Our Work in Nuclear Security
The Corporation is the main private philanthropic supporter of nongovernmental work concerning nuclear weapons strategy, security, and nonproliferation. Part of our programmatic effort is to increase the attention of emerging philanthropists on nuclear issues, particularly as today’s nuclear threats are different, although not less menacing, from those that dominated the Cold War or the years that immediately followed. Non-state actors and terrorist networks have demonstrated increased sophistication and the ability to exploit global trade flows, including in nuclear materials and technology. The spread of civilian nuclear technology has also allowed states to use legal procurement of fuel cycle facilities to come right to the edge of a weapons capability, as demonstrated by Iran. Nascent nuclear weapons states (North Korea) or nuclear weapons aspirants (Iran) threaten the existing nonproliferation norms, as well as regional and global stability. In addition, advances in non-nuclear weapons systems, from cyber to prompt conventional strikes to sophisticated missile defenses, interact with nuclear forces in ways that are potentially destabilizing, especially since high-alert postures leave little room for error. This is the landscape in which the Corporation’s Nuclear Security program aims to:
- Improve the capacity of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to fulfill its expanded mandate of strengthening nuclear safeguards and nuclear security despite a constrained budget.
- Support the Nuclear Security Summit process and planning for what comes next, to improve security of weapons-usable materials worldwide and reduce the likelihood of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons.
- Assess the implications for global strategic stability of advances in technologies such as conventional prompt global strike, ballistic missile defenses, or cyber weapons, to help pave the way toward further reductions in nuclear weapons.
- Advance international dialogues that involve U.S. and North Korean experts and former and current officials, as well as key regional players, and ensure that information gained in these discussions is shared among Corporation grantees working on North Korea and with officials across the U.S. foreign policy establishment, to help advance efforts to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.
- Advance international dialogues that involve U.S. and Iranian experts and former and current officials, as well as between Iranians and key regional players, and ensure that information gained in these discussions is shared with officials across the U.S. foreign policy establishment, to help reduce the prospects of Iran developing a nuclear weapon.