• Iran’s nukesPompeo says U.S. to impose “strongest sanctions in history” against Iran

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington will impose “the strongest sanctions in history [on Iran] once they come into full force” and that the “sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does not change its course.” Pompeo set twelve conditions for Iran to follow in order for the United States to agree to a new nuclear deal with Tehran in a speech in Washington today (21 May). Iran will have to choose between maintaining its economy or sponsoring terrorist and insurgent groups in countries like Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen — what he called “squandering precious wealth on fights abroad.” “It will not have the money to do both,” he said.

  • Iran dealThe Iran nuclear deal could still be saved, experts say

    By Jaganath Sankaran and Steve Fetter

    Revising the Iran nuclear deal, often known as the JCPOA, won’t be easy. But the fact remains: If the world wants to bring Iran fully into the global economy, Iran needs America – and vice versa. That realization should be enough to bring both sides back to the negotiating table.

  • 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 dealAssessing the Iran deal pullout

    Calling it a “great embarrassment” that fails to “halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” President Trump said Tuesday that he will pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iran nuclear agreement that the previous administration negotiated to halt that nation’s progress toward atomic weapons. The national security, nuclear, and regional experts at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, who have been assessing the Iran nuclear situation for years, examined the president’s remarks and weighed in on the significance of Washington’s policy change and on what is likely to follow it.

  • 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.

  • IranFormer Israeli national security advisor: If Iran attacks Israel again, “there will be consequences”

    Following a weekend during which Israeli officials warned that Iran was preparing to use proxies to attack northern Israel in retaliation for an airstrike against an Iranian airbase in Syria, a former Israeli national security advisor asserted that for any Iranian attack “there will be consequences.”

  • 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.

  • 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 wasteNuclear waste may soon be a thing of the past

    During the Cold War, the U.S. Department of Energy produced tons of nuclear material for the development of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile. Today, the United States is awash in radioactive material from weapons production and some from nuclear power plants that could take 100,000 years to go away. A recent FIU chemistry graduate might help researchers unlock the secrets to make nuclear waste safer.

  • Nuclear detection Remotely monitoring nuclear reactorsRemotely monitoring nuclear reactors

    A new U.S. Department of Energy project to develop the first detector able to remotely monitor nuclear reactors will also help physicists test the next generation of neutrino observatories. Nuclear reactions produce telltale antineutrinos – the antimatter counterpart of neutrinos. The new detectors will be designed to measure the energy of such antineutrinos and the direction from which they come, allowing monitoring of reactors from a distance of 25 kilometers to verify nonproliferation agreements.