Innovating Verification: New Tools & New Actors to Reduce Nuclear Risks

Innovating Verification: New Tools & New Actors to Reduce Nuclear Risks is a four-report series outlining the recommendations from NTI's Verification Pilot Project, which involved more than 40 technical and policy experts from around the world. They explored new approaches to verification that could prompt near-term progress on non-proliferation and nuclear security and enable future progress on arms reductions.

The Innovating Verification reports outline recommendations governments around the world can undertake now:

  • The Innovating Verification Overview includes a foreword by NTI Co-Chairman and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and key project findings and recommendations across report topics.
  • Redefining Societal Verification explores how advances in information technologies, big data, social media analytics, and commercial satellite imagery can supplement existing verification efforts by governments and increase contributions from outside experts.
  • Building Global Capacity considers the value of expanded international participation in the verification of nuclear arms reductions and how this participation can increase confidence in nuclear threat reduction efforts among all states.

The reports call for the international community to fundamentally rethink the design, development, and implementation of arms control verification. An international initiative pursued with creativity, broad participation from states with and without nuclear weapons, and a sense of urgency and common purpose could make a significant contribution to global security.

NTI identified the following common themes in all four reports:

  • The international community must work to build and sustain a global cadre of verification experts by identifying core competencies, investing in national expertise, and seeking opportunities to develop and participate in international verification efforts.
  • Collaborative international work on verification should start now to develop new tools and approaches that can give policymakers confidence that nuclear reductions are verifiable.
  • Future research and development should cross disciplines, communities, and nations to prevent stove-piping and innovate new solutions to difficult verification problems.
  • A new framework is needed for sensitive information and states should reevaluate what information should be protected and what information could be shared openly or on a limited basis.
  • No single verification approach is enough, and countries should work to build the strongest set of verification measures to detect or deter cheating.
  • Verification is an area where all can contribute, and all states—both with and without nuclear weapons—have something to gain by expanding the circle of experts who can verify nuclear arms reductions.

The project was undertaken in collaboration with senior leaders from the U.S. Departments of Defense, Energy, and State as well as the governments of Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom and builds on NTI's previous volume, Cultivating Confidence: Verification, Monitoring, and Enforcement for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons (Nuclear Threat Initiative, 2010), which outlined key issues that states need to address to ensure that nuclear weapons reductions can proceed in a safe and transparent manner.

To request print copies, send an e-mail to contact@nti.org.

July 16, 2014
About

A new reports series calls for the international community to fundamentally rethink the design, development, and implementation of arms control verification.

Authors
Kelsey Hartigan
Kelsey Hartigan

Senior Program Officer, Material Security and Minimization

Corey Hinderstein
Corey Hinderstein

Vice President, International Programs

Andrew Newman, PhD
Andrew Newman, PhD

Senior Program Officer, Material Security and Minimization