What we are doing to actually reduce nuclear risks?
After decades of decreasing nuclear weapons stockpiles, the elimination of tons of radioactive materials, and increased vigilance by states and companies around the world regarding their nuclear weapons, facilities, and materials, sadly today we face a reality where the nuclear risks are actually once again on the upswing.
As an organization, we are committed to taking actions that will reduce these risks - and are convinced there are things that can be done to do so, without working at the IAEA or trying to lobby the U.S. federal government. Under the rubric of this overall campaign, here are some of the opportunities we are pursuing to make the world a safer place from nuclear weapons - we look to you for your support:
Understanding modern-era Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications (NC3): during the Cold War, while perhaps initially counter-intuitive and hotly debated among planners and strategic thinkers, increased transparency through detailed public and governmental understanding of the interplay between nuclear weapons states' NC3 systems proved significantly stabilizing - but no similar endeavor has been undertaken for the modern era of multiple near-peer nuclear weapons states combined with nuclear flashpoints in multiple disparate regional hotspots. Working together with The Nautilus Institute and with generous support from the MacArthur Foundation, we will convene large-scale conferences to re-establish the baseline once taken for granted, and incorporate a more complete understanding of the role of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence related techniques (machine learning, deep neural nets, larger and larger compute, etc).
Social Media Contagion and its role in instigating state-level conflict: the convergence of novel techniques such as deep fakes, the ability to manipulate media in dramatically accurate ways, with long-standing information warfare and archaic early-warning systems in the United States and around the globe make it a critical topic to consider how social media contagion and storms may purposefully or inadvertently lead to state-level conflict - and possibly even misperceptions that leads to escalation and a nuclear exchange. Again working with The Nautilus Institute and with generous support from the MacArthur Foundation, we will convene a workshop in the fall of 2018 to investigate these phenomena and consider potential antidotes that would need to be well understood by decision-makers well in advance of a crisis.
Raising Awareness: we continue to educate international audiences on the threats of nuclear proliferation, but also work closely with our local community to host high-profile speakers and experts on the threats posed by nuclear weapons. These include Dr. Bill Perry, Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, Ambassador Kathleen Stephens, Richard Rhodes, Ira Helfand, and many others. This work continues to be staunchly supported by advisors such as the SAGA Foundation, Walter Loewenstern, Pitch Johnson, Marty Hellman, and many others.
Nuclear Security: we are constantly engaged in the effort to identify technologies that will help better secure nuclear weapons and materials. Our partners and generous sponsors helped move us successfully through the first phase of a global competition to develop a problem statement and define the objective of developing an open-source, confidential system for maintaining real time accountability for nuclear weapons and materials.
Citizen Array: we continue to work with partners to develop the Citizen Array network that could potentially contribute to CTBT monitoring through the use of backyard seismic sensors for seismic detection. Opportunities exist for making this a reality through partnering with researchers at UC Berkeley and at Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Laboratories, and we look forward to a day when these tools become a reality.