Doomed to cooperate: How American and Russian nuclear scientists joined forces to avert some of the greatest post-Cold War Dangers

March 18, 2016 

Siegfried. S. Hecker: Professor at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation

Nuclear risks changed dramatically when the Soviet Union collapsed. Suddenly the world was threatened more by Russia’s weakness than its strength. Never before had a country with the capacity to destroy the world experienced such turmoil. The United States and much of the world was concerned about loose nukes, nuclear materials, loose nuclear experts and uncontrolled nuclear exports. Scientists and engineers at Los Alamos and other Dept. of Energy nuclear laboratories joined forces with those at the Russian nuclear weapon institutes for more than 20 years to avoid what looked like the perfect nuclear storm. Today’s strained relations between Washington and Moscow have curtailed that cooperation to the detriment of a safer world. This talk is a preview of the two-volume book to appear this spring.