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.
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.
January 28, 2014
By Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Testimony on the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal by Belfer Center senior fellow Olli Heinonen before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs's Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, and Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa.
January 13, 2014
In these slides, William H. Tobey and Pavel Zolotarev provide an updated summary of the threat of nuclear terrorism, based in part on the new U.S.-Russian report, Steps to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism. This was presented at the Meeting of the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit ‘Sherpas’, hosted by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pattaya, Thailand, on January 13, 2014.
"Smashing Atoms for Peace: Using Linear Accelerators to Produce Medical Isotopes without Highly Enriched Uranium"
By David Nusbaum, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
Accelerators can eventually be substituted for nuclear research reactors for the production of medical isotopes and for neutron-based research and other applications. The use of accelerators would reduce dependence on HEU and decrease the resulting risks. The United States and other countries should work together to provide the funding and exchange of information and ideas needed to speed up the development, demonstration, and deployment of technically and economically viable accelerator technologies to substitute for research reactors.
Oct 7, 2013
Matthew Bunn and Will Tobey spoke with Piet de Klerk, the Dutch Sherpa organizing the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit, on October 7 at a United Nations event sponsored by the Dutch mission to the UN. In these slides, Bunn and Tobey provide an updated summary of the threat of nuclear terrorism and recommendations for next steps to reduce the threat, based in part on the new U.S.-Russian report, Steps to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism.
October 3, 2013
At 6:00 PM on October 3, 2013, George Perkovich, Vice President for Studies and
Director of the Nuclear Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, gave the 2013 Robert McNamara Lecture on War and Peace, titled "Preventing Nuclear War in South Asia: Unprecedented Challenges, Unprecedented Solutions."
Assessing the risk of nuclear attack-by-proxy turns on the question of whether a state could sponsor nuclear terrorism and remain anonymous. A leader could rationalize such an attack—and entrust terrorists with a vitally important mission—only if doing so allowed the sponsor to avoid retaliation. After all, if a leader did not care about retaliation, he or she would likely conduct a nuclear strike directly. Giving nuclear weapons to terrorists makes sense only if there is a high likelihood of remaining anonymous after the attack.
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.
July 17, 2013
By Gary Samore, Executive Director for Research, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Gary Samore, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs's Executive Director for Research, spoke on a panel entitled "Iran: Crossing the Red Line?" at the Aspen Security Forum in July of 2013.
The videotaped discussion is available here.