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Risk Analysis for Nuclear War and Nuclear Terrorism

A missile silo maintenance training facility at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., part of the DoD nuclear enterprise. Credit: Adrian Cadiz

Nominations are now being accepted for an expert committee to study whether a risk assessment framework is applicable to determining the potential risks of nuclear terrorism and nuclear war. 

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine project will examine the use of analytical methods for risk assessment and the role such approaches may play for U.S. national security.

During this examination, the committee will undertake the following:

  • Identify risks associated with nuclear terrorism and nuclear war
  • Explore the prior literature relevant to assessing nuclear terrorism and war risks
  • Assess the role and limitations that quantitative and nonquantitative analytical methods can play in estimating such risks
  • Identify and examine the assumptions about nuclear risks that underlie the national security strategy of the U.S.
  • Describe the consequences or impacts of the methods and assumptions that have been, are, or could be used in developing U.S. nuclear strategy

The committee will issue two reports: the first will be unclassified and will focus on the use of analytical methods to assess the risks of nuclear terrorism and nuclear war; the second may be classified and will focus on the methods and assumptions that have been used by the United States. If the second report is determined to be classified, an unclassified summary will be produced.

Please consider nominating yourself or a colleague to serve on the consensus study committee.  NASEM is looking for those with the following expertise:

  • Risk analysis and risk assessment
  • Decision analysis
  • Human factors and performance analysis
  • Adversarial risk analysis
  • U.S. nuclear policy
  • Effects of nuclear weapons
  • Disaster impact assessment
  • Crisis dynamics
  • Intelligence assessment and terrorism analysis

Nominations will receive maximum consideration if they are received by Monday, November 23, 2020. Learn more and submit a nomination on the study website

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