In this report, FAS President Charles Ferguson examines the national and international efforts to control and secure radioactive materials.
In the wake of the devastating meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, many Americans are now reevaluating the costs and benefits of nuclear energy. If anything, the accident underscores that constant vigilance is needed to ensure nuclear safety. Policymakers and the public need more guidance about where nuclear power in the United States appears to be heading.
Ali Vaez and Charles Ferguson co-authored a report analyzing options for establishing an enhanced safeguards system for the Iranian nuclear program.
FAS report addressing security concerns at Pakistan’s nuclear facilities and identifies specific terrorists within Pakistan who are motivated and potentially capable of taking Pakistani nuclear assets.
An overview and technical assessment of the Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA) missile defense system proposed by NATO and the United States.
Though the nuclear arsenal of the United States is smaller than it was during the Cold War, the day-to-day deployment of forces has changed very little. The United States still has weapons ready to launch at a moment’s notice at all times. This report describes how to reduce the nuclear missions to one: a minimal deterrence of nuclear attack.
Nuclear weapons, while simple in principle, are technically complex devices with a multitude of components. As with any complicated piece of equipment, there may be concern that, over time, a weapon’s reliability could decline. To coordinate efforts to maintain the nation’s existing nuclear weapons, the Department of Energy developed a Stockpile Stewardship Program (SSP). This report reviews the status of the experimental devices that support the SSP, describes how each experiment is supposed to work, and identifies the problems that have been encountered.
This report examines the debate over China’s modernization of its nuclear forces, describes past and current U.S. nuclear targeting of China, and uses software to simulate the effects of Chinese and U.S. of nuclear attacks.
Charles D. Ferguson, Preventing Catastrophic Nuclear Terrorism, Council Special Report No. 11, Council on Foreign Relations, March 2006. This report examines options for the United States and other countries to secure and eliminate nuclear weapons and dangerous fissile materials. Despite many national and international programs to secure these materials, there are large security gaps that remain.
This report examines the threat of nuclear terrorism and the possibility of terrorist groupsobtaining weapons-usable fissile materials to create a nuclear device.
This report examines all the missions proposed for U.S. nuclear weapons and finds conventional weapons are better in most cases. The report calls for reducing and restructuring the United States’ and Russia’s nuclear forces and giving up the push for a new generation of nuclear weapons including “bunker busters.”
America’s institutions for providing science advice are in “crisis.” This report discusses steps that Congress, the executive branch, outside scientific groups and individuals can take to help solve the problem.