New article on the role of new reactor technologies for nonproliferation and verification

Aachen, Germany


Prof. Ralph Rotte submitted a preprint of his new article on new reactors and verification to SocArXiv. The article discusses how the propagation of new reactor technologies, particularly small modular reactors (SMRs), amid international great power competition and subsequent global and economic conflicts, poses risks to the stability of the nuclear nonproliferation regime.


Living with the Bomb: Nuclear Order in Crisis - Panel Discussion

Duisburg/Essen, Germany


The global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime has long been in crisis. Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has dealt a fatal blow to many of its fundamental norms. The lecture series concludes with a panel discussion on the future of the nuclear order, featuring both pessimistic and optimistic voices from academia, politics and civil society.

First VeSPotec Table Top Exercise

Aachen, Germany

The Participants of the first VeSPoTec Table Top Exercise

13.12.2023. – 14.12.2023

On December 13 and 14, the VeSPoTec-Team welcomed nine technical experts from six different countries for a tabletop exercise on nuclear safeguards in Aachen. The exercise focused on the role that different types of safeguards-relevant information play for evaluating a State in the context of their safeguards obligations through a series of role-played discussions. 


Living with the Bomb: The Bomb and Germany - Panel Discussion

Duisburg/Essen, Germany


The second event focuses on the individual perspective on nuclear weapons. On one hand, it considers the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that the use of nuclear weapons would entail. Additionally, we will explore how nuclear threats are currently Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, nuclear armament and the need for defence policy autonomy have been increasingly debated in Europe. The third event focuses on Germany and brings together experts from academia and civil society for a dialogue. The debate aims to highlight the diversity of opinions on nuclear non-proliferation, deterrence and disarmament in Germany and bring together people from different parts of society.

Living with the Bomb: Putin and the Bomb in our Heads

Duisburg/Essen, Germany


The second event focuses on the individual perspective on nuclear weapons. On one hand, it considers the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that the use of nuclear weapons would entail. Additionally, we will explore how nuclear threats are currently being used as a means of psychological warfare and the resulting consequences. It is important to avoid using language that is biased or emotional, and to maintain a formal register throughout the text. The text should also adhere to conventional structure and formatting, with clear and concise sentences that create a logical flow of information.

VeSPoTec at RWTH science night

Aachen, Germany


Members of VeSPoTec participated in the RWTH science night. Besides discussing the interdisciplinary approach to nuclear verification research, the members invited the visitors to participate in a nuclear dismantlement exercise (“Delicious Dismantlement Exercise”) to try a cookie dismantlement themselves and learn about the processes behind nuclear disarmament verification. 

Event series kick-off event

Duisburg, Germany



The public event series “Living with the bomb“, co-organized by VeSPoTec and University of Duisburg-Essen, started with a kick-off lecture and discussion with Malte Göttsche and Carmen Wunderlich entitled “The bomb for beginners”.    


Participation in parliamentary evening on "nuclear dangers"

Berlin, Germany



Malte Göttsche and Sophie Kretzschmar participated as experts in the parliamentary evening on “nuclear dangers”, organized by the German Physical Society, where they discussed with members of the German parliament and their staff and were available to their questions on current developments in nuclear arms control and verification. 


Presentation at the 40th anniversary symposium of Wissenschaft & Frieden

Bonn, Germany



Lukas Rademacher held a presentation at the 40th anniversary Wissenschaft & Frieden (science & peace) symposium on “How do you verify nuclear disarmament?”.


Presentation and Workshop at Science – Peace – Security Conference

Darmstadt, Germany

VeSPoTec Team Members at SPS23 in Darmstadt.
VeSPoTec Team Members at SPS23 in Darmstadt.


At the bi-annual conference Science-Peace-Security, VeSPoTec was present with two contributions: A presentation by Sophie Kretzschmar on “Reconstructing nuclear histories – a field study” and a workshop by the whole VeSPoTec consortium entitled “Thinking about the future: Nuclear verification in a complex world”.  


Presentation at the Alva Myrdal Center Conference

Uppsala, Sweden



Sophie Kretzschmar gave an overview on the VeSPoTec consortium at the Alva Myrdal Center cross-disciplinary conference entitled Nuclear verification research: bringing together social and natural sciences.  

Presentations at INMM & ESARDA joint Annual Meeting

Vienna, Austria

Team Members of VeSPoTec and NVD at the INMM & ESARDA Conference in Vienna
Team Members of VeSPoTec and NVD at the INMM & ESARDA Conference in Vienna

23.05.2023 – 25.05.2023

At the Joint INMM and ESARDA Annual Meeting 2023 in Vienna, Linda Ostermann presented a paper on “Verification Regimes: Challenges of Knowing and Deciding within Knowledge Infrastructures”, while Sophie Kretzschmar presented first insights into how documentation of a past nuclear programm can be used for verification.

The conference paper presented by Linda Ostermann, co-authored with Julian Schäfer, Malte Göttsche and Stefan Böschen, discusses what knowledge infrastructures of nuclear verification are and why knowledge production should be understood as embedded in knowledge infrastructures. It also explores what factors potentially limit knowledge in nuclear verification and what research steps are needed to further understand knowledge infrastructures.

The ideas presented by Sophie Kretzschmar are based on an initial research visit to Karlsruhe, Germany, where the NVD team had access to the archives of two former civil nuclear reactors that operated between the 1960s and 1980s.

The corresponding conference paper “Reconstructing nuclear histories: a field study”, co-authored with Malte Göttsche, will be available with the conference proceedings.

Invited lecture in the University of Sheffield

Sheffield, United Kingdom



Leonardo Bandarra gave an invited lecture at the University of Sheffield entitled: “Dismantling the bomb: working on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament”. 

Presentation at Belfer Center's Working Group

Hiroshima, Japan


27.04.2023 – 30.04.2023

At the Inaugural Conference of Harvard Belfer Center’s Working Group “Beyond Nuclear Deterrence”, Leonardo Bandarra gave a presentation entitled “Verify to Trust, Distrust to Dissuade” and participated in the G7 Hiroshima Summit Related Event “Rethinking Nuclear Deterrence — Approached for Moving Beyond”.

Julian Schäfer and Linda Ostermann get elected as AFK Young Researchers' spokespersons and present on interdisciplinarity at Young AFK's conference

Berlin, Germany


Julian Schäfer and Linda Ostermann have been elected as two of four new spokespersons of the young researchers of the German Association for Peace and Conflict Studies (AFK) for the next two years (2023-2025). The whole VeSPoTec-Team wishes to congratulate!

In addition, Linda Ostermann and Julian Schäfer each gave a presentation on interdisciplinarity in peace and conflict studies. In his contribution, Julian Schäfer emphasized the boundary object as an enabler or framework for interdisciplinary knowledge production in peace and conflict research, while Linda Ostermann dealt with the opportunities and challenges of integrating social and natural science peace and conflict research, both referring to their previous experiences in the VeSPoTec project.

Presentation at the DPG Spring Meeting

Dresden, Germany



Dr. Kretzschmar presented VeSPoTec with its integrated-interdisciplinary approach at the  86th Annual Conference of the DPG (DPG Spring Meeting, SMuK) in Dresden. The presentation was given in the Physics and Disarmament group. 

The abstract of the talk can be found here.

Presentation at the Joint Technical Meeting of the ESARDA VTM and INMM OSGI working groups



Julian Schäfer and Linda Ostermann gave a presentation at the Joint Technical Meeting oft the ESARDA VTM and INMM OSGI working groups. They presented their first thoughts on the analysis of knowledge infrastructures within verification regimes to a diverse audience of technical experts.

Malte Göttsche gets awarded with the Nuclear-Free Future Award



Prof. Göttsche got awarded with the Nuclear-Free Future Award (NFF) 2022 in the category Solutions.
The NFF is honoring people worldwide who are working for a future free of nuclear power and nuclear weapons since 1998.
The official NFF announcement can be found here.

Presentation at the conference "The Complexity of Nuclear Order(ing)"


26.10.2022 – 28.10.2022

 Leonardo Bandarra held a presentation, entitled “Centripetal Forces of Change: Dependence Theory, Institutional Bargaining, and Periphery-Driven Ordering in Nuclear Politics”, at the conference “The Complexity of Nuclear Order(ing)”, funded by the German Peace Studies Association (AFK).

Tenth Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

New York, USA


01.08.2022 – 26.08.2022

Members of the VeSPoTec team attended the 2020 NPT RevCon. They participated in discussions about the role of verification on global non-proliferation and disarmament regime.

First Meeting of State Parties (MSP) to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Vienna, Austria


21.07.2022 – 23.07.2022

Members of the VeSPoTec team attended the first TPNW MSP. They participated in discussions about the role of verification for a global non-proliferation and disarmament regime.

RWTH Press Release on research association VeSPoTec

Aachen, Germany



“A new research consortium in peace research. The RWTH is coordinating an interdisciplinary research project with the aim of building trust in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation […].”

You can find the full press release here in German and English.