• PerspectiveRadiation in Parts of the Marshall Islands Is Far Higher than Chernobyl, Study Says

    Think of the most radioactive landscapes on the planet and the names Chernobyl and Fukushima may come to mind. Yet research published Monday suggests that parts of the Marshall Islands in the central Pacific, where the United States conducted 67 nuclear tests during the Cold War, should be added to the list.

  • Perspective: Nuclear WeaponsIranian Nuclear Facility “Has Never Been Repurposed” as Promised under 2015 Nuclear Deal

    Iran’s underground Fordow uranium-enrichment facility has not followed the 2015 nuclear deal. Apparently, it has “never been repurposed” in that “everything required to enrich uranium to weapons grade could be quickly reconstituted in the underground portion of the facility,” continued the report.

  • Iran’s nukesThe State of the Deal: How the Numbers on Iran's Nuclear Program Stack up

    By Michael Scollon

    When it comes to the state of the Iran nuclear deal, there are enough figures flying around to make your head spin like atoms in a first-generation gas centrifuge. Here’s a little guide to help you keep track of the score.

  • Iran’s nukesIAEA confirms Iran enriching uranium in excess of 2015 nuclear deal limit

    The United Nations atomic watchdog agency has confirmed that Iran has surpassed the limits on how much it was allowed to enrich uranium under the 2015 international nuclear deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency said its inspectors verified Monday that Iran has passed 4.5 percent enrichment, breaching the 3.67 percent limit set in the accord aimed at restraining Tehran’s nuclear weapons development.

  • Perspective: EspionageCould Secret Cables Have Saved Ethel Rosenberg From the Electric Chair?

    At 8:11 on the evening of June 19, 1953, Ethel Rosenberg was strapped into the electric chair at the New York State prison known as Sing Sing. She was 37 years old and the mother of two young sons. The chair, made of oak and iron, had killed hundreds of convicted criminals over the years, including her husband, Julius Rosenberg, a few minutes before. But the chair was not always reliable, which was one reason inmates gave it the cynical name “Old Sparky.” Christopher Dickey writes in the Daily Beast that two years earlier, when both Rosenbergs were convicted of spying for Moscow, Federal Judge Irving R. Kaufman had handed down their death sentences. The Rosenbergs’ crime, he said, was “worse than murder.” But in fact the penalty was not about justice. It was about vengeance for a loss the American public felt was so enormous that someone must be made to pay a horrible price. It was “as if a society turned its magnifying lens on these people until they caught fire and were burned alive,” said novelist E. L. Doctorow, whose The Book of Daniel was a fictional account of the case.  “Even as Ethel Rosenberg was strapped into the electric chair for spying for Moscow in 1953, decrypted cables might have spared her. But they were released only decades later,” Dickey writers.

  • Iran’s nukesIranian enriched uranium limit breached, IAEA confirms

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed Monday that Iran has surpassed the stockpile of low-enriched uranium allowed under the 2015 nuclear accord with world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

  • WMD exposureNew technology to measures WMD threat exposures

    Researchers are looking to find molecular signatures in blood that identify previous exposures and time of exposure to materials that could be associated with weapons of mass destruction (including infectious agents, chemicals, and radiation). The epigenome is biology’s record keeper, and Epigenetic technology will provide a new tool in the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

  • Nazi nukesHow close was Nazi Germany to the bomb?

    How close did Nazi Germany get to a working nuclear reactor? Researchers exploring the German quest and failure to build a working nuclear reactor during the Second World War say that Germany was close – but that the effort was hampered by decentralization and lack of scientific communication. “If the Germans had pooled their resources, rather than keeping them divided among separate, rival experiments, they may have been able to build a working nuclear reactor,” says an expert.

  • Nuclear weaponsOverall number of nuclear warheads decreases, but modernization of world nuclear forces continues

    The modernization of nuclear forces continues, even as the overall number of nuclear warheads continues to decline. At the start of 2019, nine states—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea—possessed approximately 13,865 nuclear weapons. This marked a decrease from the approximately 14,465 nuclear weapons in 2018.

  • Nuclear weaponsU.S.: Russia may be testing low-yield nukes, in violation of treaty

    A top U.S. military official has said that U.S. intelligence agencies believe Russia may be conducting low-yield nuclear testing that may be violation of a major international treaty. Lieutenant General Robert Ashley said in a speech on 29 May that Russia could be doing tests that go “beyond what is believed necessary, beyond zero yield.”

  • PerspectiveInside the secret dinners where Congress figures out how to stop a nuclear apocalypse

    Washington is home to countless private soirees and high powered dinner clubs, but there’s only one gathering devoted to nukes. They take place once every couple of months at a restaurant or townhome on Capitol Hill and are organized by former Democratic congressman John Tierney, who heads a group that advocates nuclear nonproliferation. Attendance is usually strong—at least a couple of dozen lawmakers show up—and they’re joined by experts like former Secretary of State John Kerry and former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. Sam Brodey writes in the Daily Beast that with global nuclear threats on the rise, and with Congress’ general knowledge of those threats on the decline since the end of the Cold War, those involved with the dinner say it’s more important than ever for lawmakers to have an informal venue where they can bolster their nuclear bona fides.

     

  • Iran’s nukesIran suspending some nuclear deal commitments

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced Wednesday his country will suspend its compliance with prohibitions on stockpiles of enriched uranium and heavy water that were imposed as part of the 2015 international agreement on its nuclear program.

  • Nuclear proliferationDetecting radioactive material remotely

    Physicists have developed a powerful new method to detect radioactive material. By using an infrared laser beam to induce a phenomenon known as an electron avalanche breakdown near the material, the new technique is able to detect shielded material from a distance. The method improves upon current technologies that require close proximity to the radioactive material.

  • Nuclear wasteEasier access to radioactive waste

    At the Hanford Site, waste retrieval has been completed in 17 of 149 large concrete underground single-shell tanks. The tanks were constructed of carbon steel and reinforced concrete between 1943 and 1964 to store a radioactive mix of sludge and saltcake waste from past nuclear processing activities. Hanford is installing new access holes in the tank domes for future retrieval efforts.

  • North Korea’s nukesU.S. should reject partial North Korean “concessions”: Experts

    The failure to reach an agreement at last week’s Hanoi meeting between President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi is but the latest indication that the differences between the United States and North Korea over the latter’s nuclear weapons capability are deep and complex.