James E. Doyle, ed., Nuclear Safeguards, Security, and Nonproliferation: Achieving Security with Technology and Policy (Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2008).
Hardcover, 592 pages, ISBN: 978-0-7506-8673-0.

In a volume almost encyclopedic in scope, James E. Doyle and 38 other noted nonproliferation experts start with the premise that a new nuclear age is upon us. Small states and non-state groups have substituted superpowers as the focus of nonproliferation efforts, and concerns over nuclear terrorism and illicit trafficking of nuclear material have replaced the Cold War preoccupation with nuclear deterrence. For analysts of international security, this mode of thinking is not new. In fact, Doyle admits upfront that the book omits discussion of nuclear security in the "traditional sense" (i.e., of nuclear force structure, U.S.-Soviet/Russian strategic nuclear arms control, and the like) for it does not fit with the evolving and modern challenges of the post-Cold War and post-9/11 period. Instead, the authors concentrate on the importance of pairing policies with a deeper understanding of innovative nuclear-related technologies, organizational systems, and procedures in the management of global security. Overall, the presentation of policy challenges along with relevant technical contexts ensures that this effort is a valuable contribution to the field.

The book is intended to provide a foundation on nuclear security science and technical literacy for a diverse audience: analysts inside and outside government as well as students of international security at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. A signal of the technical rigor involved is in chapter five entitled, "International Safeguards Inspection: An Inside Look," which states that the reader is "exposed to the concepts of IAEA safeguards in much the same fashion as a neophyte IAEA inspector would be in [a] three-month Introductory Course."

Doyle and his colleagues collectively perceive three major nuclear security objectives of the twenty-first century: 1) to protect and improve control over illicit trafficking and transfers of nuclear material; 2) to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons; and 3) to avert nuclear terrorism. The book is divided into three parts, and the thirty chapters are dedicated to introducing the reader to a broad range of concepts and techniques for pursuing the aforesaid objectives.

The first part begins with an overview of the history and evolution of measures to counter the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It focuses on advances in the IAEA safeguards system, which has been tried and tested since the 1990s, but stresses the need for the IAEA to remain on the cutting edge by constantly seeking ways to strengthen its inspection process and authority. Even with the full implementation of the Additional Protocol by NPT member states, the authors rightly note that the IAEA has limited tools for addressing undeclared activities and safeguarding large, increasingly complex facilities. They discuss some technologies currently used by IAEA inspectors, including destructive and nondestructive techniques for measuring nuclear material, gamma-ray measurements of holdups (i.e., the accumulation of nuclear material in process equipment of nuclear facilities), and unattended monitoring systems.

The book’s second part focuses on other nonproliferation tools while examining specific country cases to illustrate technical improvements and barriers. As an example, one author discusses how, in an age of Google Earth and commercial satellite imagery, just about anyone (not just the IAEA staff) can detect, characterize, and assess "top secret" information on undeclared nuclear facilities (e.g., Iranian dissidents in 2002). Indeed, open source analysis techniques are putting pressure on the standards of nonproliferation verification and monitoring at a time when interest in nuclear power is growing worldwide and a new generation of analysts are entering the field. As a mark of the usefulness of this book, once a technical development is explained – and so as to ensure its value is not oversold – real world examples are marshaled to place it in the appropriate context. In one instance, the authors provide an important caveat in explaining that powerful technologies – whether satellite imagery or seismic and radionuclide monitoring for examining fissile material – "can only bring to light, and help us better comprehend, the symptoms of nuclear proliferation problems…It is only a messenger and can in no way address the raison d’être…of those problems."

Having provided the reader with a broad understanding of how technologies and processes manage the spread and use of nuclear weapons and material, the final section turns attention to the specific challenges policy makers encounter. Of particular note are chapters 25, 26, 27, and 29, which present interesting treatments of ways to reduce the risk of radiological threats, the difficulties of detecting nuclear material in the field, a model for the technical aspects of nuclear attribution, and the role of customs organizations in preventing the spread of nuclear material. Global threat reduction programs such as Nunn-Lugar are underway, but an internationally accepted system of safeguards for radiological material remains to be defined and implemented. A shift of focus for keeping up with a changing WMD threat reliant on clandestine networks is overdue and requires strengthening export control infrastructures, improving border monitoring and intelligence sharing, rehabilitating third country assistance, and implementing more effectively the provisions of UN Security Council resolution 1540. The book's closing chapter on the A.Q. Khan network helps sum up this overarching point: a new generation of proliferation has established itself and perceptions on nuclear security need to be changed. In taking into consideration often overlapping issues, it would have been helpful to include additional analysis identifying those connections of relevance to policy makers.

Attempting to address such a diversity of policy challenges and technological developments is ambitious, but this edited volume does it in an able and erudite way; its shortcomings do not differ from others that cover such highly multifaceted research. Nuclear Safeguards, Security, and Nonproliferation: Achieving Security with Technology and Policy is the first to bridge nuclear technology and policy in this era and the most comprehensive reference to date on the technologies used to trace, track, and safeguard nuclear material. Interested researchers and practitioners of any level would do well to use it to gain valuable insight into an important and complicated field. One can only hope they do.

Nima Gerami is research assistant in the Nonproliferation Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.


Foreword - Sidney D. Drell
Preface - Michael R. Anastasio
1. Introduction: Nuclear Security in the Twenty-First Century - James E. Doyle

Part I - Technologies and Processes for the Protection, Control, and Accounting of Nuclear Material

2. Nuclear Safeguards and the Security of Nuclear Materials - James Tape and Joseph Pilat
3A. Nuclear Material Measurement Technologies - Douglas Reilly and Norbert Ensslin
3B. Irradiated Fuel Measurements - Mark E. Abhold
3C. Measurement of Nuclear Material Process Holdup - Douglas Reilly
4. Physical Protection - Mary Lynn Garcia
5. International Safeguards Inspection: An Inside Look at the Process - Brian Boyer and Mark Schanfein
6. International Atomic Energy Agency Unattended Monitoring Systems - Mark Schanfein
7. Evaluating International Safeguards Systems - Kory Budlong Sylvester, Joseph Pilat, and Tom Burr
8. Statistical Methods in Nuclear Nonproliferation Activities at Declared Facilities - Tom Burr
9. Case Study: Safeguards Implementation at the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant - S.E. Pickett
10. Case Study: Nonproliferation Activities at the BN-350 Reactor, Kazakhstan - Mike C. Browne

Part II - Detecting Nuclear Proliferation and Verifying the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons Programs

11. Using Open Sources for Proliferation Analysis - Richard Wallace and Arvid Lundy
12. Commercial Satellite Imagery: Another Tool in the Nonproliferation Verification and Monitoring Toolkit - Frank Pabian
13. Nuclear Test Monitoring - Loren Byers
14. Evaluating Nonproliferation Bona Fides - Amy Seward, Carrie Mathews, and Carol Kessler
15. Dismantling Nuclear Weapons Activities: Politics and Technology - James E. Doyle
16. South Africa - Sara Kutchesfahani and Marcie Lombardi
17. Argentina and Brazil - James E. Doyle
18. Libya - Wyn Bowen
19. Elimination of Excess Fissile Material - Elena Sokova and Charles Streeper
20. Case Study: Dismantlement and Radioactive Waste Management of DPRK Plutonium Facilities - George Baldwin and Jooho Whang

Part III - Preventing Nuclear Terrorism and Illicit Nuclear Trade

21. Why We Need a Comprehensive Safeguards System to Keep Fissile Materials Out of the Hands of Terrorists - Siegfried S. Hecker
22. Illicit Trafficking of Nuclear and Radiological Materials – Galya I. Balatsky, Stacey Lee Eaton, and William R. Severe
23. Nuclear Terrorism and Improvised Nuclear Devices - Charles D. Ferguson and William C. Potter
24. Radiological Dispersal Devices - Greg Van Tuyle and James E. Doyle
25. Responding to Radiological Threats - Leroy E. Leonard
26. Field Detection of Nuclear Materials - Mark Abhold and Christopher Lovejoy
27. A Model for Attribution of Terrorist Nuclear Attacks - William S. Charlton
28. Nonproliferation Export Controls - Carlton E. Thorne
29. The Growing Role of Customs Organizations in International Strategic Trade Controls - Todd E. Perry
30. Case Study: The Khan Network - Sara Kutchesfahani