Nuclear Issues

1055 Items

Heads of delegation for 2016 Nuclear Security Summit gather for family photo in Washington, D.C. on April 1, 2016.

Ben Solomon/U.S. Department of State

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

Rhetoric Aside, the US Commitment to Preventing Nuclear Terrorism is Waning

| Apr. 19, 2018

With the world focused on the United States and North Korea, it’s easy to forget that every president for a quarter-century has said preventing nuclear terrorism was a national security priority. This includes the Trump administration, which identified in its Nuclear Posture Review that nuclear terrorism is one of “the most significant threats to the security of the United States.” It appears, however, despite this strong rhetoric, the administration may not be putting its money where its mouth is.

Hiroshima

U.S. Army

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Effects of a Single Terrorist Nuclear Bomb

| Sep. 28, 2017

The escalating threats between North Korea and the United States make it easy to forget the “nuclear nightmare,” as former US Secretary of Defense William J. Perry put it, that could result even from the use of just a single terrorist nuclear bomb in the heart of a major city.

At the risk of repeating the vast literature on the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—and the substantial literature surrounding nuclear tests and simulations since then—we attempt to spell out here the likely consequences of the explosion of a single terrorist nuclear bomb on a major city, and its subsequent ripple effects on the rest of the planet. Depending on where and when it was detonated, the blast, fire, initial radiation, and long-term radioactive fallout from such a bomb could leave the heart of a major city a smoldering radioactive ruin, killing tens or hundreds of thousands of people and wounding hundreds of thousands more. Vast areas would have to be evacuated and might be uninhabitable for years. Economic, political, and social aftershocks would ripple throughout the world. A single terrorist nuclear bomb would change history. The country attacked—and the world—would never be the same.

People watch a TV screen showing file footage of a North Korean missile launch, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea on Aug. 29. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

Analysis & Opinions - The Atlantic

The North Korean Threat Beyond ICBMs

| Aug. 28, 2017

From the moment that President Barack Obama told President-elect Donald Trump during the transition about the impending threat of North Korean nuclear-tipped ICBMs, Trump’s basic stance has been: not on my watch. From his tweet of January 2 (“won’t happen!”) to his August statements that the U.S. military is “locked and loaded” to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it threatens America, Trump has sought to draw a red line that makes it clear he will do whatever is necessary to halt North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs—before they can target the continental United States.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Security Science, July 2015

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Discussion Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

When Did (and Didn’t) States Proliferate?

| June 2017

In this Project on Managing the Atom Discussion Paper, Philipp C. Bleek chronicles nuclear weapons proliferation choices throughout the nuclear age. Since the late 1930s and early 1940s, some thirty-one countries are known to have at least explored the possibility of establishing a nuclear weapons program. Seventeen of those countries launched weapons programs, and ten acquired deliverable nuclear weapons.

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- US-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism Newsletter: December 2016 - March 2017

Graham Allison’s new book urges U.S, China and Russia to cooperate in preventing nuclear terrorism.

Olli Heinonen and William Tobey weigh in on IAEA’s nuclear security conference.

Siegfried S. Hecker calls for rekindling of U.S.-Russian nuclear security cooperation.

Matthew Bunn co-edits a volume on insider threats.

 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with the U.S. Representative to the Vienna Office of the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency Ambassador Laura Holgate on July 22, 2016, after arriving at Vienna International Airport in Vienna, Austria, to attend a meeting aimed at amending the Montreal Protocol climate change agreement.

U.S. Department of State/Flickr

Press Release - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Ambassador Laura Holgate Returns to the Belfer Center

| Feb. 15, 2017

Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center enthusiastically welcomes back Ambassador Laura Holgate, who began her career at the Center in 1990. Holgate, who joins the Belfer Center as a Senior Fellow, was until January Ambassador and U.S. Representative to United Nations-Vienna and International Atomic Energy Agency. Previously, she served in the Obama administration as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism and Threat Reduction where she also played a major role in planning all four Nuclear Security Summits.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Russian businessmen in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016.

(AP)

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

A Blueprint for Donald Trump to Fix Relations with Russia

| December 18, 2016

In a "policy memo" to President-elect Donald Trump, Graham Allison and Dimitri K. Simes write: "The two Chinese characters that make up the word “crisis” can be interpreted as meaning both “danger” and “opportunity.” Russia today offers your administration not only a serious challenge but a significant opportunity.

Russia is no longer the Evil Empire the United States confronted over decades of Cold War. Nonetheless, Russia remains a player whose choices affect vital U.S. interests profoundly across the agenda of global issues. First and foremost, Russia remains the only nation that can erase the United States from the map in thirty minutes.

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The U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism Newsletter: September - November 2016

December 12, 2016

Graham Allison calls for revitalization of U.S.-Russian nuclear cooperation.

Rolf Mowatt-Larssen and Monica Duffy Toft weigh in on countering WMD terrorism.

Matthew Bunn outlines nuclear challenges that Donald Trump will face.

Siegfried Hecker reminds us that U.S. and Russia have a joint responsibility to prevent nuclear terrorism.