NUCLEAR POWER, NUCLEAR WASTE
Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter
By Nickolas Roth, Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
In preparation for next year’s Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands, the Project on Managing the Atom (MTA) is rolling out a series of reports on strengthening international efforts to secure nuclear material around the world. Matthew Bunn and William Tobey, along with other staff and fellows at the Belfer Center, have also begun briefing officials from key states attending the summit on priority steps for reducing nuclear security risks.
Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter
By Sharon Wilke, Associate Director of Communications
In October, 2012, at the foot of a rocky hillside in eastern Kazakhstan, a group of American, Russian, and Kazakh nuclear scientists and engineers gathered for a ceremony marking the completion of a secret 17-year, $150 million operation to secure plutonium in the tunnels of Degelen Mountain—an abandoned site of Soviet underground nuclear testing.
November 25, 2013
Each year, the Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School welcomes new pre- and post-doctoral fellows and visiting researchers to a select team of scholars exploring the critical role that science and technology play in everyday life. The annual STPP fellowship competition will begin accepting online applications December 15, 2013.
November 25, 2013
Op-Ed, Christian Science Monitor
By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom
Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu warns that the nuclear deal with Iran increases Iran’s chances of building nuclear weapons. In this Christian Science Monitor op-ed, Matthew Bunn argues that Prime Minister Netanyahu is exactly wrong. The first-stage nuclear deal with Iran will change the politics of the bomb in Tehran. With this deal in place, it will be much harder for Iranian hardliners to make the case that Iran should tear up its agreements and build a bomb.
"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.
October 13, 2013
Op-Ed, Moscow Times, issue 5233
Earlier this year, an 83-year-old Catholic nun, Sister Megan Rice, was convicted of breaking into the Y-12 National Security Complex near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where the U.S. stores weapons-grade, highly enriched uranium. Sister Rice and two senior citizen companions cut through three fences before vandalizing the outside of the storage site. Fortunately, they were peace activists and not terrorists bent on causing mayhem, but this appalling lapse proves that no nation can be complacent about securing its nuclear materials.
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."
"The Future Costs of Nuclear Power Using Multiple Expert Elicitations: Effects of RD&D and Elicitation Design"
Journal Article, Environmental Research Letters, issue 3, volume 8
By Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy; Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-PI, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Gregory Nemet, Former Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, January–June 2011 and Elena Verdolini
Characterization of the anticipated performance of energy technologies to inform policy decisions increasingly relies on expert elicitation. Knowledge about how elicitation design factors impact the probabilistic estimates emerging from these studies is, however, scarce. We focus on nuclear power, a large-scale low-carbon power option, for which future cost estimates are important for the design of energy policies and climate change mitigation efforts. We use data from three elicitations in the USA and in Europe and assess the role of government research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) investments on expected nuclear costs in 2030.
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.