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Hecker to speak Saturday about growing nuclear threat

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By Jill McLaughlin

Top federal government advisor and nuclear threat expert, and former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Dr. Siegfried Hecker will give a lecture Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Los Alamos about nuclear hotspots around the world.

In his talk, “A Look Ahead at 2019 Nuclear Hotspots Around the World,” Hecker, who served as lab director from 1986-1997, will speak about how developments around the world have turned more dangerous since the North Korean nuclear crisis.

Hecker is a professor at the Department of Management, Science and Engineering and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He was co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) from 2007-2012. He first joined the lab as a graduate in 1965.

Hecker’s current research interests include plutonium science, nuclear weapons policy, nuclear security and the safe and secure expansion of nuclear energy.

Over the past 27 years, he has fostered cooperation with the Russian nuclear laboratories to secure and safeguard the vast stockpile of ex-Soviet fissile materials.

In last 2016, Hecker published “Doomed to Cooperate,” a two-volume compendium of Russian and American laboratory-to-laboratory post-Cold War nuclear cooperation.

Hecker’s work also focuses on reducing the global risks of nuclear weapons, nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism.
Hecker also works closely with the Chinese nuclear enterprise and addresses the nuclear challenges posed by India, Pakistan, North Korea and Iran.

The lecture is 7 p.m. Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1967 18th St., Los Alamos. This is the second annual Alice and Lawry Mann lecture, sponsored by the Los Alamos Historical Society Lecture Series.