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Future nuclear arms-control agreements are likely to place numerical limits on the total number of warheads in the arsenals of the weapon states. Verifying these agreements would face at least two fundamentally new challenges. First, inspectors would have to confirm that the number of declared items does not exceed the agreed limit; and, second, inspectors would also have to confirm the authenticity of nuclear warheads prior to dismantlement. Both tasks may involve procedures that put at risk classified or otherwise sensitive information. A viable verification regime needs to protect this information or, even better, use procedures and technologies that do not acquire the sensitive information in the first place. This presentation reviews the emerging challenges for nuclear verification and proposes elements of verification approaches that build in information security from the outset.
Alexander Glaser is an associate professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, where he directs the Nuclearfutures Laboratory (nuclearfutures.princeton.edu). Areas of research include nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, nuclear transparency and verification, the nuclear fuel cycle, and nuclear energy. Glaser co-directs the Princeton’s Program on Science and Global Security (SGS) and co-chairs the International Panel on Fissile Materials.