Institute for Nuclear Security

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

UT course teaches first responders how to stay safe in a nuclear incident


Representatives from the National Nuclear Security Administration attend a crisis communications seminar by University of Tennessee’s Institute for Nuclear Security, Monday, August 3. The next day, the Institute held a nuclear safety and security course for regional first responders. (Photo: Submitted by Tennessee Department of Homeland Security Region II)

The Institute contact Tennessee’s second Homeland Security District to put the course together for law enforcement officers from 16 East Tennessee counties.  Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Jenny Holden said the course filled up quickly and had a waiting list.

According to Holden, deputies from Anderson, Campbell, Knox and Monroe County Sheriff’s Offices attended the class, along with representatives from Knoxville Police Department, University of Tennessee Police, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and TVA Police.

“It’s always good to come and meet other agencies from around here,” TVA Police Director Todd Peney said after the class. “You’re seeing them in the classroom setting, so if something goes down, you’ve got people you can contact and ask questions to in law enforcement.”

Lessons learned

Hall and Institute Research Consultant Natalie Rice led the attendees through case studies of real nuclear events, like the Pelindaba nuclear attack in South Africa and the nuclear accidents in Fukushima and Chernobyl.

When the Chernobyl reactor blew up in 1986, hundreds of first responders received large doses of radiation as they scrambled to contain it. Nearly 50 died.

Soviet secrecy made matters worse. Nearby towns were not immediately evacuated. The International Atomic Energy Agency estimates as many as 4,000 people who were exposed to radiation from the accident will die of cancer.

“The folks who were here today will ultimately be in leadership positions at their agencies,” Hall said. “We want them to have that experience to look back on and say ‘yeah, we need to make sure that we do these things right up front, because we don’t want to waste a life or injure an officer.'”

Rice said she was encouraged to see how many local first responders had already taken steps to address nuclear risks.

Howard Hall, director of University of Tennessee's

Howard Hall, director of University of Tennessee’s Institute for Nuclear Security (left) stands with Todd Peney, TVA Police director (right) after a nuclear security course. (Photo: Knoxville News Sentinel)


“They saw the problems with communication between the government and first responders on the ground at Fukushima,” Hall said. “Specifically, TVA said there were many things in the design of the Fukushima plant and the response to it that they have already addressed here in the United States.”

Peney, whose job at TVA would put him on the front lines of a nuclear plant accident, said he felt confident after studying the Fukushima accident in the course that TVA was prepared to prevent it from happening again.

“That is a fantastic thing to hear when you’re looking at a nuclear disaster, hearing that they know how to do something like that,” Rice said.

Above all, Hall said the three things he hoped responders took away from the course were time, distance and shielding, which are three guidelines for controlling radiation exposure.

“If you’re going to be exposed to radioactive material that is potentially hazardous to people, you want to be there as short a time as possible,” he said. “You want it to be as far away from you as you can reasonably work with and still accomplish your mission, and if possible you want something nice, large and heavy between you and it.”

Knoxville News Sentinel

Hall, Rice and Clement write op ed

Howard Hall

Director of the Institute for Nuclear Security, Dr. Howard Hall, together with Dean Rice, global security fellow at the INS, along with Former U.S. Congressman from Tennessee Bob Clement, co-wrote an op ed that was published by the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Nation’s factions need to search for common ground

This great nation of ours has always been one of contrasts, differing philosophies and struggles between classes, races and parties. We have always though found ways to overcome our divisions, and often our internal struggles make us stronger.
In 1958, then-U.S. Sen. John F. Kennedy said “Let us not despair but act. Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer but the right answer…”

Read more Nation’s factions need to search for common ground-3-12-17

Nuclear Security Experts’ Visit to Egypt Promises Tremendous Potential

Howard Hall and Joseph Stainback IV, as well as a visiting Egyptian political and non-proliferation scholar Haidy Ghoname, recently returned from a highly successful trip to Egypt. Ghoname, Hall and Stainback participated in a nuclear security conference organized by the UT Institute for Nuclear Security and hosted by the Egyptian Council of Foreign Affairs (ECFA). Ghoname, who initiated the conference, is a member of ECFA. The conference focused on building international partnerships and encouraging new ideas for helping countries develop the infrastructures needed to support peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Many countries want nuclear energy, but have not yet developed the internal foundations needed to guarantee its safe use.

Hall, Ghoname and Stainback were well-received throughout the course of their visit. Hall delivered opening remarks at the conference in Cairo. Ghoname’s presence at UT is opening new doors for cross-cultural relationships for the Institute. The trio took VIP tours across the country where they connected with Egyptian colleagues, successfully proposing memoranda of understanding with Alexandria University, the Library of Alexandria, and Aswan University. In Aswan, together with its Governor, Maj. Gen. Magdy Fouad Hegazy, Hall, Ghoname, and Stainback prompted interest in a sister city agreement for our local municipalities. And after a brief visit to Luxor, Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Arab Union of Engineering, Hesham M. Rezk and Dr. Abdelelah Eltawil (respectively), presented Hall and Ghoname with an Egyptian Shield, a plaque acknowledging UT’s outreach efforts in Egypt. Back in Cairo, Egyptian Ambassador Gillane Allam invited them to dinner at the Diplomatic Club where they discussed potential collaboration with other figures. Amb. Allam is a career diplomat who held posts in India, Australia, and New Zealand.


Maj. Gen. Eng. Dr. Abdelelah Etawil, Stainback, Dr. Hedy Ghoneme, Amb. Gillane Allam, and Dr. Hall

L to R: Maj. Gen. Eng. Dr. Abdelelah Eltawil, Dr. Stainback, Dr. Haidy Ghoname, Amb. Gillane Allam, and Dr. Hall


UT’s Institute for Nuclear Security leads by example in hosting and delivering local and international workshops, lectures, and meetings designed to foster a culture of nuclear security that can address and resolve some of the toughest issues of our time. The Institute’s world-renowned experts promote excellence in global security through a vital understanding that academic and cultural exchange with government and industry is critical to building partnerships with countries interested in developing nuclear energy.

Aswan Gov. Maj. Gen. Magdy Fouad Hegazy, Hall, Stainback, and Etawil.

L to R: Aswan Gov. Maj. Gen. Magdy Fouad Hegazy, Hall, Stainback, and Eltawil


Prof. Hall is the UT/ORNL Governor’s Chair for Global Nuclear Security and directs the Institute which is housed by the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy. His well-established expertise covers nuclear forensics, nuclear engineering, international transparency, nuclear nonproliferation, and nuclear security science and analysis. Prof. Stainback’s expertise is based on his lifelong career in nuclear security at high-risk facilities. His specialties include domestic safeguards, physical security, nuclear nonproliferation, and domestic International Atomic Energy Agency inspections.

The UT delegates attracted plenty of positive Egyptian media during their visit. During the last week, Hall and Ghoname were interviewed by an Egyptian newspaper as well as “Good Morning Egypt”, a national TV program, (both translated into Arabic).

Stainback remarked, “We experienced the history of civilization at every turn. It was a very enriching experience.”

Over the course of the upcoming year, Ghoname will not only continue contributing her research to the Institute, but she will also devote her remaining time at UT to organizing a special INS conference slated for next May. Ghoname’s knowledge, expertise, extensive connectivity, and enthusiasm for nuclear nonproliferation and global (nuclear) security is sure to continue opening new pathways for the Institute in the Middle East.

Contributed by Sumner Brown (7.11.16)

Applicants sought for 2016 Summer Workshop in International Security

The Program in Arms Control & Domestic and International Security (ACDIS) at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana announces the 5th annual workshop in international security. This one-week workshop is targeted at rising sophomores or advanced undergraduates from colleges and universities across the country. Dates: June 5-10, 2016. Please forward this announcement to interested students.

The workshop has several, interdependent aims:

  1. to inform students about key security issues and equip them with the analytic tools to evaluate global policy proposals to address them;
  2. to develop a self-sustaining network of students with competence and interest in security studies; and
  3. to introduce students to careers in security policy-making in private and public sectors.

Presentations will be given by the following noted individuals:

Stephen G. Brooks, Associate Professor of Government, Dartmouth College

Chris Butler, Instructor, University Laboratory High School, Urbana, IL

Victor Cha, Senior Advisor and Korea Chair, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)

Lynne M. Rudasill, Global Studies Librarian, Center for Global Studies, UIUC

Erin M. Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, Caerus Associates

Clifford E. Singer, Director, ACDIS, UIUC

Timothy E. Wedig, Associate Director, LAS Global Studies, UIUC

Moira Whelan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Digital Strategy, U. S. Department of State

Upon successful completion of the workshop, students will be awarded a Certificate in International Security Studies and will receive one hour of college credit.

Students from underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply. Limited scholarships are available for applicants with financial need.

Please see for further details. A flyer for this event is available for download here: flyer.pdf

INMM CRC Call for Student Papers

Here is information regarding the INMM CRC Fall Meeting.

The one day workshop will feature the role that computer modeling and simulation is playing in nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear safeguards, nuclear security and nuclear safety.  Speakers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Virginia Tech and the University of Tennessee will discuss their efforts in this area.  A student session will also be held.  Students are encouraged to give presentations of 10-15 minutes in length.

Agenda October 20 2015.docx

INMM CRC Fall Meeting October 20 2015 Call for Student Presentations.pdf

INMM CRC 2015 Fall Meeting – Registration Form.pdf

Implementation of the Middle East Resolution 1995 to establish the Middle East free zone of Nuclear Weapons is vital and lifeline to extension and success of the Non-Proliferation Treaty

GhonameHoward HallAbstract – English

The Non-proliferation treaty (NPT) is the cornerstone for disarmament, non-proliferation, and the peaceful uses regime. It has a tangible influential effect on nation’s foreign policy. The indefinite extension of the NPT is suspended on the implementation of the Middle East Resolution 1995 (ME Res 1995) for establishing nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East (MENWFZ). However, the international community delays for the implementation of the ME Res 1995 due to the existence of Israel’s nuclear arsenals, which has the greatest long-term impact on world politics. It threatens not only the interests of the Arab nations, but also stability in the ME. Iran influences the international system by its persistence to acquire nuclear agents that may be turned into nuclear weapons.

This study highlights the main non-proliferation dilemmas we face and suggests an effective mechanism for reviving the spirit and the hope of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It does this in the spirit of promoting a renaissance of the non-proliferation regime and helping to strengthen what we should now call the four pillars of the treaty: disarmament, non-proliferation, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and implementation of the Middle East Resolution of 1995—which is an indispensable key to the treaty’s extension and success. The study addresses a number of dilemmas (that arise from the way various NPT participants pursue the goals represented in the four pillars undergirding the treaty. The study highlights the main problems, which we believe may bring about—sooner or later—dissolution of the treaty. That treaty may then come to be replaced with another, more balanced, comprehensive, and fair treaty.

In addition, we discuss in the study significant dilemmas questions to identify some of the keys that may be potential for further improvement for the implementation of the Resolution, maintaining the existence of the NPT regime and sustaining the international and regional peace and security.

The study addresses the effectiveness of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions, and offers recommendations and conclusion for all those who are concerned about the need for assuring nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction non-proliferation and at the same time limiting the spread of nuclear weapons and maintaining the endorsing the regional and international peace, security and stability.

The two authors are from the Middle East (Egypt) – the region in which many countries contemplating starting or growing nuclear power programs, and the other from the United States (Knoxville) that currently supply nuclear material and technology. They pointing out the important role of the international organizations and treaties that should support the safe, secure functioning of the international nuclear fuel cycle, transferring the nuclear technology, and establishing free nuclear weapons free zones, most prominently the UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the NPT

Accessing the goal of zero weapons-free world requires tremendous efforts and enough courage to determine the missing and the necessary steps in non-proliferation and disarmament regimes. In this study, we provide a detailed analysis of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Middle East Resolution 1995 that linked together as and the challenges facing its implementation. The examination is based on the NPT Preparatory and Review Conferences Final Documents and outcomes. We start with the importance of the ME Resolution 1995 through the two major significant events (Station) that led to the adoption of this Resolution and the calling for implementing it. Then examine the gap between the Resolution 1995 implementations requirements and the membership continuity on the NPT by highlighting different assumptions.

The study identifies how the Middle East Resolution 1995 for establishing Middle East nuclear weapon free zone assists the region and the international stability and security, addressing the innovative options to bridge the divide between nuclear-weapon states (NWS) and non-nuclear weapon states (NNWS) obligations and their rights regarding the nuclear technology and the development of civilian nuclear power.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the institution or Center or agencies that provided support for the study.

Abstract – Arabic

ملخص تنفيذى

تنفيذ قرار الشرق الاوسط 1995 لاخلاء الشرق الاوسط من الاسلحة النووية طوق نجاة اساسى لبقاء نظام عدم انتشار الأسلحة النووية

يحتفل العالم هذا العام ٢٠١٥ بالعيد الـ 45 لمعاهدة عدم إنتشار الاسلحة النووية ( NPT ) والتي باتت في مرحلة الاحتضار نظرا للاخفاقات المتتالية في ركائزها الاربعة وهي:

نزع السلاح النووي : فمازالت الدول النووية تمتلك ترسانتها النووية بل وتطور أجيالا جديدة منها . وكذا رفض كل من الولايات المتحدة والصين التصديق علي معاهدة الحظر الشامل للتجارب النووية.

عدم الانتشار النووي : تزايدت عدد الدول التي أعلنت عن إمتلاكها للسلاح النووي مثل كوريا الشمالية والهند وباكستان والتي لم تعلن بعد مثل إسرائيل والتي تحاول جاهدة مثل إيران.

الاستخدامات السلمية للطاقة النووية: فهناك فرض قيود صارمة من الدول النووية ومجموعة الموردين النوويين على الدول غير النووية لحجب حق إمتلاك المعرفة وتكنولوجيا الاستخدامات السلمية للطاقة النووية وخاصة دورة الوقود النووي للدول غير النووية.

قرار 1995 لاخلاء الشرق الاوسط من الاسلحة النووية : الذي طال إنتظار تنفيذه أكثر من 25 عاما حتي الان، وهو بمثابة رومانة الميزان لبقاء NPT من عدمه ، والذي يعد تنفيذه منظومة أمنية متكاملة بل وحجر أساس لبناء الثقة بين كافة دول المنطقة بما فيهم إسرائيل .

ففي ظل الصحوة العربية التي تقودها مصر وتؤيدها الدول العربية ودول عدم الانحياز تقدمت مصر بقرار بعنوان ” مخاطر الأنتشار النووي الاسرئيلي ” والذي إعتمدته الامم المتحدة ” في 2 ديسمبر 2014 ب161 صوتا مقابل 5 أصوات يطالب إسرائيل بالتخلى عن ترسانتها النووية وإخضاع جميع منشآتها النووية لنظام الضمانات الشاملة للوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية، والانضمام إلي معاهدة الـ NPT دون إبطاء.

ويتضمن القرار فقرات عاملة منها: ان قرار 1995 ساري المفعول إلى أن يتم تنفيذه. ويعكس هذا القراررسالة قوية للمجتمع الدولي ان الدول العربية وعلي رأسها مصر ليس لها خيار أمام شعوبها إلا أن ترفض الوضع الحالي، وكذا سياسة الامر الواقع التي تنتهجها إسرائيل.

ولقد عبرت مصر عن إستيائها للوضع الحالي بإنسحابها من مؤتمر مراجعة معاهدة NPT في جينيف 2013 لاخفاق الدول الراعية والامم المتحدة والمجتمع الدولي وميسر مؤتمر هلسنكي 2012 وفشل الجميع في عقد المؤتمر. وحرصا من مصر علي تحقيق الامن والسلم الاقليمي والدولي لمنطقة الشرق الاوسط فقد تقدمت برؤية واضحة في مؤتمر إستعراض المعاهدة 2015 بنيويورك لكيفية تنفيذ قرار إخلاء الشرق الاوسط من الاسلحة النووية مع إعطاء مهلة لبدء التنفيذ ب180 يوما ، وان الترسانة النووية التي تمتلكها إسرائيل في مفاعلاتها المتقادمة والتي تجاوزت فترة تشغليها أكثر من 60 عاما مما قد يتسبب في تهديد بل إبادة المنطقة بأسرها.

لقد بات واضحا أن قرار 1995 بشأن إخلاء الشرق الاوسط من الاسلحة النووية ومعاهدة NPT مصيرهما واحد “كالتوأم المتلاصق” وهما وجهان لعملة واحدة. والامر لا يغال فيه فطبقا لاتفاقية فيينا لقانون المعاهدات في مايو 1969 ، وكذا ميثاق الامم المتحدة بحق الدولة فى الأنسحاب من المعاهدة لكون ذلك ليس حقاّ فقط بل ترخيص للدولة تستخدمه طالما توافرت شروط استخدامه وهى : إذا كان لديها ذريعة أو مبرر كتعديل المعاهدة صراحة أو ضمنا مما يزيد من أعباء الدول الاعضاء أو ينتقص من حقوقهم المنصوص عليها أو وجود حالة باتت تهدد أمنها القومى.

Read the full version in English (PDF)

Read the full version in Arabic (PDF)

NNSA’s Graduate Fellowship Program at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

NNSA_LogoThe National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Graduate Fellowship Program provides unique hands-on experience to prepare exceptional graduate students to become next-generation leaders in global nuclear security. During the 12-month, full-time, salary-plus-benefits term, Fellows work in policy or technical areas alongside NNSA experts in Washington, D.C. or other NNSA site locations.

Fellows receive specialized training and opportunities for career development and professional networking, while also directly supporting NNSA’s global nuclear security mission in placements that align with their backgrounds and interests.  Fellows will interact with leading researchers in the field while helping shape the vision for future technologies related to detection of nuclear materials and the security of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens eligible for a high-level security clearance, and are accepted to, enrolled in, or will be graduating from a master’s or Ph.D. program during the year of application. Desirable academic specializations for the policy track include international relations, security or nonproliferation studies, political science, public administration, economics and related fields.  For the technical track, desirable academic specializations include nuclear physics/ engineering, chemical engineering, radiation health physics, radiochemistry, chemical sciences, applied physics, and related fields. Some positions may also benefit from backgrounds in safety and health, infrastructure and operations management, or finance/accounting.   A combined policy and technical background is highly desirable, and a foreign language is a plus.

Applications typically are accepted beginning in early August through October 21st. Fellowship terms begin the following summer.

Visit to learn more and apply.

S&T Policy Fellowship Opportunities for Faculty

aaas_logo-prv_580x390AAAS S&T Policy Fellowship Opportunities for Faculty engage doctoral level scientists and engineers in national and international issues in the federal policy realm, while affording a career enhancing opportunity to develop valuable skills, resources, and networks in the science policy arena.

The policy fellowships are a public service and professional development opportunity for faculty to apply their knowledge and training to the policy development and implementation process.

Learn how you can enhance policy and transform your career. Join AAAS September 4 at 2 p.m. EDT for a one-hour video based chat session on the AAAS Science & Technology (S&T) Policy Fellowship program and application process for the 2015-16 fellowship year. Have your questions answered by faculty colleagues and alumni fellows, and chat with program staff.

September 4 at 2pm EDT: S&T Policy Fellowship Opportunities for Faculty


Will Ukraine go nuclear? INS featured on “Background Briefings” discussing the crisis

deanandmeNatalie Manayeva, a research assistant at the University of Tennessee’s Institute for Nuclear Security and Dean Rice, former congressional policy and legislative aid on energy and national defense, were interviewed by Ian Masters for his radio show “Background Briefings” on August 4.

They discussed the CNN op ed “Is Ukraine about to go nuclear again?” that they wrote with Dr. Howard Hall, Director of the INS, and talked about the most recent and threatening developments in Russian/Ukrainian conflict, including growing possibility of Ukraine obtaining nuclear weapons and other countries following that example.

Background Briefings with Ian Masters is a radio program featuring international and national news, expert guests, policy makers, offering analysis and insight on national security, foreign and domestic policy. The show airs on KPFK FM-90.7 – Los Angeles and is broadcasted to over 160 radio station across the U.S.

Click HERE to listen to the  interview.

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