Nuclear Issues (continued)
Oct 2, 2013
By Robert Reardon, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program
Iran may already possess the ability to produce nuclear weapons, but for the time being Tehran appears content to continue gradually advancing its nuclear program while remaining within the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This book chapter assesses Iran’s potential to develop nuclear weapons, the nature of its nuclear decision-making, and the possible policy implications of Iran’s nuclear choices.
September 27, 2013
Power & Policy Blog
By Eben Harrell, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
In Summer of 2013, The Project on Managing the Atom released “Plutonium Mountain: Inside the 17-Year Mission to Secure a Dangerous Legacy of Soviet Nuclear Testing.” In the report, Eben Harrell and David Hoffman tell how dedicated scientists and engineers in three countries overcame suspicions, secrecy, bureaucracy, and logistical obstacles to secure more than a dozen bombs worth of plutonium that had been left behind at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although the outline of the Semipalatinsk operation had been made public before, the report filled in new details.
September 23, 2013
"Organizing for Arms Control: The National Security Implications of the Loss of an Independent Arms Control Agency"
By Leon Ratz
Fourteen years since the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) was dissolved, Leon Ratz (HKS '13) explores the national security implications of the loss of America's independent arms control agency. Ratz argues that the organizational merger has weakened the federal government's decision-making and analytic capabilities when it comes to addressing critical arms control and non-proliferation challenges.
September 14, 2013
By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program
"Amidst all of the uncertainty surrounding the details of the Russian proposal and the chances of it actually being implemented, there are, however, two near-certainties. Syria will do everything possible to delay, prevent, circumvent and minimize the actual transfer of its chemical arsenal to international control, let alone dismantlement, and will enjoy significant Russian and Iranian backing in these efforts."
August 16, 2013
By Sven-Eric Fikenscher, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
"A more encompassing offer could be based on easing the restrictions on Iran's troubled financial sector (inflation has skyrocketed under Western sanctions) and the promise of easing restrictions on the import of gasoline. Such an offer would allow for quick economic improvements while holding out some additional future benefits, such as oil exports, which may be just enough to win Rouhani's support."
August 16, 2013
Last October, at the foot of a rocky hillside near here, at a spot known as Degelen Mountain, several dozen Kazakh, Russian and American nuclear scientists and engineers gathered for a ceremony. The modest ribbon-cutting marked the conclusion of one of the largest and most complex nuclear security operations since the Cold War — to secure plutonium (enough to build a dozen or more nuclear weapons) that Soviet authorities had buried at the testing site years before and forgotten, leaving it vulnerable to terrorists and rogue states. The effort spanned 17 years, cost $150 million and involved a complex mix of intelligence, science, engineering, politics and sleuthing. This op-ed is based on documents and interviews with Kazakh, Russian and U.S. participants, and reveals the scope of the operation for the first time.
August 15, 2013
The Belfer Center’s Eben Harrell and Pulitzer Prize-winning author David E. Hoffman for the first time report the details of one of the largest nuclear security operations of the post-Cold War years — a secret 17-year, $150 million operation to secure plutonium in the tunnels of Degelen Mountain.
August 8, 2013
While the United States and Russia have a responsibility to draw down their arsenals, these bilateral nuclear reductions will be increasingly difficult if other nuclear powers do not join in....[I]t is time to engage the so-called "second tier" nuclear powers, especially China. The evolution of the US-China strategic relationship can affect the next stages of international arms control, even if China does not directly participate.
August 7, 2013
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
By Martin B. Malin, Executive Director, Project on Managing the Atom
Ayman Khalil asked whether the effort to create a WMD-free zone in the Middle East is dead. Martin's answer is this: The effort will continue, but the opportunity presented by the 2010 Review Conference for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) may be slipping out of reach.
July 30, 2013
By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom
This chapter explores how nuclear security measures evolved in the United States, drawing lessons about the factors that lead states to improve their nuclear security approaches — a crucial question for today's efforts to convince states around the world to beef up nuclear security.