New Programme Aims to Reduce the Risk of Nuclear Weapons Use

New Nuclear Reduction and Monitoring Program


March 10, 2020  Vienna, Austria/Broomfield, USA -- Open Nuclear Network officially launched today. It is a new non-aligned non-governmental organisation whose mission is to reduce the risk of nuclear weapons use in response to error, uncertainty or misdirection. Based in Vienna, Austria, Open Nuclear Network - or ONN - is the newest programme of the philanthropic foundation One Earth Future (OEF), adding to OEF’s global portfolio of conflict resolution and peace initiatives.

This new programme is led by two seasoned global experts. Laura Rockwood, the Director of ONN, has over 30 years of experience in non-proliferation and international safeguards, having retired from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) after 28 years as the senior legal advisor on all aspects of the negotiation, interpretation and implementation of IAEA safeguards. Melissa Hanham, the Deputy Director of ONN, is a globally recognised expert in open source data analysis as it relates to nuclear weapon capabilities of States and the verification of arms control agreements. They believe that the right information, more effectively leveraged, can lead to better outcomes in the international security sphere, and in the nuclear risk reduction domain in particular.

Open Nuclear Network is built on two complementary pillars that work in concert to form its unique ability to reduce the risks of nuclear disaster through timely, data-informed dialogue among global leaders. These pillars include the innovative use of open source data coupled with the expertise of an internationally diverse staff of analysts, and the establishment of an Engagement Network of high level, globally connected individuals with an ability to rapidly advance dialogue among world leaders.

ONN’s deeply experienced core team of analysts, with collective language capabilities that include Russian, Korean, Japanese, Italian, German, French, English and Chinese, produce frequent briefings leveraging technology, information from unclassified sources and publicly available data. Underpinning the programme is ONN’s open source software platform, Datayo, specially designed to identify, track and recognise emerging threats that could result in the use of nuclear weapons. Datayo has been built to aggregate information, provide raw data sets and support data analysis that will enable better informed dialogue by decision makers in times of crises, and ultimately contribute to de-escalation.  

The growing ONN Engagement Network is a carefully assembled global team of former high level military and civilian officials, diplomats, technologists and other experts with access to nuclear decision makers and individuals associated with them. Members of the Network are external affiliates, but work in close collaboration with ONN staff, receiving regular briefings from ONN analysts. With de-escalation at the centre of their mission, Network members work to identify opportunities for engagement with heads of States and their inner circles when indications surface that the potential for conflict is on the rise. They convene meetings with decision makers as deemed necessary to provide neutral, objective information as a means of facilitating dialogue and reducing nuclear risk.

“One Earth Future is extremely proud to announce the launch of ONN,” said One Earth Future Foundation Vice President of Strategy, Jonathan Bellish. “It is a timely programmatic addition to our Foundation’s work in support of the critical dialogue and collaboration required to put an end to the threat of armed conflict in any given region of the world, and put constructive measures for lasting peace in its place.”

“We strongly believe that placing fact-based shareable information in the hands of decision makers will significantly reduce the risk that nuclear weapons may be used inadvertently in the face of escalating conflict,” said, Open Nuclear Network Director, Laura Rockwood, who has more than 30 years of experience in non-proliferation and international nuclear safeguards. “The challenge is how to get such information into their hands. Our solution is the Engagement Network, a team of trusted and credible emissaries with knowledge, experience and connections, who can open the doors to decision makers.” 

Laura Rockwood spent 28 years with the IAEA leading the Non-Proliferation and Policy Section in the Office of Legal Affairs and spearheading all aspects of the negotiation, interpretation and implementation of IAEA safeguards. Open Nuclear Network  Deputy Director, Melissa Hanham, who also directs and has been instrumental in the development of ONN’s Datayo platform, is an expert on weapons of mass destruction (WMD), including nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. 


One Earth Future Foundation (OEF) is a private non-profit foundation established in the US State of Colorado in 2007 and funded by Canadian philanthropist Marcel Arsenault and his wife, Cynda Collins Arsenault. The Foundation is committed to fostering sustainable peace by partnering with innovative world leaders, global development agencies and community leaders to see complex problems at the root of armed conflict in new ways and to solve them together through orchestrated collaboration. OEF holds ECOSOC Special Consultative Status with the United Nations. 

OEF’s Open Nuclear Network programme is a Vienna, Austria-based initiative designed to reduce the risk that nuclear weapons may be used in response to error, uncertainty or misdirection. Other One Earth Future Foundation initiatives designed to prevent or end violent conflict and build sustainable peace globally include Shuraako, Secure Fisheries, Paso Colombia, and Stable Seas.

For more information contact One Earth Future Director of External Affairs Kara Nichols or Open Nuclear Network programme Deputy Director Melissa Hanham