• Open SkiesRussia to Exit Open Skies Treaty after U.S. Pullout

    Russia says it is beginning the procedure to withdraw from the international Open Skies Treaty after the United States last year left the accord, which allows unarmed aerial surveillance flights over dozens of participating states. The United States formally withdrew on November 22 from the arms-control and verification agreement.

  • Iran’s nukesIsrael Warns Iran About Uranium Enrichment Announcement

    By Linda Gradstein

    Israeli officials said Monday that they will not allow Iran to produce a nuclear weapon.  Israel was responding to Iran’s announcement that its scientists have resumed enriching uranium to 20 percent purity.  The exchange is increasing tensions just two weeks before U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office.

  • Iran’s nukesIran Vows 20 Percent Uranium Enrichment “As Soon As Possible”

    Iran said on January 2 that it plans to enrich uranium up to 20 percent purity at its underground Fordow nuclear facility “as soon as possible,” a level far above limits set by an international nuclear accord. Iran’s public announcement come a day after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that Tehran had revealed its intention in a letter to the UN nuclear watchdog.

  • Iran’s nukesRemote-Control Killing: Iran Says Top Nuclear Scientist Assassinated by Machine Gun Guided Via Satellite

    By Golnaz Esfandiari

    A machine gun equipped with a “satellite-controlled smart system” was used to kill Iran’s top nuclear scientist, a senior official with the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has said. Officials have blamed Israel for the brazen, daytime attack on 27 November in Absard, some sixty kilometers from the capital, Tehran, though it didn’t offer any evidence for the claim.

  • Iran’s nukesEuropean Powers "Deeply Worried" By Iran's Uranium Enrichment Plans

    Britain, France, and Germany say Iran’s apparent plan to install additional advanced centrifuges at its main nuclear enrichment facility is “deeply worrying” and contrary to the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. A confidential report by the UN’s atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said Iran plans to install three more cascades of advanced IR-2m centrifuges in its underground plant at Natanz.

  • Iran’s nukesIran Violating 2015 Nuclear Deal Again with Use of Advanced Centrifuges: Reuters

    Reuters obtained a confidential IAEA report which says that Iran plans to install more advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges at an underground plant in breach of its troubled deal with major powers. The confidential IAEA report said Iran plans to install three more clusters of advanced IR-2m centrifuges in the underground plant at Natanz, located about 300 kilometers south of the capital, Tehran.

  • Nuclear weaponsFlight Tests to Show B61-12 Will Work on Air Force’s Newest Fighter Jet

    A mock B61-12’s strike in the dusty Nevada desert successfully completed the first in a series of flight tests with the U.S. Air Force’s newest fighter jet, demonstrating the bomb’s first release from an internal bomb bay at greater than the speed of sound. The flight test of the B61-12 with the F-35A Lightning II this summer was the first ever at Sandia National Laboratories’ Tonopah Test Range featuring the fighter jet.

  • Food securityNuclear War could Take a Big Bite Out of the World's Seafood

    A new study reveals the damage that a nuclear war might take on wild-caught seafood around the world, from salmon and tuna to the shrimp in shrimp cocktails. The aftermath of such a conflict could put a major strain on global food security, an international team of scientists reports. The group estimates that a nuclear war might cut the amount of seafood that fishing boats are capable of bringing in worldwide by as much as 30 percent.

  • Iran’s nukesUN Watchdog Confirms New Construction at Iran's Natanz Nuclear Facility

    The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency said that Iran has begun construction of an underground centrifuge assembly plant near its nuclear facility at Natanz. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Grossi said in an October 28 interview in Berlin that the facility seems to be a replacement for one that exploded in July in what Tehran called a sabotage attack.

  • Iran’s nukesLooking for Evidence of the Construction of Iran’s New Centrifuge Assembly Plant: New Possible Preparations Identified

    By David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, and Frank Pabian

    This summer, Iran decided to construct a new underground centrifuge assembly plant, following the destruction of the above ground one at the Natanz enrichment site on 2 July 2020. So far, Iran has undertaken little visible work in the mountains adjacent to the Natanz enrichment site with the exception of possible construction preparations. A nearby gunnery range appears to have been converted to a construction support and staging area in the first half of September. Because of the added difficulties of building an underground site, the completion of a new centrifuge assembly plant able to assemble thousands of advanced centrifuges per year is unlikely in 2021.

  • Nuclear weapons Expanding Testing Capacity for Sandia Weapons Modernization Programs

    Sandia National Laboratories’ Programs Engineering and Assembly Research (SPEAR) facility, which opened this summer, is the first of its kind at Sandia’s California campus and expands Sandia’s capacity to assemble and electrically test nuclear weapons components and systems for the nation’s nuclear stockpile.

  • Nuclear weaponsReplacing Aging Thermonuclear Warheads

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers passed their first program level key milestone in the W87-1 Modification Program (W87-1 Mod) on Sept. 24, keeping the program on schedule despite work stoppages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The W87-1 Mod will replace the W78 thermonuclear warhead with a modified design of the W87 warhead.

  • China syndromeChinese Nuke Arsenal Next on Beijing’s “To-Do” List, U.S. Commander Warns

    By Carla Babb

    The commander in charge of the U.S. military’s nuclear arsenal has warned that increasing China’s nuclear stockpile is “next” on Beijing’s “to-do list.” Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, U.S. Strategic Command chief Adm. Charles Richard said that while the United States has “no margin” of error left to start recapitalizing its nuclear force, China has a proven record of steadily building its military.

  • Radiation detectionRadiation Detection System to Protect Major U.S. Metropolitan Region

    An exercise last December at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was the culmination of a five-year effort to develop and deploy an automated, high-performance, networked radiation detection capability for counterterrorism and continuous city-to-region scale radiological and nuclear threat monitoring.

  • Nuclear detectionUltrasensitive Measurements Detect Nuclear Explosions

    Imagine being able to detect the faintest of radionuclide signals from hundreds of miles away. Scientists have developed a system which constantly collects and analyzes air samples for signals that would indicate a nuclear explosion, perhaps conducted secretly underground. The system can detect just a small number of atoms from nuclear activity anywhere on the planet. In terms of sensitivity, the capability – in place for decades – is analogous to the ability to detect coronavirus from a single cough anywhere on Earth.