Author: Elizabeth Grace

Innovative Ideas in Nuclear Waste Management

Image courtesy of Shutterstock This Tuesday, the Federation of American Scientists and the Heritage Foundation hosted a briefing on nuclear waste management. Featured were speakers Dr. Charles Ferguson, Professor Clifford Singer, Mr. Jack Spencer, and Ms. Sharon Squassoni.

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Beyond Official North Korea

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock This Monday, June 25, the Brookings Institution hosted John Everard, the former British ambassador to North Korea who spent two and a half years of his life in the country, from 2005 to 2008. The panel featured David Straub and Jonathan Pollack, with Richard Bush moderating. Everard gave a presentation on his experience in North Korea, entitled “Beyond Official North Korea: A British Diplomat’s Observations of Daily Life,” which consisted of observations that were the basis for his book on the topic. Everard described life in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as poverty-striken and desperate, but he put a human face on the citizens of the country.

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The Question of a Nuclear Iran

Image courtesy of Shutterstock The Hudson Institute hosted “When Iran Gets the Bomb: What Will It Do? What Will Others Do? What Will Be the Costs?” which was set in the future with each interlocutor adopting the role of an Iranian government official and collaborating with each other in a workshop designed to discuss nuclear weapons technology in the Middle East.

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Dictatorship 2.0

Image courtesy of Shutterstock This Wednesday, June 20, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosted the workshop “Dictatorship 2.0: Modern Authoritarian Regimes.” Karim Sadjadpour moderated the discussion of various authoritarian regimes throughout the world.

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The Next Generation in Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan: Youth, Politics, Identity, and Change

This Tuesday, Nadia Diuk, Vice President of the National Endowment for Democracy, hosted a panel discussion concerning her book and the topics addressed therein. Also featured was Sharon Wolchik, Professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, and Marc Plattner, who moderated the discussion. Diuk’s book studies the role of youth in politics in Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan, through public opinion polling in 2003 and 2009 of youth between the ages of 18-35 and interviews with young leaders, analyzed from a historical perspective.

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Increasing Nuclear Transparency with Satellite Imagery

FAS was pleased to welcome experts Matthew McKinzie with the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Hans Kristensen with FAS, and Tamara Patton with the Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) this Thursday to present and discuss their use of satellite imagery to monitor nuclear forces and proliferators. Matthew McKinzie spoke about the use of Geographic Information Systems and satellite imagery for arms control, human rights, and environmental advocacy work. Google Earth has exposed IBCM silo complexes, and observations of changes in images of the same location over time have evidenced mass building destruction on the Eritrea-Ethiopia border after the 2000 cease-fire and home demolitions in the Gaza Strip. Using knowledge from North Korean refugees, what at first appeared from satellite to be towns we now know to be prison camps. An examination of geographical overlap can also reveal locational information about Hezbollah terrorism targets in Beirut. In addition, when given known information about prevailing winds, McKinzie was able to calculate the radiation plumes that would result from a meltdown of each US power reactor at specific times during the day. The NRDC also collected data on radar throughout the US, including weather, airport surveillance, and air route surveillance radar, which, when combined with information about prevailing winds and elevation, can give essential information to the DOD about high interference areas.

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