Atomic Pulse

A Year of Unprecedented Urgency: Introducing the 2022 NTI Annual Report

Last year was full of extraordinary challenges to nuclear and biological security.

From Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine and nuclear threats to the ongoing devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the events of 2022 brought unparalleled urgency to NTI’s crucial mission.

From the start of the war, NTI has been at the forefront of efforts to reduce nuclear dangers and strategic risks associated with the war, to bring an end to the fighting around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, and to reestablish pathways toward nuclear risk reduction and disarmament.

Our second annual #CranesForOurFuture campaign, a joint effort with the prefectures of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, reached more than 20 million people and included participation from cultural influencers like Yoko Ono, George Takei, and the Indigo Girls; activists, authors, and artists; more than 70 organizations; global security leaders; and members of Congress.

Our biosecurity work continues to address a critical global priority: preventing the next pandemic, which could be even worse than COVID-19. Our NTI | bio team has worked globally to create a new mechanism to rapidly identify the origins of high-consequence biological events. NTI | bio also made important progress toward the official launch in 2023 of a new, independent organization, the International Biosecurity and Biosafety Initiative for Science (IBBIS), to ensure that biotechnology and bioscience can flourish safely and responsibly.

Read the letter from our co-chairs. 

2022 Highlights

On February 24, Russia invaded Ukraine, setting off a series of nuclear threats and provocations that have brought the world closer to the brink of nuclear weapons use than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis. As Vladimir Putin waged an increasingly risky campaign—putting nuclear power plants in the line of fire, making unfounded accusations about biological weapons programs, and breaking a long-held taboo against threatening to use nuclear weapons—NTI’s experts led the way on explaining the stakes and promoting safe and peaceful outcomes for Ukraine and the world.



When the Russian military turned the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant into a battleground, Scott Roecker and Nickolas Roth fanned out across the news media to explain the safety and security risks associated with the deteriorating situation on the ground. In interviews with ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS, the BBC, and more, they called on Russia to declare a cease-fire and provide access to IAEA experts.
In a September Washington Post op-ed, NTI Board members Mike Mullen, Sam Nunn, and Ernie Moniz called on President Xi Jinping of China to tell Russian President Vladimir Putin that nuclear weapon use is a line he must not cross.
“What we’re worried about is blunder,” said Ernie Moniz on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. “We have to keep lowering the number of nuclear weapons, eventually eliminate them, and satisfy our nonproliferation goals.”
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi met with NTI’s Board of Directors in Washington in October. He said “We need to work together at this point of great urgency.”
Joan Rohlfing broke down the Russia-Ukraine conflict and associated nuclear risks for Hollywood writers, producers, directors, and executives in an event hosted by University of Southern California’s Lear Center and on the Scriptnotes podcast.
Hayley Severance explained to Time magazine the harm caused by Russia’s false claims that Ukraine was developing bioweapons. NTI also hosted a seminar to help combat Russia’s bioweapons disinformation campaign.

NTI in the Mix on Ukraine




In May, as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 continued infecting people across the globe, cases of Monkeypox appeared in the United Kingdom, and rapidly, the number of infections grew to tens of thousands worldwide. NTI experts called for greater investments in prevention, preparedness, and response, warning that the next biological event—whether from a naturally occurring virus, a deliberate act, or a lab accident—could be even more severe.



NTI Board members Peggy Hamburg and Ernie Moniz issued a statement on the Monkeypox outbreak: “The lack of urgency and political will by the United States and other governments to proactively invest sufficient attention and resources in pandemic preparedness is alarming and inexcusable.”
A 2021 NTI | bio tabletop exercise involved a fictional outbreak of an engineered version of Monkeypox. When the 2022 outbreak emerged, coincidentally mirroring details from our exercise, NTI became the target of harassment and accusations. NTI experts worked to dispel disinformation about our work—and Reuters, Newsweek, and other outlets set the record straight.
NTI celebrated the launch of the World Bank’s Pandemic Fund, the first financing tool focused on strengthening pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response capacities. NTI’s 2019 Global Health Security Index recommended creating such a fund, and NTI | bio played an instrumental role in the fund’s conception, development, and launch.
“Though new tools for engineering biology offer tremendous potential benefits, stronger guardrails are needed to prevent misuse as they become more broadly accessible,” wrote Jaime Yassif in a December op-ed for The Economist.
NTI briefed G7 leaders, delegates at the ninth Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) Review Conference, and senior officials at Carnegie India’s Global Technology Summit on progress toward establishing the International Biosecurity and Biosafety Initiative for Science (IBBIS), a new organization NTI is incubating to address emerging biological risks.

NTI in the Mix on Bio




2022 Wins

Fail-Safe Review

NTI achieved a major policy win in 2022 that will help ensure that a failure in our nuclear weapons systems won’t result in a civilization-disrupting catastrophe. The Biden administration initiated a nuclear “fail-safe” review—a study of U.S. nuclear weapons and command, control, and communications systems and processes aimed at identifying policy and procedural steps to reduce the risk of nuclear use by accident or miscalculation, including as a result of a cyberattack.

This initiative—the first comprehensive review since the 1990s—is the direct result of more than two years of advocacy. Sam Nunn, Ernie Moniz, and NTI experts promoted the idea privately with members of Congress and senior administration officials and publicly, including through a 2021 Washington Post op-ed penned by Nunn and Moniz, “Biden should do more to prevent the accidental launch of nuclear weapons. Here’s how.”

Thanks to NTI, Congress mandated the review in the National Defense Authorization Act, and the Biden administration embraced it in its Nuclear Posture Review.

I welcome the administration’s … plan to commission an independent nuclear ‘fail-safe’ review to strengthen safeguards against false warnings, blunders, mistakes, or unintentional use of nuclear weapons." — Sam Nunn, NTI Co-Chair

Now, with the review underway, NTI has been asked to help shape the process and will continue working to ensure the review is thorough and yields actionable recommendations to reduce the risk of nuclear use by accident or miscalculation. NTI also is working to encourage other nuclear weapons states, including Russia, to undertake similar reviews.

GHS Index Impact

In September, NTI celebrated a major step forward for global health security with the establishment of the World Bank’s Pandemic Preparedness Fund, the first global financing mechanism focused primarily on building pandemic prevention, detection, and response capacity in low- and middle- income countries.

Creating new funding streams to fill preparedness gaps was a key recommendation of the inaugural GHS Index in 2019, and NTI | bio, working in partnership with the Pandemic Action Network, played an instrumental role in the fund’s conception, development, and launch. Now that the fund is operational, the GHS Index can help Pandemic Fund decisionmakers prioritize investments and allocate resources based on data about the most important capacity gaps. Data from the GHS Index also can help countries build strong funding proposals and measure the impact of investments.

In the United States, the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act approved by Congress recognized the GHS Index as a valuable resource to guide US. global health security investments and suggested that the U.S. government use the GHS Index to inform prioritization and funding decisions for the Pandemic Fund.

Engaging New Audiences in Our Work

To build a coalition that can help make nuclear weapons a thing of the past, NTI is focused on reaching younger and more diverse audiences. In 2022, NTI worked with a firm to seed new content on GIPHY, the internet’s second largest search engine and the largest public repository of short, animated digital graphics commonly called GIFs. We ran a small pilot, creating and posting 27 pro-nuclear-disarmament GIFs.

People texting or sharing on social media can find these GIFs by using search words like “nukes” or “nuclear weapons.” NTI’s GIFs have been viewed or shared 40 million times. Importantly, positive messages like “We are the generation that will end the nuclear threat” and “No nukes y’all” are bumping mushroom clouds out of view.

NTI also worked with creators on TikTok and YouTube—engaging a diverse cadre of micro-influencers to develop content highlighting modern nuclear risks, share stories about inspiring figures who have helped reduce nuclear dangers, and call on their followers to do their part to build a safer future without nuclear weapons. The TikToks, focused on #CranesForOurFuture and our cyber-nuclear work, have been viewed nearly 2.5 million times by people in our target audience.



NTI celebrated 20 years of progress and achievement at our annual Board of Directors dinner in April. The event, postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, featured inspiring toasts and tributes as well as a future-focused panel discussion on the importance of innovation in building a safer world.

Longtime NTI supporter and advisor Warren Buffett called NTI Co-Founder Sam Nunn “one of his heroes” in a moving tribute, and PBS’ Judy Woodruff hailed NTI Co-Chair Ted Turner as “one of the most consequential figures of our time.”

Sam Nunn is a hero of mine ... Sam has worked tirelessly, effectively … for decades to try to prevent the world from essentially destroying itself. — Warren E. Buffett, NTI Advisor

Thank you

We are extraordinarily grateful to the foundations, families, and individuals who put their trust in NTI by providing financial support, including: Warren Buffett, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Effective Giving, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Open Philanthropy, Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

We face some serious headwinds on nuclear and biological risk reduction, but our mission—and our work—is more urgent than ever.

Support our work to build a safer world.

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