Nuclear weapons proliferation | Homeland Security Newswire

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

    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.

  • Former 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.”

  • Ahead 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.

  • IAEA 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.

  • Radiation 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.

  • EU said to reject ballistic missile penalties on Iran

    Members of the European Union are balking at imposing sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program. EU members Spain, Italy and Austria rejected proposed penalties by the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, which would penalize Iran for its continued ballistic missile program and support for the Assad regime in Syria’s civil war. These penalties would include freezing assets as travel bans on 15 individuals, companies, and groups involved in these endeavors.

  • Remotely 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.

  • Former IDF intel chief: Bombing of Syrian reactor shows Israel will act alone to survive

    Maj-Gen. (Ret.) Amos Yadlin, Israel’s chief of military intelligence in 2007 said in a press briefing that the Israeli Air Force’s destruction of a Syrian reactor shows that when Israel is faced with “a very serious threat” to its existence, “Israel is going to act, and act even if Israel has to act alone.”

  • Israel admits destroying Syrian reactor in move seen aimed at Iran

    The Israeli military has formally acknowledged for the first time its destruction of a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, saying the air strike removed a major threat to Israel and was a “message” to others. Israel’s announcement on 21 March about Operation Out of the Box is widely seen as a veiled warning to arch-enemy Iran as it builds up its military presence in Syria. Syria, with North Korean help, secretly built the reactor in the desert near Deir al-Zor in north-east Syria, in violation of the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). North Korea planned to use the facility for separating weapon-grade plutonium from spent uranium, a nuclear-weapon related activity prohibited by the 1994 U.S.-North Korea nuclear Framework Agreement.

  • Khamenei military adviser: West uses lizards to spy on Iran’s nuclear program

    Saying that their skins absorb “atomic waves,” a top military adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei charged that Western countries use “lizards, chameleons” to spy on Iran’s nuclear program. Hassan Firuzabadi, a former chief-of-staff for Iran’s army, said that the spy lizards were released in various places in Iran to find out where inside the Islamic republic of Iran we have uranium mines and where we are engaged in atomic activities.”

  • Lawmakers want to give the federal government the sole responsibility for missile alerts

    Following the false emergency alert that went out across Hawai‘i on 13 January and caused widespread panic, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Kamala Harris (D-California), and Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) introduced the Authenticating Local Emergencies and Real Threats (ALERT) Act, legislation that would improve the emergency alert system and give the federal government the sole responsibility of alerting the public of a missile threat, prohibiting state and local governments from doing so.

  • New radiation detectors developed at Sandia used for New START inspections

    Sandia National Laboratories designed, tested, and delivered new radiation detection equipment for monitoring under the New START Treaty. Defense Threat Reduction Agency inspectors recently used this equipment for the first time in Russia for a New START inspection. New START, or the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, is a treaty between the United States and Russia that, among other limits, reduces the deployed nuclear warheads on both sides to 1,550 by 5 February. These limits will be maintained for as long as the treaty remains in force. The treaty includes regular on-site inspections of warheads and delivery systems.

  • Vice president, House speaker should be included in nuclear launch decisions: Experts

    The U.S. protocol for ordering a nuclear attack should be revised to require not only an order from the president, but consent by the next two officials in the presidential chain of succession — the vice president and speaker of the House of Representatives, three experts argue in a new paper. “No one person should be able to order a nuclear attack,” said one of the paper’s authors. “There’s no reason to maintain this dangerous policy, since there are viable alternatives that would allow other officials to take part in any decision to use nuclear weapons, whether it’s a first use or a launch responding to a nuclear attack.”

  • Draft U.S. document confirms Russian plans for “Doomsday” weapon

    Some two years ago, Western intelligence and military experts scrambled to make sense of a strange new Russian weapon whose designs were glimpsed briefly in a mysterious report on Russian state TV. The weapon was a nuclear-capable underwater drone that would be launched from a submarine. The description accompanying a picture of the drone said such vehicles or weapons would be pilotless and capable of attacking enemies and creating “zones of extensive radioactive contamination unfit for military, economic or other activity for a long period of time.” Now, for the first time there are public indications that U.S. intelligence have not only confirmed Russian intentions for the weapon, but are also trying to figure out how to respond to it.

  • Thorium reactors could dispose of large amounts of weapons-grade plutonium

    Scientists are developing a technology enabling the construction of high-temperature, gas-cool, low-power reactors with thorium fuel. The scientists propose to burn weapons-grade plutonium in these units, converting it into power and thermal energy. Thermal energy generated at thorium reactors may be used in hydrogen industrial production. The technology also makes it possible to desalinate water.