, irradiated, cooled, and then chemically “reprocessed” in another facility to recover the plutonium. The reactors and the reprocessing plant were built as part of the secret atomic bomb project. Since then, eight other countries also have produced and separated plutonium for weapons..."
July 16, 2015
By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom
A historic deal aimed at limiting Iran’s nuclear production capability in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions has been reached in Vienna. The deal comes following almost two years of multi-lateral negotiations which intensified over the past several weeks. In this Q&A with Doug Gavel, Director of Media Relations for the Harvard Kennedy School, Matt Bunn was asked for his perspectives on the most significant elements of the deal, how this deal came together, and whether the deal goes far enough.
July 15, 2015
By Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa
"Africa is saddled with higher education systems that were created in the early 1960s to train functionaries. Very few of the universities have curricula or use teaching methods that promote innovation."
July 15, 2015
Climate Change National Forum
"People do often say this is symbolic. Now this is essentially a rhetorical argument dressed up like a substantive one. We know from every day, from politics, and from history, that symbols do have a huge impact on politics, have a huge impact on how people think about problems. And politics has a huge impact on economics.'
July 13, 2015
"America is poised to reach a new milestone Tuesday in exploration and discovery. Fifty years after Mariner-4's historic flyby of Mars, 20 years after the Galileo spacecraft arrived at Jupiter and five years after President Barack Obama challenged America's space program to extend humanity's reach in space while strengthening America's leadership here on Earth, the New Horizons spacecraft will reach Pluto, providing the closest view humanity has ever seen of the dwarf planet."
Sustainable Production and Consumption
By Arani Kajenthira, Former Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, April–June 2013; Former Research Fellow, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, September 2010–March 2013, Afreen Siddiqi, Visting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program and Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy; Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-PI, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group
Water, energy, and food security are of critical concern as rising population growth and rapid urbanization place greater pressure on our natural resources. This study evaluates the growing internationalization of food production in water-scarce countries using the case of Saudi Arabia as a microcosm to illustrate the tradeoffs in resource consumption associated with crop selection and farming practices.
July 7, 2015
The Huffington Post
By Behnam Taebi, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program
"In an unprecedented action, a court has ruled that the Dutch Government must reduce its greenhouse emissions by 25%. The landmark case was initiated by some 900 Dutch citizens and the verdict offers a legal breakthrough in a longstanding political stalemate, underlining the potential power of a well-informed grassroots lobby group in the environmental policy area"
July 1, 2015
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, issue 4, volume 71
By Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
Some observers believe that plutonium reprocessing is on the verge of an expansion, while others argue that the end of the practice is in sight. The risk of nuclear proliferation has always been the chief objection to reprocessing but proponents argue that today, with uranium enrichment technology more easily available, reprocessing no longer represents an efficient route toward nuclear weapons...
"Do Nuclear Weapons Affect the Guns-butter Trade-off? Evidence on Nuclear Substitution from Pakistan and Beyond"
Conflict, Security & Development, issue 3, volume 15
By Ahsan I. Butt, Former Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2014–2015; Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, August 1, 2011–August 31, 2012
Scholars have argued that acquiring nuclear weapons should allow states the luxury of exiting conventional arms races. In turn, a decreased budgetary focus on conventional arms should make possible greater spending on social welfare. The author contests this logic of nuclear substitution by examining its most likely exponent, Pakistan. As a poor, underdeveloped state, a nuclear Pakistan should have welcomed the opportunity to cease its arms race with India, and spend greater sums on its population's welfare. Instead, the article shows that Pakistan has doubled down on its pre-nuclear conventional posture, mainly because of its revisionism over Kashmir.
June 29, 2015
India in Transition
By Jayita Sarkar, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
"The middle powers' congruence between New Delhi and Paris expanded with French quest for nuclear technology partners outside Europe, especially for technology that had not already been proved to be economically viable. For much of the Cold War, French nonchalance toward nuclear safeguards, frequent foreign policy differences with Washington, and close ties between key Indian and French physicists helped further. From India's point of view, the CEA offered technological assistance, including active encouragement as in 1974, when no other atomic energy commission was willing to offer much."