Published December 11, 2013 | By Jacob Grunberger
On Friday March 11, 2011 at 2:45 pm JST, an earthquake registered as a 9.0 on the Richter Scale occurred near the east coast of Honshu, Japan. The earthquake was comparable in its magnitude to the earthquake that hit Sumatra in 2004, roughly the equivalent of 23,000 Nagasaki bombs being simultaneously detonated. The earthquake and ensuing tsunami destroyed towns and infrastructure, ultimately ending in billions of dollars worth of damage and the confirmed loss of about 16,000 lives. Located on the northeast coast of Japan, 219 kilometers from Tokyo, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant run by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) felt the first effects of the event.
Published April 9, 2013 | By Kennan Hedrick
As pressure from Israel builds and international sanctions against Iran continually weaken the Iranian economy, President Obama has repeatedly asserted his policy to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and his willingness to use force if necessary. In light of this policy, what is the best strategy to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, and how should the U.S. pursue this strategy? To answer this question, this analysis evaluates U.S.-led military action, United Nations Security Council (UNSC) authorized use of force, and the dual-track strategy of sanctions and negotiations. Given the high costs of military action and the inability of the UNSC to authorize the use of force against Iran, maintaining a dual-track strategy is the best strategy for the U.S. to pursue to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.
Published February 15, 2012 | By Ed Nagle
Not long after the dawn of the nuclear age, few experts were optimistic that the spread of nuclear weapons could be contained. In 1963 it was anticipated that fifteen to twenty nations would likely come to possess nuclear weapons, let alone nuclear power, by the 1970s.1 It is easy to lose sight of this in contemporary discussions on nuclear proliferation. Yet at present we are faced with renewed pressure from state and non-state actors who desire to acquire nuclear arms. The apparent success of North Korea and potential success of Iran have created new regional pressures that have the potential to greatly increase the number of nuclear weapons states to a point not unlike President John F. Kennedy’s grim prediction in 1963. The years since the end of the Cold War have seen not only a transformation of the security environment, but also an evolution in the means and motives for procuring nuclear arms.
Published October 14, 2011 | By Ryan Costello
Revelations from the 2004 exposure of the A. Q. Khan network have highlighted the importance of this region in global nonproliferation efforts. While terrorism is by no means constrained to the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, the confluence of intent, knowledge and materials is found in this region. It remains uncertain if all nodes of the Khan network have been identified. Other leading Pakistani scientists have demonstrated a willingness to share nuclear knowledge if not material capabilities.
Published April 26, 2011 | By Jonas Vaicikonis
North Korea threatens world security by hastening the spread of nuclear weapons and related technologies to state and non-state actors interested in acquiring nuclear weapons. The North uses two pathways to acquire banned nuclear equipment for itself and for others: through state-to-state contact and through its network of individuals engaged in illicit trade. Both pathways pose a danger to the international community, but it is increasingly North Korea’s collaborations with other states interested in nuclear weapons technology that threaten the global nonproliferation regime.
Published April 19, 2011 | By Ryan Costello
Concerns regarding the safety of nuclear energy, particularly after the meltdowns at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, have hindered its continued development over the past few decades. However, increasing energy demand and fears of climate change have led to a “nuclear renaissance” in which states have increasingly pursued nuclear power as a carbon-free energy source. Given the evolving nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the future of nuclear energy is once again in doubt because of concerns about safety and health risks. When discussing the potential hazards of nuclear power, it is useful to bear in mind the cost of burning fossil fuels, such as coal. The burning of coal is a primary contributor to global warming, and it emits numerous hazardous air pollutants that likely result in thousands of deaths annually. Furthermore, around the globe thousands of coal miners die each year in mine accidents. Thus, the death toll from fossil fuels is higher than that of nuclear power.
Published March 29, 2011 | By Ryan Costello
The ongoing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station has renewed international concern regarding the safety of nuclear energy. In Germany, domestic pressure has forced Chancellor Angela Merkel to temporarily close seven of the nation’s seventeen nuclear power plants. In addition, China has announced that it will suspend new plant approvals until safety regulations are reviewed. As nations around the world reexamine their nuclear energy policies, it is helpful to examine the pros and cons of nuclear power.
Published February 1, 2011 | By Ryan Costello
Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and materials represent a significant proliferation risk that could become a target for terrorist groups operating within the country and in neighboring countries, such as Afghanistan. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and materials exist in the context of state instability and fragility, the legacy of the A.Q. Khan network, and alleged ties between the government and Islamist militants. The possibility that terrorists could obtain nuclear weapons or materials, either through an assault on nuclear facilities or with internal assistance, should not be underestimated.
Published August 15, 2010 | By Alexandra Kapitanskaya
In much the same way that ungoverned regions of the world pose significant risks to global security and nonproliferation efforts, ungoverned swathes of cyberspace contain inherent security vulnerabilities which offer criminals opportunity to conduct illicit activities through the use of information technology (IT).
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