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Public Policy and Nuclear Threats (PPNT)

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The summer workshop-in-residence at UC San Diego, known as the Public Policy and Nuclear Threats (PPNT) Boot Camp, aims to give participants the knowledge and analytic tools to contribute to the debate on future U.S. nuclear policy.

The boot camp features lectures, discussions, debates, and policy simulations. Participants attend talks by distinguished researchers, academics, policy officials, and operational specialists from leading universities, the National Laboratories, international organizations, and government agencies, on topics ranging from current nuclear threats, international safeguards, and nonproliferation strategies.

The course is part of long-standing IGCC work on nuclear policy issues.


2021 PPNT Boot Camp

The 2021 PPNT Boot Camp will be held virtually July 26-30.

PPNT Application for Professionals (Deadline: July 13, 2021)

PPNT Application for Graduate Students and Postdocs (Deadline: June 7, 2021)

Questions? Please contact Marie Thiveos Stewart at mthiveos@ucsd.edu.


Listen to the 2020 PPNT Lectures

Nuclear Policy and Deterrence
Speaker: Dr. Susan J. Koch, Independent Consultant and Distinguished Research Fellow at the National Defense University Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction 

GPS · PPNT Koch

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Nuclear Weapons 101
Speaker: Dr. John Scott, National Security Office Director at Los Alamos National Lab

GPS · PPNT Scott

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The Nuclear Fuel Cycle
Speaker: Dr. Massimiliano Fratoni, Associate Professor in the Department of Nuclear Energy at the University of California Berkeley

GPS · PPNT Frantoni


Listen to more lectures


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Support for this program is provided by the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration. 

History

"Public Policy and Nuclear Threats: Training the Next Generation" started as a PhD training program for students throughout the UC system, funded through NSF's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training program. 

The program was designed to encourage UC PhD students to study public policy and technology issues related to nuclear weapons, re-engage UC departments in research on the same, foster the interests of current students and enable the recruitment of additional top students, and promote cooperation between the campuses and the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories. Professor Susan Shirk, IGCC director at the time, served as principal investigator, and the program was housed at IGCC’s main office at UC San Diego.

The Boot Camp

The first summer workshop-in-residence at UC San Diego, known familiarly as the PPNT boot camp, was held in 2003. Nuclear physicist and IGCC founding director Herbert F. York was among the roster of distinguished speakers. Two cohorts of IGERT PPNT fellows and associates participated in the summer training, policy events, and an associated annual student-run conference, forming the nucleus of network of young nuclear policy experts from across the University of California.

After the initial NSF funding ended, IGCC leaders in 2007 opened the summer program to a wider audience, including junior faculty, technical staff from LLNL and LANL, and policy practitioners. IGCC drew on the expertise of its growing network by inviting past PPNT fellows to return as speakers and discussion leaders. PPNT alumnus Robert Brown (2003) served as leader for the 2009‒2011 programs, and Neil Narang (2007) served in the same role in 2012 and 2013. Since 2014, PPNT alumna Bethany Goldblum (2004) has served as the program’s director.

In 2009 Ambassador Linton Brooks joined the team as consultant and expert in residence during the boot camp.

The Annual Conference

Usually held at the UC Washington Center, the annual conference was planned by the PPNT alumnae network. It provided an opportunity for researchers and practitioners in the early stages of their careers to present to a policy audience and to receive feedback both from their peers and from senior members of the nuclear security community. Conference themes ranged from how to manage the nuclear stockpile, exploration of an international nuclear forensics regime as a model for cooperative deterrence, the denuclearization of North Korea, and the state of the world's nuclear infrastructure in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

The Nuclear Security Policy Series

In conjunction with the PPNT program, IGCC held a series of policy-related meetings in Washington, DC, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. IGCC selected speakers for the nuclear security briefing series from both the diverse pool of PPNT participants and speakers and the broader network of collaborators and other researchers who are analyzing the new nuclear security terrain, including the complex linkages between US strategic weapons policies, safeguards and nonproliferation, and counter-terrorism, as well as the connections between conventional and strategic capabilities.

Partnership with UC Berkeley

From 2011 to 2016 IGCC was part of the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium housed in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley. The consortium’s mission to train undergraduate and graduate students in the fields of nuclear physics, nuclear and radiation chemistry, nuclear engineering, nuclear instrumentation, and public policy has been supported by IGCC through the summer boot camp and administration of a number of awards for nuclear policy-related faculty and student research.

Past Boot Camps

July 28–Aug. 7, 2019
La Jolla, California

Agenda
Speakers
Participants

July 29–Aug. 7, 2018
La Jolla, California

Agenda
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Participants

July 16–25, 2017
La Jolla, California

Agenda
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Participants

June 19–29, 2016
La Jolla, California

Agenda
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Participants

June 21–July 11, 2015
La Jolla, California

Agenda
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Participants

July 6–16, 2014
La Jolla, California

Agenda
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Participants

Aug. 4–18, 2013
La Jolla, California

Agenda
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Participants

Aug. 5–25, 2012
La Jolla, California

Agenda
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Participants

July 31–Aug. 19, 2011
La Jolla, California

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Participants

July 19–Aug. 6, 2010
La Jolla, California

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July 24–Aug. 7, 2009
La Jolla, California

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July 6–26, 2008
La Jolla, California

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Participants

July 9–27, 2007
La Jolla, California

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July 4–30, 2004
La Jolla, California

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July 7–Aug. 2, 2003
La Jolla, California

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Participants
Talk by Albert Carnesale
Talk by Herb York

Student-Run Conferences

2013 PPNT Winter Conference
March 22–23, 2013
Washington, DC
Agenda (PDF)
Speakers (PDF)
 
Reducing the Risk from Radioactive and Nuclear Materials
2012 PPNT Winter Conference
February 6–7, 2012
Washington, DC
Agenda (PDF)
Speakers (PDF)
Conference summary (PDF)
 
The Scaled-Back Face of Tomorrow's Nuclear Infrastructure
2011 PPNT Winter Conference
March 24–26, 2011
Washington, DC
Agenda (PDF)
 
2010 PPNT Winter Conference
April 9–10, 2010
Washington, DC
Agenda (PDF)
 
Consequences of the Nuclear Age
2009 PPNT Winter Conference
February 19–21, 2009
Washington, DC
Agenda (PDF)
 
Nonproliferation and the Nuclear Renaissance
2008 PPNT Winter Conference
February 28–29, 2008
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Agenda (PDF)
 
A Novel Means for Deterring Nuclear Terrorism: The Case of DPRK
2007 PPNT Winter Seminar
February 1–2, 2007
Washington, DC
Overview (PDF)
Agenda (PDF)
Speakers (PDF)
 
Denuclearizing North Korea: Moving Beyond the 1994 Agreed Framework
2006 PPNT Winter Seminar
February 2–4, 2006
Los Angeles, CA
Overview (PDF)
Agenda (PDF)
Working Groups (PDF)
 
Nuclear Security in an Uncertain World
2005 PPNT Winter Seminar
January 26–28, 2005
Berkeley, CA
Overview and Abstracts (PDF)
Speakers (PDF) 

Nuclear Security Policy Series, Washington, DC

IAEA Governance and Reform
February 24, 2012
Agenda (PDF)
Presentation 1: Talking Peace, Making Weapons: IAEA Technical Cooperation and Nuclear Proliferation (PDF)
Presentation 2: Strategic and Technical Implementation Challenges of Advancing Front-End IAEA Safeguards (PDF)
Presentation 3: Unleashing the Nuclear Watchdog: Strengthening and Reform of the IAEA (PDF)
Presentation 4: Controlling the 'Absolute Weapon': International Governance Authority of the IAEA (PDF)
 
The Politics of Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century: Policy Implications of the "New Wave" of Nuclear Proliferation Research
December 15–16, 2011
Agenda (PDF)
 
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) Entry-Into-Force Issues
September 16, 2011
Agenda (PDF)
Presentation: CTBT Entry into Force Taken Hostage by Regional Conflicts (PDF)
 
The Scaled-Back Face of Tomorrow's Nuclear Infrastructure
2011 PPNT Winter Conference
March 24–26, 2011
Agenda (PDF)
Presentation 1: Conventional Counterforce Strike and Damage Limitation (PDF)
Presentation 2: North Korea’s Strategy in Shorter Range vs. Long Range Ballistic Missiles (PDF)
Presentation 3: Civil Nuclear Cooperation: Public-Private Safety Information Sharing in New and Retrofitted Plants (PDF)
Presentation 4: Why Do States Agree (or not) to Intrusive Verification? The Case of the INF Treaty (PDF)
Presentation 5: Confidence Levels of the New START Treaty (PDF)
 
US Nuclear Posture: Credibility, Deterrence, and Disarmament
January 21, 2011
Agenda (PDF)

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