Technology and Politics of Nuclear Disarmament, Non-Proliferation, and Arms Control
This project investigates the opportunities available to non-governmental experts in Germany and Europe in contributing to research on verification in the field of nuclear disarmament – on the path towards a world free of nuclear weapons and particularly in relation to the disposal of nuclear warheads – to be used by the German Federal Government and the EU.
An initial pilot study is aimed at developing a large-scale network project meant to combine German and European research capacities into a systematic, cooperative program that leads to the generation of synergies. This program would bring together researchers from both nuclear and non-nuclear states.
In essence, a verification system must establish confidence in regard to the destruction of an agreed-upon quantity of warheads and likewise ensure that real warheads are not intentionally replaced with fakes. At the same time, the technical characteristics of the disposed of warheads cannot be made known. Demands for secrecy on the one hand and trust on the other are, however, diametrically opposed, an obstacle that former research projects have not been able to overcome. Though numerous approaches exist, they have all been confronted with the problem of concurrently achieving trust that none of the parties is cheating and trust that none of the parties is spying.
Based on an assessment of the current state of affairs along with an identification of gaps and niches, this project aims to uncover the options available to actors who have not yet been represented in the field. In so doing, it fills a gap in terms of both disarmament policies and research.