Issue

Going Nuclear

Although the United States and Russia have greatly reduced their stockpiles of nuclear weapons over the last two decades, there is still the lingering—and spreading—threat of nuclear annihilation.

The number of nuclear weapon states has grown to nine from six since the end of the Cold War, with India, Pakistan, and North Korea joining the club. Iran’s nuclear program is believed by some to be within months of weaponizing. Meanwhile the U.S., Russia, China and other nuclear countries are competing with each other to sell “civilian” nuclear technology to eager buyers in unstable parts of the world. India, Pakistan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates are among the customers.

While Russia’s shrinking nuclear arsenal is now thought to be relatively secure, the 9/11 terror attacks and revelations about the activities of the A.Q. Khan network have heightened concerns that weapons or fissile material could fall into the hands of rogue states or extremist groups. That risk has been increased by access to technologies that are enabling nuclear newcomers to create smaller, easily transportable weapons—so-called battlefield weapons—and by the worrisome rise of military doctrines that lower the threshold of actually using nuclear weapons.

Through Going Nuclear, Pulitzer Center journalists examine the emerging threats of the post-9/11 era, from an alarming new arms race between India and Pakistan to the role of the U.S. and Russia as suppliers and the spread of supposedly peaceful nuclear technology to some of the world’s most dangerous neighborhoods.

Going Nuclear

Pakistan and India: Race to the End

While the U.S. and much of the rest of the world are focused on thwarting Iran's threat to build a nuclear weapon, the real danger may the full-throttle arms nuclear race between Pakistan and India.

Russia's Nuclear Salesmanship

Russia’s nuclear industry is expanding quickly. Energy-hungry countries put aside concerns over Chernobyl and Fukushima as they seek to join the nuclear club.

UAE: Powering Down

The world’s biggest oil producers are pouring money into renewable energy. Why isn’t the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer, following suit?