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Nuclear Security Matters

Analysis on Reducing the Risk of Nuclear Terrorism

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For Academic Citation:Nuclear Security Matters,” https://nuclearsecuritymatters.belfercenter.org/publication/nuclear-security-matters.

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Nuclear Security Matters

Nuclear Security Matters

Last week, a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine panel affirmed the goal of eliminating highly enriched uranium (HEU) from civilian use, while recommending step-wise conversion of high performance research reactors using weapon-grade uranium fuel and that the White House coordinate a 50-year national roadmap for neutron-based research. (Full disclosure:  I sat on that committee, and oversaw the NNSA reactor conversion program from 2006-9; this post, however, represents my views, not necessarily those of the committee or NNSA.)

Nuclear Security Matters

Nuclear Security Matters

When the Cold War ended, much of the world seemed to breathe a momentary sigh of relief. The greatest existential threat in human history, that of an all-out nuclear holocaust, appeared to have practically vanished overnight. Soon it became clear that we were not quite out of the woods yet. State-versus-state tensions between the United States and Russia did not completely dissipate. New nuclear powers, like Pakistan and North Korea, emerged publicly, and suspicions about potential future nuclear powers abound. The threat of nuclear terrorism, something which had been discussed publicly since the late 1960s, took on a new relevance in the face of threats about loose fissile material and extremist terrorism.  And the global effects of even a regional nuclear exchange, such as one in South Asia, became more acutely appreciated.