The first sustained chain nuclear reaction at a Chicago reactor built under the guidance of E. Fermi.

PIR Center Blog


France has taken essential steps towards the process of disarmament and is resolutely committed to endorse its special role as a nuclear-weapon state. However, some experts have highlighted a level of ambiguity in the French rhetoric, for instance, in the light of the INF Treaty. In fact, by working on different fronts, France has been trying to find the right balance between deterrence and non-proliferation as well as between national interests and international commitments. As a result of the changing strategic context and the growing threats, has France been able to consolidate its political discourse? This blog gives an overview of the French stance on the NPT, TPNW, and the INF Treaty to evaluate the ongoing trends in the field of non-proliferation.


In July 2017, at the meeting of the UN General Assembly, 122 countries voted in favor of the TPNW that prohibits the development, testing, production, manufacture, possession, use, or threat of use of nuclear weapons under Article I. The Treaty was established to fill in the legal gap in the nuclear nonproliferation regime, as well as to contribute to complying with Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Under Article XV of the TPNW, the Treaty “shall enter into force 90 days after the fiftieth instrument of ratification”.  The TPNW now has 50 ratifications, which means it will enter into force on January 22, 2021. What does it all mean? How will the new treaty work? Is the TPNW doing so well? 

tags: TPNW

As of 2020 the two major nuclear powers hold 90% of the world’s nuclear warheads, the SIPRI Yearbook 2020 report says, with China building up its arsenals to cross the 500-600 warheads line in the near future. If we compare bare figures, the world today with 13400 nuclear warheads possessed by all the 9 nuclear states looks more stable and secure than some 40 years ago, when over 60000 warheads were at their disposal. The deployed 1500-1700 warheads, that both the US and Russia have in their arsenals today, is still enough for mutually assured destruction. During the Cold War MAD strategy was a pillar of strategic stability and promoted the establishment of a legal framework to curb potential nuclear build-up. The only treaty still in force meant to safeguard strategic stability is the New START, which is set to expire February 5, 2021, leaving the world without any Russian-US arms control agreement.


Russian military doctrine, published in 2014, introduced the new notion of “system of non-nuclear deterrence”, which supposes political and military measures to prevent aggression against the Russian Federation from non-nuclear forces. According to the document “Basic Principles of State Policy of the Russian Federation on Nuclear Deterrence”, which was signed by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on June 2nd, 2020, high-precision non-nuclear and hypersonic weapons are among major military hazards. Since the beginning of 2020, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin stated more than once that Russian hypersonic weapons make missile defense systems useless. Following those documents and interviews, hypersonic weapons are becoming exactly the major factor of non-nuclear deterrence, at least for Russia. But, are hypersonic weapons capable of becoming the basis of non-nuclear deterrence? 


Este ano celebra-se o quinto aniversário do Plano de Ação Conjunto Global, ou seja, o acordo nuclear, assinado em 2015 por EUA, Rússia, China, Irão, Alemanha, Reino Unido e França com a intenção de conter o programa nuclear do Irão. Mas o estado actual do acordo causa imensas preocupações à comunidade internacional levando a acreditar que este aniversário poderá tornar-se na sua morte.