FAS issue briefs provide the public and policymakers with a concise overview of a specific, current security threat. Past issue briefs have examined topics such as Iran’s enrichment of uranium, sanctions in North Korea and regulation of Japan’s nuclear power program post- Fukushima.
In this issue brief, FAS President Dr. Charles Ferguson takes a look at options for the United States to gain back leadership via a cooperative approach. The brief analyzes what nations could be effective partners for the United States in furthering nonproliferation while providing for the continued use of peaceful nuclear energy.
Global biosecurity engagement programs are designed to prevent the harmful use of biological agents and pathogens. It is difficult to measure the effectiveness of these programs in improving biosecurity given that there have been relatively few attempts to misuse the life sciences. To understand how biosecurity engagement is conducted and evaluated, Michelle Rozo, Ph.D. candidate at Johns Hopkins University, interviewed more than 35 individuals in the United States and abroad (including government officials and their non-governmental partners) regarding current and future programs that can be used to create a cohesive, global health system approach to biosecurity.
The 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was preventable. The Great East Japan earthquake and the tsunami that followed it were unprecedented events in recent history, but they were not altogether unforeseeable.
A country with few natural resources, first Japan began to develop nuclear power technologies in 1954. Nuclear energy assisted with Japanese economic development and reconstruction post World War II. However, with the fear of lethal ash and radioactive fallout and the lingering effects from the 2011 accident at Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, there are many concerns related to Japanese nonproliferation, security and nuclear policy.
The international responses to Iranian and North Korean proliferation bear many similarities, particularly in the use of economic sanctions as a central tool of policy. This issue brief contains an comparative analysis of U.S. policy toward Iran and North Korea.
A modified U.S. nuclear bomb currently under design will have improved military capabilities compared with older weapons and increase the targeting capability of NATO’s nuclear arsenal. The B61-12, the product of a planned 30-year life extension and consolidation of four existing versions of the B61 into one, will be equipped with a new guidance system to increase its accuracy.
While diplomats and officials claim Iran has slowed down its nuclear drive, new analysis shows that Iran’s enrichment capacity grew during 2010.
Since February 2010, Iran has been enriching uranium to concentrations of 20 percent U-235. A stockpile of 130 kg of 20 percent enriched uranium would reduce, by more than half, Iran’s time to develop a bomb. A key unknown is whether Tehran will stop the higher enrichment and, if so, under what circumstances.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has endured as the cornerstone of the non-proliferation regime and remains the only legally binding multilateral agreement on nuclear disarmament.
President Obama’s deadline to address concerns about Tehran’s nuclear program passed at the end of 2009, so the White House is moving to harsher sanctions. But the U.S. is having trouble rallying the needed international support because Iranian intentions remain ambiguous.
Transparency is essential for effective congressional and public oversight of arms exports. Without complete and accurate data on the quantity, type and recipients of exported defense articles and services, it is impossible to assess the extent to which arms transfers further national security and foreign policy.