Commentary

Applying a Learned Hand to Nuclear Security

By William Tobey

“There are precautions so imperative that even their universal disregard will not excuse their omission.”  Last month, at the IAEA’s International Conference on Nuclear Security:  Commitments and Actions, Kathryn Rauhut reminded participants of this finding by Judge Learned Hand in The T. J. Hooper v. Northern Barge Corporation (1932) case http://guweb2.gonzaga.edu/~dewolf/torts/pdf/TJHooper.pdf .  Judge Hand’s opinion is a pillar of U.S. tort law, but subsequent statutes (e.g. the Price-Anderson Act, and its international ilk), regulations, and international borders, complicate direct application of the “Hooper” principle to nuclear security, at least in a legally binding manner.  Read more about Applying a Learned Hand to Nuclear Security

Homeland Security, Radiological Terror, and Countering Public Fears

By Matthew Bunn

Steve Brill’s terrific article “Are We Any Safer?” – the cover of the September Atlantic – describes both the progress and the follies of homeland security in the 15 years since the tragedy of 9/11.  Brill provides a readable (and highly opinionated) overview of vulnerabilities that have been largely fixed, areas where hundreds of billions have been wasted, and remaining gaps. Read more about Homeland Security, Radiological Terror, and Countering Public Fears

Nuclear Security in Turkey

By Nickolas Roth

In mid-July, as an attempted coup was taking place in Turkey, many in the United States wondered whether U.S. tactical nuclear weapons stored at the Turkish airbase, Incirlik, were adequately protected against theft. Congressional Research Service Nuclear Weapons Policy Specialist, Amy Woolf, recently published a short article describing some of the security systems surrounding those weapons.  Read more about Nuclear Security in Turkey

Cancel the plutonium fuel factory

Matthew Bunn and Gary Samore just published an op-ed arguing that the program to build a factory that converts excess plutonium from dismantled nuclear weapons into plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel for nuclear reactors has become too expensive. Although the two helped to launch the program in the mid-90s, they argue "It is time to stop throwing good money after bad and pursue cheaper alternatives that will serve our national security better" and "whatever we do with this plutonium in the long term, we should move to put it under international monitoring, and commit never again to use it in weapons..." You can read their complete argument here. Read more about Cancel the plutonium fuel factory

Taking Stock of Ten Years of the GICNT

By Tytti Erästö

 The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) is an informal international partnership dedicated to combatting nuclear and radiological terrorism. It was launched by Russia and the US at the G8 meeting in 2006, based on their shared concern about that threat, as well as determination to develop partnership capacity to address it. Over time, the GICNT has evolved into a vibrant international partnership with an action-oriented approach to enhancing nuclear security within and among its 86 partner states. Read more about Taking Stock of Ten Years of the GICNT

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