Nuclear Threats

Although the United States and Russia have greatly reduced their stockpiles of nuclear weapons over the last two decades, there is still the lingering—and spreading—threat of nuclear annihilation.

The number of nuclear weapon states has grown to nine from six since the end of the Cold War, with India, Pakistan, and North Korea joining the club. Iran’s nuclear program is believed by some to be within months of weaponizing. Meanwhile the U.S., Russia, China and other nuclear countries are competing with each other to sell “civilian” nuclear technology to eager buyers in unstable parts of the world. India, Pakistan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates are among the customers.

While Russia’s shrinking nuclear arsenal is now thought to be relatively secure, the 9/11 terror attacks and revelations about the activities of the A.Q. Khan network have heightened concerns that weapons or fissile material could fall into the hands of rogue states or extremist groups. That risk has been increased by access to technologies that are enabling nuclear newcomers to create smaller, easily transportable weapons—so-called battlefield weapons—and by the worrisome rise of military doctrines that lower the threshold of actually using nuclear weapons.

Through Nuclear Threats, Pulitzer Center journalists examine the emerging threats of the post-9/11 era, from an alarming new arms race between India and Pakistan to the role of the U.S. and Russia as suppliers and the spread of supposedly peaceful nuclear technology to some of the world’s most dangerous neighborhoods.

Nuclear Threats

The Truth About Iran

Iran is undergoing a serious economic crisis. In response, mostly young workers held large protests early this year. Reese Erlich reports on the discontent and its implications for US-Iran relations.

Negotiating Nuclear Peace

These are trying times for diplomats hoping to make the world safe from nuclear weapons. Heading off a new arms race will require all their skill and, quite possibly, luck.

Uranium Dreams

The uranium boom reshaped the American southwest in the 1950s and 1960s. Ben Mauk reports on the industry's environmental legacy and economic future.

Cyber Security in the Nuclear Sector

Hackers are targeting nuclear facilities around the world. Understanding why the nuclear sector's cyber defenses are vulnerable—and how leaders are responding—has never been more urgent.

North Korea in the Era of Kim Jong Un

Three days after Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S. is "locked and loaded" in its nuclear standoff with North Korea, I arrived in Pyongyang to meet the officials responsible for analyzing America.

The U.S.-China Nuclear Rapprochement

An extraordinary collaboration between U.S. and Chinese nuclear scientists is setting the stage for greater cooperation between the two countries in addressing security threats.

Meet the Journalist: Reese Erlich

President Trump has said he will tear up the Iranian nuclear accord. What do ordinary Iranians think of this and other Trump policies? Journalist Reese Erlich produced this video in Tehran.

Meet the Journalist: Sean Lyngaas

Journalist Sean Lyngaas discusses the challenges of reporting on a sensitive and complex subject such as nuclear cybersecurity. He also highlights techniques for bringing the subject to life.

Meet the Journalist: Ben Mauk

In the 1950s the Cold War forever changed the American southwest, as thousands of hopeful uranium prospectors took to the hills in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and beyond.

Meet the Journalist: Rachel Oswald

CQ Roll Call foreign policy reporter Rachel Oswald discusses her summer 2015 Pulitzer Center reporting trip to Moscow where she focused on the breakdown in U.S.-Russia nuclear confidence.