Stimson’s Nuclear Security Program is investigating the specific applications and implications of blockchain on various nuclear security challenges at the international, national, and operational (industry) level. Exploratory research is considering the areas (positive and negative) where blockchain could be applied to enhancing the security of nuclear material, technologies, and facilities.
Stimson’s Nuclear Safeguards Program is currently focusing on a project “Blockchain and Nuclear Safeguards” in partnership with the Stanley Foundation. By understanding the safeguards “ecosystem”, or the landscape of factors and actors determining how safeguards data is inputted, processed, and accessed, the project is identifying areas where distributed ledger technology can be applied to the management of safeguards information internationally, regionally, and bilaterally.
Given the potential adoption of blockchain technologies by both private and public actors, Stimson’s Nuclear Safeguards Program is also exploring the possible implications for DLT on international transfers of sensitive goods and technologies, and how it can help facilitate effective export controls. The project focuses on how DLT could reshape the way in which sensitive information, such as export denials, is exchanged between members of export control regimes as well as stored and protected, increasing confidentiality standards and trust among members.
Controlling Dual-Use Chemicals
The black-market supply chain for synthetic opioids (i.e. fentanyl and carfentanil) and their precursors is exacerbating the current global opioid overdose and addiction epidemic. And in the shadows of this health crisis is the growing concern that these substances are ubiquitous and potent enough to be deployed as “kitchen sink” chemical weapons, which are very difficult to monitor by international organizations due to their dual-use application across many industrial sectors. As part of a program examining the proliferation of synthetic opioids and implications on both health and WMD security, the Stimson Center’s Security and Trade Efficiency Platform (STEP) will explore how DLT can be used as a technological platform to better track supply and distribution of these chemical substances.
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