RUSSIA AND FORMER SOVIET UNION
International Security (continued)
May 16, 2014
Op-Ed, The National Interest
By Sven-Eric Fikenscher, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
"Washington needs to make a decision about its foreign-policy priorities, if tensions in eastern Ukraine are not reduced. Giving the events in Ukraine priority over all other international developments is a hazardous strategy. Negotiations have gotten us nowhere, and way more assertive steps against Russia are not likely to make Putin give in, since he seems to be determined not to lose his influence over eastern Ukraine and eager to demonstrate Russia's power."
April 4, 2014
By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom and Scott Sagan, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 1981-1982; Editorial Board Member, Quarterly Journal: International Security
Insider threats are perhaps the most serious challenges that nuclear security systems face. Insiders perpetrate a large fraction of thefts from heavily guarded non-nuclear facilities as well, yet organizations often find it difficult to understand and protect against insider threats. Why is this the case? Part of the answer is that there are deep organizational and cognitive biases that lead managers to downplay the threats insiders pose to their nuclear facilities and operations. But another part of the answer is that those managing nuclear security often have limited information about incidents that have happened in other countries or in other industries, and the lessons that might be learned from them.
March 18, 2014
By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Martin B. Malin, Executive Director, Project on Managing the Atom, Nickolas Roth, Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom and William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
In the lead-up to the nuclear security summit, Advancing Nuclear Security: Evaluating Progress and Setting New Goals outlines what was accomplished in a four-year effort launched in 2009 to secure nuclear material around the globe—and what remains to be done. The effort made significant progress, but some weapons-usable nuclear materials still remain “dangerously vulnerable." The authors highlight the continuing danger of nuclear and radiological terrorism and call for urgent action.
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 nuclear security changes are not well understood. Matthew Bunn and Eben Harrell surveyed nuclear security professionals in countries with nuclear weapons, HEU, or separated plutonium to explore this issue. This paper describes the survey, its results, and implications for strengthening global nuclear security.
January 31, 2014
By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom
HKS Professor of Practice Matthew Bunn presented this presentation at the Plutonium Disposition Alternatives Workshop for the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, DC on January 30-31, 2014.
Journal Article, Arms Control Today
By Jaganath Sankaran, Associate, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
"Although the cancellation of the planned deployment of the SM-3 IIB interceptors has removed the possibility that interceptors deployed under the phased adaptive approach would pose a threat to Russian missiles, it has not diminished the missile defense system's primary mission of intercepting an array of current and potential future Iranian missiles. The restructured missile defense system would still theoretically be able to handle these Iranian missile threats, even if one factors in a comfortable amount of time for detecting and tracking them."
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.
September 27, 2013
Op-Ed, 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.
August 16, 2013
Op-Ed, Washington Post
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.