Adventures in Nuclear
Risk Reduction

About Nuclear Adventures

Nuclear policy communities have invaluable information vested in their stories. Because stories are social forms of knowledge, we forget how important they are. We need to tell them, listen to them, question them, and apply lessons from them.

Adventures in Nuclear Risk Reduction aims to facilitate intergenerational knowledge transfer by publishing stories on first-person experiences with risk reduction and elevating them for discussion between practitioners and early or mid-career experts.

We invite you to explore these stories, follow our series of storytelling events, and share your own story.

Recovering Orphan Sources

By Nino Chkhobadze

“Too many of our people were dying from being irradiated. If you organize the security systems first, you will have no one left to protect.”


Priorities and Mistakes

By Matthew Bunn

“We might not have several years… Have you thought about getting the stuff out of there?!”


Auburn Endeavor

By Peter Mamradze

“They were taken by this megalomania. Even physicists, scientists, were taken by this mythology: ‘it’s so precious, we have to keep it.'”


Tracing the Cracks

By George Japaridze

“When the mismanagement is based on running away from responsibility, it screws up very easily.”


Principles and Solidarity

By Vasil (Dato) Sikharulidze

“Process is important, but objective is much more important… Principles never should be sacrificed to achieve some kind of technical agreement.”


Tailings on the Baltic

By Cheryl Rofer

What it was was an enormous tailings pond—a kilometer long and half a kilometer wide—right on the Baltic Sea. The rain went through it and washed minerals from the pond, both radioactive and heavy metals, into the sea.”


The Smaller Question

By Tom Countryman

We got together in Geneva. In the very first evening consultations, you could see immediately that on the smaller question, what to do about chemical weapons, Russian and American interests lined up.”


Syrian Chemical Weapons

By Andy Weber

“It sounds like it’s an ocean. 1,300 tons is an impossible amount. How do you deal with that? They did the math, and came back with the answer of about 200 truckloads. And all of a sudden, it becomes thinkable that you can accomplish this.”


The Queen of Safeguards

By Laura Rockwood

“Well, Ms. Laura, everyone knows that if you want to know anything about the Additional Protocol, they have to talk to you.”


Share Your Story

Do you have a story to tell about nuclear risk reduction? Adventures in Nuclear Risk Reduction is an evolving project to share the stories of nuclear policy professionals with a new generation of practitioners. If you have worked on nuclear risk reduction, click the button below to send us a brief description of the experience you wish to share for consideration to be included in this collection.


Nuclear Weapons Policy Program

The Stanley Center works with diverse stakeholders to preserve, adapt, and re-envision policy solutions that help states prevent the use of nuclear weapons. Questions about our work? Interested in collaborating? Follow us on Twitter (@StanleyConnect) or contact Ben Loehrke or Luisa Kenausis from our team working to avoid the use of nuclear weapons.

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Upcoming opportunities and important takeaways from our collaborations are often published on our website to inform work by policymakers, nonprofits, journalists, representatives from the private sector, and other actors. Subscribe to receive these updates direct to your inbox.