FUSION November 2021

We are getting close to the festive season and, after nearly two years of virtual events, we are excited about reinstating our annual tradition, the Christmas quizin person, on 14 December! Bring together a mix of minds by signing up as a team or register individually and we’ll put your brainpower to the test.
We are actively working on developing an exciting programme of activities for next year, including the Annual Conference planned for early June 2022. The call for proposals will be made available at the end of January.
With the Review Conference (RevCon) of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) scheduled for January 2022 and the first meeting of states parties to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) postponed to March, the nuclear community faces a busy year. We look forward to covering some of the topics with the PONI community.
Best wishes,
Dr Ana Alecsandru
Research Fellow, Proliferation and Nuclear Policy
UK PONI Project lead


Have I Got Nukes for You: The UK PONI Christmas Quiz 2021
14 December 2021
Whitehall, London
Get ready to pull on those Christmas jumpers and join other UK PONI supporters for a high-spirited, in-person evening of friendly competition that seems certain to exercise the grey matter in anticipation of the holiday season. Given existing health precautions, a limited number of spaces will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Recommended Reading

When is preventive war chosen to counter nuclear proliferation? In All Options on the Table: Leaders, Preventive War, and Nuclear ProliferationDr Rachel Elizabeth Whitlark looks beyond systemic and slow-moving factors such as the distribution of power. Instead, she highlights individual leaders’ beliefs to explain when preventive military force is the preferred strategy. Executive perspective – not institutional structure – is paramount. Dr Whitlark is Assistant Professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology. Her articles have appeared in Security StudiesInternational Studies Quarterly and International Studies Perspectives

External Events

The Future of Nuclear Disarmament Workshop. How can the world achieve nuclear disarmament? This question is the focus of an academic workshop that brings early-career researchers, senior scholars, activists, and policymakers together to develop impactful research on nuclear disarmament. Agenda available here. Online, 29–30 November 2021.

Reassessing Key Debates in the Nuclear Field. The BISA Global Nuclear Order working group presents its annual conference. Over two days, participants and presenters will critically reflect on questions surrounding concepts and principles of the nuclear field in the face of contemporary challenges and problems. Online, 2–3 December 2021.

CSIS PONI Hybrid Winter Conference. The conference will feature a keynote address as well as presentations from emerging nuclear experts covering topics such as nuclear policy and strategies, technology and capabilities, and deterrence. Hybrid, 8–9 December 2021.

UK Deterrence and Assurance Academic Alliance (DAAA) conference. The focus of the conference will be the challenges and implications of the changing deterrence and escalation landscape in an era of systemic competition. At the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), London, 11–12 January 2022.

The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: History, Threats and Solutions. Apply by 16 January 2022. The Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP) invites graduate and post-graduate students in the fields of IT and engineering to apply for an intensive introductory course on the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Vienna, Austria, 23–25 February 2022.

20th ESARDA Course. The European Commission, Joint Research Centre announces the 20th ESARDA Course on Nuclear Safeguards and Non-Proliferation. This compact course is open to Masters’ degree students, in particular nuclear engineering students, but also to young professionals and international relations/law students. Online, 16–20 May 2022.

News Desk


The 2021 UK PONI Papers (UK PONI, RUSI, 18 November). The papers included in this volume comprise research from participants at the 2021 Annual Conference. They explore a variety of topics, such as new perspectives on arms control and disarmament, the implications of new technologies on deterrence, and the role of regional dynamics in nuclear security.
Tested by Crisis: Gender Champions in Nuclear Policy (Nuclear Threat Initiative, 17 November)
The environmental dimension of the use of nuclear weapons (European Leadership Network, 12 November)
Network reflections: Given competing global challenges, why is it important to sustain efforts toward multilateral nuclear disarmament? (European Leadership Network, 23 November)

Keeping a close eye on China’s nuclear capabilities (The Hindu, 22 November)
The unending dilemma of nuclear deterrence and the global nuclear governance (Modern Diplomacy, 23 November)
Russia proved it can shoot down a satellite. Does this make space less secure? (Monkey Cage, 23 November)

Jobs & Interships

IAEA Safeguards Information Analyst (Open Source) (P3). The deadline to apply is 9 December. Details and application here.

Technical Consultancy Services: Nuclear Fuel Cycle Bayesian Belief Networks, RUSI. Details and application here.

Winter Internship Programme at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP). The deadline is 10 December. Details and application here.