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Project Alpha

About Alpha

Project Alpha is an autonomous programme within the Centre for Science and Security Studies at King’s College London. 

The programme takes an academically rigorous but policy orientated approach to studying the problem of nuclear proliferation by drawing on a wide range of open source sources, tools and techniques. The programme focuses on all aspects of non-proliferation including country issues; safeguards; trade controls implementation and non-proliferation policy. 

A unique feature of the programme is its data centric approach. Alpha non-proliferation houses perhaps the most comprehensive datasets on issues related to non-proliferation through its research platform – Alpha-POST (The Alpha Proliferation Open Source Tool). 

The programme grew out of Project Alpha established with UK government funding in 2011 to bridge government-private sector understanding of non-proliferation issues. As such, the programme continues to have a strong export control and illicit trade component. 

Alpha Non-proliferation currently has more than 10 staff and is directed by Ian Stewart, a senior researcher in the Department of War Studies. The programme works closely with external partners, including the James Martin Centre for Non-proliferation Studies, industry, and international organisations.

Project Alpha undertakes some of the most detailed analysis of proliferation, including:

  • Mapping out the proliferation networks of North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, Syria and other countries;
  • Tracking all known cases of nuclear and missile-related illicit trade;
  • Tracking all North Korean linked vessels; and
  • Undertaking detailed examinations of the security and proliferation challenges associated with emerging technologies.


To read more about the staff involved visit here.


Note: Project Alpha maintains a large external website -

This current page, by contrast, simply highlights the scope and type of research and knowledge transfer activity undertaken by Project Alpha.

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