• Nuclear wasteScientists successfully vitrify three gallons of radioactive tank waste

    In a first-of-its-kind demonstration, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have vitrified low-activity waste from underground storage tanks at Hanford, immobilizing the radioactive and chemical materials within a durable glass waste form.

  • North Korea’s nukesMountain collapsed in North Korea after most recent nuclear test

    As North Korea’s president pledges to “denuclearize” the Korean peninsula, scientists published the most detailed view yet of the site of the country’s latest and largest underground nuclear test on 3 September 2017. The new picture of how the explosion altered the mountain above the detonation highlights the importance of using satellite radar imaging, called SAR (synthetic aperture radar), in addition to seismic recordings to more precisely monitor the location and yield of nuclear tests in North Korea and around the world.

  • North Korea’s nukesEarthquake science could have predicted North Korea’s nuclear climbdown

    By Stephen Hicks

    Just days after North Korea announced it was suspending its testing program, scientists revealed that the country’s underground nuclear test site had partially collapsed. The collapse may have played a role in North Korea’s change in policy. If correct, and with the hindsight of this research, we might have speculated that the North Koreans would want to make such an offer of peace. This shows how scientific analysis normally reserved for studying natural earthquakes can be a powerful tool in deciphering political decisions and predicting future policy across the globe.

  • Iran’s nukesThe past as prologue? Iran’s nuclear weapons project

    In a major coup, Israel’s intelligence operatives smuggled tens of thousands of documents from Iran’s nuclear weapons archive – the existence of which Iran had denied – which show the methodical steps Iran took between 199 and 2003 to build nuclear weapons. Two nuclear weapons experts say that the very existence of the archive is proof that Iran not only lied about its past nuclear weapons plans, but also about its future plans.

  • Iran dealAs U.S. withdraws from Iran nuclear deal, experts consider fallout

    U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement reverberated throughout the Middle East, Europe, and elsewhere – all the more so because did not say what comes next in U.S. policy toward Iran, leaving a list of questions that experts are rushing to predict: Will Washington seek new negotiations with Tehran? Will Iran resume enriching uranium? Will Israel step up attacks on Iran’s proxies, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, or militias in Syria? Will the U.S. European allies try to coax the Trump administration back to the negotiating table with Tehran? Will U.S. forces in Syria become more of a target for Iranian fighters?

  • Iran dealPresidents often reverse U.S. foreign policy — how Trump handles setbacks is what matters most now

    By Charles Hermann

    President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal is hardly Trump’s first foreign policy turnaround. But is Trump really such an outlier? As a scholar of American foreign policy, I know that many American presidents have reoriented international relations. Some of those policies succeeded. Many faced opposition. Ultimately, though, my research shows that what matters more to U.S. national security is how those presidents responded when their foreign policy shifts failed.

  • Iran’s nukesAhead of nuke deadline, Israeli company detects unusual activity at Iranian enrichment site

    An Israeli satellite company has published photographs of “unusual” activity at an Iranian enrichment facility, a week before President Donald Trump will make a decision whether or not to continue America’s participation in the 2015 nuclear deal.

  • K-9sImproving K-9 training

    Additive manufacturing (AM) has gone to the dogs, thanks to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL’s) new approach to K-9 training materials. The process prints 3D objects that contain trace amounts of nonreactive explosives, resulting in several advantages for K-9s and their handlers.

  • Iran’s nukesIAEA saw no “credible evidence” Iran was working on nuclear weapon after 2009

    In December 2015, following a series of inspections, the IAEA issued a report saying that the agency had “no credible” evidence Iran was working on developing a nuclear “explosive device” after 2009 and that the UN’s nuclear watchdog considered the issue “closed.” The IAEA said today (1 May) that the agency stands by those conclusions. The IAEA’s statement ccame after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on 30 April that Israel had documents that showed new “proof” of an Iranian nuclear-weapons plan that could be activated at any time.

  • Nuclear detectionRadiation detection device to help in detecting nuclear weapons, materials

    Researchers have developed a next-generation material for nuclear radiation detection that could provide a significantly less expensive alternative to the detectors now in commercial use. Specifically, the high-performance material is used in a device that can detect gamma rays, weak signals given off by nuclear materials, and can easily identify individual radioactive isotopes. Potential uses for the new device include more widespread detectors — including handheld — for nuclear weapons and materials as well as applications in biomedical imaging, astronomy and spectroscopy.

  • Chemical weaponsFuture of testing and treating chlorine gas attacks

    As experts sort through questions around recent chemical attacks in Syria, future answers to quickly testing and treating those who may have been exposed to chlorine gas may lie in chlorinated lipids, says a scientist.

  • Nuclear weaponsFor nuclear weapons reduction, a way to verify without revealing

    By David L. Chandler

    In past negotiations aimed at reducing the arsenals of the world’s nuclear superpowers, chiefly the U.S. and Russia, a major sticking point has been the verification process: How do you prove that real bombs and nuclear devices — not just replicas — have been destroyed, without revealing closely held secrets about the design of those weapons? New isotope-detection method could prove compliance but avoid divulging secrets.

  • Nuclear decommissioningPipe-crawling robot to help decommission nuclear facility

    A pair of autonomous robots will soon drive through miles of pipes at the U.S. Department of Energy’s former uranium enrichment plant in Piketon, Ohio, to identify uranium deposits on pipe walls. Shuttered since 2000, the plant began operations in 1954 and produced enriched uranium, including weapons-grade uranium. With 10.6 million square feet of floor space, it is DOE’s largest facility under roof — the size of 158 football fields, with 75 miles of process pipe.

  • Search & rescuePortable device to sniff out trapped humans

    The first step after buildings collapse from an earthquake, bombing or other disaster is to rescue people who could be trapped in the rubble. But finding entrapped humans among the ruins can be challenging. A new, inexpensive sensor is light and portable enough for first responders to hold in their hands or for drones to carry on a search for survivors.

  • ExplosivesUnderstanding explosive sensitivity with molecule design

    Explosives have an inherent problem - they should be perfectly safe for handling and storage but detonate reliably on demand. Using computer modeling and a novel molecule design technique, scientists have replaced one “arm” of an explosive molecule to help unravel the first steps in the detonation process and better understand its sensitivity — how easily it begins a violent reaction.