Publications

Forthcoming
Matthew Bunn. Forthcoming. The Gates of Hell: Guarding Against Nuclear Theft and Terrorism. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Matthew Bunn. Forthcoming. “Enabling a Significant Nuclear Role in China’s Decarbonization: LooseningConstraints, Mitigating Risks.” In Decarbonizing China’sEnergy System.
2020
Nicholas Roth, Matthew Bunn, and William Tobey. 3/31/2020. “Public Testimony for the Record FY 2021 House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies FY 2021 Public Witness Hearing.” House Committee on Appropriations. Publisher's VersionAbstract
A nuclear explosion detonated anywhere by a terrorist group would be a global humanitarian, economic, and political catastrophe. The current COVID-19 pandemic reminds us not to ignore prevention of and preparation for low-probability, high-consequence disasters. For nuclear terrorism, while preparation is important, prevention must be the top priority. The most effective strategy for keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists is to ensure that nuclear materials and facilities around the world have strong and sustainable security. Every president for more than two decades has made strengthening nuclear security around the globe a priority. This includes the Trump administration, whose 2018 Nuclear Posture Review states: “[n]uclear terrorism remains among the most significant threats to the security of the United States, allies, and partners.”2 Despite these efforts, some nuclear facilities and materials around the world remain dangerously vulnerable. The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) nuclear security programs require sustained funding increases to ensure that security at nuclear facilities keeps pace with ever-evolving threats.
roth_bunn_tobey_testimony.pdf
Matthew Bunn and Mariana Budjeryn. 3/30/2020. Budapest Memorandum at 25: Between Past andFuture. Budapest Memorandum 25th Anniversary Conference. Cambridge, Massachusetts : Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center. Publisher's VersionAbstract
On December 5, 1994, leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation met in Budapest, Hungary, to pledge security assurances to Ukraine in connection with its accession to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a non-nuclear-weapons state. The signature of the so-called Budapest Memorandum concluded arduous negotiations that resulted in Ukraine’s agreement to relinquish the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal, which the country inherited from the collapsed Soviet Union, and transfer all nuclear warheads to Russia for dismantlement. The signatories of the memorandum pledged to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and inviolability of its borders, and to refrain from the use or threat of military force. Russia breached these commitments with its annexation of Crimea in 2014 and aggression in eastern Ukraine, bringing the meaning and value of security assurance pledged in the Memorandum under renewed scrutiny. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the memorandum’s signature, the Project on Managing the Atom at the Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, with the support of the Center for U.S.-Ukrainian Relations and the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, hosted a conference to revisit the history of the Budapest Memorandum, consider the repercussions of its violation for international security and the broader nonproliferation regime, and draw lessons for the future. The conference brought together academics, practitioners, and experts who have contributed to developing U.S. policy toward post-Soviet nuclear disarmament, participated in the negotiations of the Budapest Memorandum, and dealt with the repercussions of its breach in 2014. The conference highlighted five key lessons learned from the experience of Ukraine’s disarmament.1
bm25.pdf
Matthew Bunn and Nicholas Roth. 2/13/2020. “The Past and Potential Role of Civil Society in Nuclear Security.” In International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts, International Atomic Energy Agency. Vienna, Austria: International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts, International Atomic Energy Agency, , February 10-14, 2/13/2020. Abstract
Civil society has played a very important role in nuclear security over the years, and its role could be strengthened in the future.  Some nuclear organizations react against the very idea of civil society involvement, thinking of only one societal role – protesting.  In fact, however, civil society has played quite a number of critical roles in nuclear security over the years, including highlighting the dangers of nuclear terrorism; providing research and ideas; nudging governments to act; tracking progress and holding governments and operators accountable; educating the public and other stakeholders; promoting dialogue and partnerships; helping with nuclear security implementation; funding initial steps; and more.  Funding organizations (both government and non-government) should consider ways to support civil society work and expertise focused on nuclear security in additional countries.  Rather than simply protesting and opposing, civil society organizations can help build more effective nuclear security practices around the world.
iaea-cn-278-586.pdf
Matthew Bunn. 2/12/2020. “The Need for Creative and Effective Vulnerability Assessment and Testing.” In International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts, International Atomic Energy Agency. Vienna, Austria. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Realistic, creative vulnerability assessment and testing are critical to finding and fixing nuclear security weaknesses and avoiding over-confidence. Both vulnerability assessment and realistic testing are needed to ensure that nuclear security systems are providing the level of protection required. Systems must be challenged by experts thinking like adversaries, trying to find ways to overcome them. Effective vulnerability assessment and realistic testing are more difficult in the case of insider threats, and special attention is needed. Organizations need to find ways to give people the mission and the incentives to find nuclear security weaknesses and suggest ways they might be fixed. With the right approaches and incentives in place, effective vulnerability assessment and testing can be a key part of achieving and sustaining high levels of nuclear security.
iaea-cn-278-587.pdf
Matthew Bunn and Nicholas Roth. 2/11/2020. Assessing Progress on Nuclear Security Action Plans. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Participants at the final Nuclear Security Summit in 2016 agreed on “action plans” for initiatives they would support by five international organizations and groups—the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, INTERPOL, the United Nations, and the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Destruction. These institutions were supposed to play key roles in bolstering ongoing nuclear security cooperation after the summit process ended. The action plans were modest documents, largely endorsing activities already underway, and there have been mixed results in implementing them. To date, these organizations have not filled any substantial part of the role once played by the nuclear security summits.
iaea-cn-278-605.pdf
Matthew Bunn. 1/8/2020. “Stepping Back from the Brink on Iran.” The Boston Globe. Publisher's Version
Matthew Bunn. 1/3/2020. “We’re in for a rough ride with Iran.” The Boston Globe. Publisher's Version
2019
Aaron Arnold, Matthew Bunn, Caitlin Chase, Steven Miller, Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, and William H. Tobey. 4/2019. “The Iran Nuclear Archive: Impressions and Implications.” Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School.
Matthew Bunn, Nickolas Roth, and William H. Tobey. 1/2019. “Revitalizing Nuclear Security in an Era of Uncertainty.” Cambridge, Mass.: Project on Managing the Atom, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Pp. 206.
Matthew Bunn. 2019. Governance of Solar Geoengineering: Learning from Nuclear Regimes, Pp. 51-54. Cambridge, Mass. Harvard Project on Climate Change Agreement.
Matthew Bunn. 2019. “Nuclear Disarmament, Nuclear Energy, and Climate Change: Exploring theLinkages.” In Nuclear Disarmament: A Critical Assessment , Pp. 185-204. England: Routledge: Oxon.
2018
Matthew Bunn and Dmitry Kovchegin. 5/8/2018. “Nuclear Security in Russia: Can Progress be Sustained?” Nonproliferation Review, 24, 5-6, Pp. 527-551. bunn-kovchegin_penultimate_nuclear_security_in_russia_can_progress_be_sustained.pdf
Matthew Bunn. 5/7/2018. “How Trump Can Fix the Iran Nuclear Deal.” Boston Globe. how_trump_can_fix_the_iran_nuclear_deal.pdf
Matthew Bunn, Nickolas Roth, and William H. Tobey. 4/19/2018. “Rhetoric Aside, the U.S. Commitment to Preventing Nuclear Terrorism is Waning.” The Hill. Publisher's Version
Matthew Bunn and William C. Potter. 2018. “The Problem of Black-Market Nuclear Technology Networks.” In Preventing Black-Market Trade in Nuclear Technology, Pp. 1-22. Cambridge, U.K. Cambridge University Press.
Matthew Bunn, Martin B. Malin, William C Potter, and Leonard S. Spector. 2018. “Preventing Black- Market Trade in Nuclear Technology.” (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press 2018)., Pp. 249-270.
2017
Matthew Bunn, Nickolas Roth, and William H. Tobey. 11/17/2017. “Protecting Nuclear Materials and Facilities Against the Full Spectrum of Plausible Threats.” International Conference on Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and Nuclear Facilities. bunn_protecting_nuclear_materials_and_facilities_against_the_full_spectrum_of_plausible_threats_01.pdf
Matthew Bunn. 11/2/2017. “Scenarios of Insider Threats to Japan's Nuclear Facilities and Materials - and Steps to Strengthen Protection.” In Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability. NAPSNET Special Report (San Francisco, Calif.: Nautilus Institute. bunn_scenarios-of-insider-threats-to-japans-nuclear-facilities-and-materials-and-steps-to-strengthen-protection_01.pdf

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