This spring, the United States hosted the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC. Senior representatives of more than 50 nations convened to mark the end of an unprecedented international initiative over the last six years to strengthen security measures aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism. During that time, many states made significant progress, but more work is needed.
May 31, 2016
By Jayita Sarkar, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
"Nuclear South Asia: An Analyst's Guide to India, Pakistan, and the Bomb" is a free, open online course from the Stimson Center that addresses nuclear themes and challenges in South Asia. It is meant to provide strategic analysts in India and Pakistan—and the interested public in all countries—a platform to study these issues and engage in a serious, informed conversation. MTA Associate Jayita Sarkar delivered Section 2's Lecture 3.
July 18, 2016
Twenty years ago, in the Clinton Administration, both of us helped launch a program to build a factory to turn the excess plutonium from dismantled nuclear weapons into fuel for nuclear reactors. At that time, the full life-cycle cost estimate to make this plutonium-uranium mixed oxide (MOX) fuel was expected to be less than $2 billion dollars. Now, however, with official cost estimates ballooning to over $30 billion, it is clear that the project has become too expensive. It is time to stop throwing good money after bad and pursue cheaper alternatives that will serve our national security better.
July 6, 2016
By Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa
This book explores the sources and dynamics of social opposition to innovation. It:
- Explains the roots of resistance to new technologies - and why such resistance is not always futile
- Draws on nearly 600 years of economic history to show how the balance of winners and losers shapes technological controversies
- Outlines policy strategies for inclusive innovation to reduce the risks and maximize the benefits of new technologies
July 1, 2016
Foundation for Defense of Democracies
By Olli Heinonen, Senior Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
"On December 2, 2015, the IAEA issued its assessment on past and present outstanding issues related to Iran’s nuclear program and its Possible Military Dimensions (PMD). Buried in a footnote is a crucial detail: the presence of man-made uranium particles at the Parchin military complex. Last week, The Wall Street Journal’s Jay Solomon reported U.S. officials saying those particles likely relate to previous nuclear weapons activities, thereby raising even more questions. For example, where is the nuclear material used for those nuclear weapons activities, and what is the source of the particles found at Parchin? The question of whether Iran still has undeclared nuclear material is therefore critical..."
June 29, 2016
By Nickolas Roth, Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
"Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are once again trading barbs over who has the right disposition to be president -- including who is best suited to have a "finger on the button. It is, of course, not unusual for candidates to critique each other's qualifications. But there is a good reason why assessing the candidates' judgment and temperament is particularly important: The president of the United States has complete authority over more than 1,000 nuclear weapons ready to launch...."
June 27, 2016
By Se Young Jang, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
US and South Korean foreign policy needs to catch up with the increasingly likely reality that North Korea has already crossed a nuclear weapons state threshold, writes Se Young Jang.
"Driving Force or Forced Transition?: The Role of Development Cooperation in Promoting Energy Transitions in the Philippines and Morocco"
Journal of Cleaner Production, issue 1, volume 128
This article contributes to the understanding of transitions towards low carbon societies in the developing world. While adding extensive empirical insights from the status of energy transitions in two countries faced with major energy challenges, the Philippines and Morocco, the authors contribution enquires what role external actors like international donors in general, and Germany in particular, can play in such transitions.
"Quantifying the Effects of Expert Selection and Elicitation Design on Experts' Confidence in Their Judgments About Future Energy Technologies"
By Gregory Nemet, Former Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, January–June 2011, Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Elena Verdolini
Expert elicitations are now frequently used to characterize uncertain future technology outcomes. However, their usefulness is limited, in part because: estimates across studies are not easily comparable; choices in survey design and expert selection may bias results; and overconfidence is a persistent problem. The authors provide quantitative evidence of how these choices affect experts' estimates.
June 21, 2016
By Mansoor Ahmed, Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
"In a complete volte-face the nuclear supplier states that created the NSG (then the London Group) in 1975 due to proliferation concerns raised by India's perfidy are contemplating its inclusion. Paradoxically, that sounds like a death knell of the NSG and the non-proliferation regime."