Nuclear Policy Talks

Nuclear Policy Talks  are organized by IISTP

Previous Nuclear Policy Talks

April 27, 2017

Nuclear Offshore Power: A New Paradigm for Construction, Siting, and Operations of Nuclear Power Plants with Guest Speaker Dr. Jacopo Buongiorno

jacopo buongiorno

April 21-22, 2017

APS SHORT COURSE on Nuclear Weapons and Security


April 19, 2017

A Death in London with Dr. Benjamin Garrett

Alexander Litvinenko



April 13, 2017

Addressing Cyber Threats to Nuclear Systems with Guest Speaker Dr. Page Stoutland of the Nuclear Threat Initative

NTI Logo



April 12, 2017

Things Amiss in A Salt Mine- Guest Speaker, David Hobbs



March 26, 2017

Can the U.S. Nuclear Navy learn from the French Experience?



February 15, 2017


Able Archer 83 Book talk (with Author Nate Jones)


February 2, 2017

Film Screening Containment

Featuring a short panel with: Provost Doug Shaw, Professor Emily Hammond, Professor Chris Cahill, Professor Philippe Bardet, and Professor Allison Macfarlane





November 29, 2016

Advancing Verification Science to Monitor for Nuclear Explosions: The Contribution of the CTBT- Dr. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO



October 11, 2016

The Iran Agreement- David Albright, The Institute for Science and International Security


July 14-15, 2016

 James Timbie Forum for Arms Control and Proliferation

The Department of State’s James Timbie Forum for Arms Control and Nonproliferation is dedicated to fostering new voices and new ideas on nuclear policy. The Forum is named after James Timbie, a State Department veteran of forty years,  and a critical player in the formation and implementation of virtually every important arms control and nonproliferation effort that occurred during his tenure. Timbie, a former diplomat, scientist and public servant continues to be a role model for all those who aspire to join or excel in the field.

Taking place each summer in Washington, DC, the Timbie Forum hosts diverse, dynamic and sometimes provocative panels, speakers and presentations in the hopes of generating the kinds of ideas and leaders that will help reduce the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction and other unconventional weapons.

The Timbie Forum was formerly known as the Generation Prague Conference. GenPrague (2010-2015) drew its names from the speech that President Obama delivered in Prague, Czech Republic in April 2009.

During his term, President Obama encouraged the youth of America and indeed, the youth of the world to take on the difficult task of reducing the nuclear threat.

“[I]n your generation, I see the spirit we need in this endeavor -- an optimism that beats in the hearts of so many young people around the world. It’s that refusal to accept the world as it is, the imagination to see the world as it ought to be, and the courage to turn that vision into reality.”


It is with this charge in mind that the Department of State Bureaus of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance and International Security and Nonproliferation hold this annual conference devoted to both educating and giving voice to younger generations on international security, arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation.


May 17-18, 2016

Reset of U.S. Waste Management Strategy and Policy Meeting #4: Integration of Storage, Transportation, and Disposal of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel

Reset of U.S. Nuclear Waste Management Strategy and Policy Meeting #4: Integration of Storage, Transportation and Disposal of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel

Spent nuclear fuel must be managed from the time it is removed from the reactor to its eventual reprocessing or permanent disposal in a geologic repository.  Presently, the management of commercial spent fuel in the United States is not what was contemplated even as recently as a decade ago, and is highly compartmentalized from institutional, technical, and operational perspectives.  This compartmentalization presents numerous challenges for the management of spent fuel, and the challenges are likely to continue to grow if not addressed soon.

The inventory of commercial spent nuclear fuel in in the U.S. is growing at a rate of ~2,000 metric tons per year, and is projected to be ~140,000 metric tons by mid-century, which is the earliest time that current Administration policy projects the availability of a permanent disposal facility.  The current practice of loading commercial spent fuel into dry storage systems carries with it an unavoidable commitment to one of three future alternatives:

• All spent fuel placed in large dual-purpose canisters will eventually need to be repackaged into purpose-built casks for disposal,

• The nation will need to construct one or more repositories that can directly accommodate large dual-purpose canisters for disposal, or

• Spent fuel will remain indefinitely at interim storage facilities and repackaged as needed, e.g., perhaps every century.

The May 17th and 18th meeting will bring together U.S. and international speakers from industry, government, universities, national laboratories and broader community interests in a combination of presentation and panel discussion formats.  Speakers will share information, discussion issues and address key questions including:

• What are the barriers to achieving integration of the spent fuel management system?

• What might a better-integrated spent fuel management system for the United States look like?

• What are the potential benefits of integrating spent fuel management, when could they be realized, and are they worth the cost?

• What actions could be taken now that would have an impact on future spent nuclear fuel management practice? 

• What are the implications of taking no action at this time?


This series of policy meetings is organized by an international steering committee through the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University.  Support is provided by the Precourt Institute for Energy, the Freeman Spogli Institute and the MacArthur Foundation.


May 4, 2016

Before Proliferation: Examining the Causes and Consequences of Nuclear Latency

Only a handful of countries have nuclear weapons. Yet many more have developed the technical capacity to proliferate on short notice - colloquially referred to as 'nuclear latency.' By explaining the drivers and effects of nuclear latency by countries as different as Iran and Japan, the scholars on this panel seek to provide critical policy lessons for managing the diffusion of nuclear technology. 


Gene Gerzhoy, American Political Science Association
Rupal N. Mehta, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Rachel E. Whitlark, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Matthew Fuhrmann, Texas A&M University

Tristan A. Volpe, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


May 3, 2016

The Case of South Africa's Nuclear Armament and Disarmament: Lessons for Today- David Albright, Institute for Science and International Security

South Africa stands out as the only country to have given up indigenously produced nuclear weapons.  It also allowed an unprecedented level of verification by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  The case of South Africa’s nuclear disarmament in the late 1980s and early 1990s offers many lessons for achieving and monitoring denuclearization and non-proliferation activities in many states, including Iran and North Korea, today and in the future.  Although many factors led to South Africa’s decision to abandon nuclear weapons, including governance changes, its experience has direct relevance to the difficult cases of Iran and North Korea as well as those of other states.  A key lesson from the South African case is that disclosing past military nuclear activities was vital to regaining the trust of the international community and to the full removal of sanctions.

The Institute for Science and International Security has an unrivaled set of unpublished information about the South African nuclear weapons program, its dismantlement, and the IAEA verification effort.  Much of this information resulted from ISIS President David Albright’s work in the early 1990s as an unofficial advisor to the African National Congress’ Nuclear Policy Team.  Partly as a result, he was given unprecedented access in 1994 to former South African nuclear weapons production sites and former members of the program, and again in the early 2000s.  As a result, the lessons in this project have been derived from a far more detailed portrait of the South African nuclear weapons program and its verified dismantlement than has been publicly available to date.

At this briefing, David Albright and Andrea Stricker will discuss 1) the history of South Africa’s nuclear armament, 2) the events surrounding its dismantlement, and 3) policy lessons from dismantlement for today’s proliferation cases.


January 21, 2016

North Korea's Nuclear Program: Status and Prospects for 2016 and Beyond


Ambassador Robert Gallucci, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service
Olli Heinonen, Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Belfer Center
Joel S. Wit, John Hopkins US-Korea Institute


December 2,2015

My Journey at the Nuclear Brink featuring William J. Perry

Please join the Nuclear Threat Initiative and The George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs at a Nuclear Policy Talks forum with William J. Perry, Former Secretary of Defense and NTI Board Member, for a discussion based on his new memoir, My Journey at the Nuclear Brink.


This book is a deeply inspiring account of Dr. William Perry's experiences during and after the Cold War.  It follows his career as he worked to shape U.S. nuclear weapons policy under three Administrations beginning with the Cuban Missile Crisis and ending with overseeing the dismantling of nuclear weapons, during the Clinton Administration.  He explains what led him to his position that nuclear weapons "endanger our society rather than securing it."