APLN activities

Pandemic-Nuclear Nexus Scenarios Project

  • Dec 1, 2020

Pandemic-Nuclear Nexus Scenarios Project

The APLN in collaboration with the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, Nagasaki University (RECNA)and the Nautilus Institute are holding the Nagasaki 75th Anniversary Pandemic-Nuclear Nexus Scenarios online workshop. This event aims to identify opportunities for governments, civil society, and market actors to reduce nuclear risk and resume nuclear disarmament in Northeast Asia, with special attention to new strategies emerging from this unprecedented time in history.

Four workshops with forty cross-disciplinary group from diverse backgrounds, ages and nationalities from across the Asia-Pacific and North America will be convened to develop four possible visions of the future-between now and 2030-through scenario planning.


Scenario planning is a widely used methodology for imagining future conditions that are highly uncertain, and generating robust strategies for shaping the future. It is used to explore systematically the unknown forces of the future, design a finite set of future narratives, and then generate alternative strategies. The most successful scenario-planning exercises convene experts, thought leaders, and non-conventional thinkers to together create possibilities that could otherwise not be seen. 

Participants will include those from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Mongolia, Philippines, ROK, Russia, and the United States. The workshops will take place “under the Chatham House Rule” except for the opening session on Saturday 31 October, from 9am (Japan Time).     

Ahead of the workshops, expert working papers will be produced and distributed to inform the discussions and scenario planning exercise.  

*Expert Papers for Project

Paper 01: The Impact of a Regional Nuclear Conflict between India and Pakistan: Two Views

Paper 02: The US Election and Nuclear Order in the Post-Pandemic World

Paper 03:  Nagasaki's Voice: 75 years' Experience

Paper 04:  Pandemics

Paper 05:  Extended Deterrence and Extended Nuclear Deterrence in a Pandemic World

Paper 06:  An Alternative to Nuclear Deadlock and Stalled Diplomacy – Proposals, Pathways, and Prospects for the Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone

Paper 07:  Asia-Pacific Perspective on Biological Weapons and Nuclear Deterrence in the Pandemic Era

Paper 08: COVID-19 and Labor Demand, Migration, and Military Force Structure Implications in East Asia

Paper 09: The Role of Cities as First Responders to Pandemics: Focusing on the Case of the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Response to COVID-19

Paper 10: Nuclear Hotlines: Origins, Evolution, Applications

Paper 11: Assessing the modernization of nuclear postures'

Paper 12: Equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines: cooperation around research and production capacity is critical

Paper 13: U.S. Planning for Pandemics and Large-Scale Nuclear War


1st round:  Saturday 31 October,  9:00-13:00; and Sunday 1 November, 9:30-13:00 [Japan Time]       

2nd round: Saturday 14  November, 9:00-13:00; and Sunday 15 November, 9:30-13:00 [Japan Time] 

Workshop Goals


1) Develop an analytical understanding of the interrelated nature of the co-occurring existential threats of nuclear weapons and global pandemics;

2) Explore potential levers and pathways to influence the future under various conditions; and  

3) Identify concrete strategies to reduce the risk of nuclear war and resume nuclear disarmament to be considered by state and non-state actors.

Open Session 

The session will be livestreamed on Saturday 31 October from 9am (KST) on YouTube: https://youtu.be/qFrnkgrex0Q