• Weapon-grade fissile material in the world could yield 126,500 nuclear bombs

    The nations of the world together have in their possession about 1.6 million kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and about 500,000 kilograms of plutonium; it takes only about 25 kilograms of HEU or eight kilograms of plutonium to make a crude nuclear bomb; thus the weapon-grade material now available in the world could yield 64,000 HEU-based bombs and 62,500 plutonium-based bombs

  • Shortcomings in U.S. safeguards of weapon-grade nuclear materials

    Reviews ordered by President Obama have found weaknesses in the U.S. government’s stewardship of its nuclear cache, from weapons to the ingredients and classified information that go into them; before opening the nuclear summit earlier this week, Obama said that “Unfortunately, we have a situation in which there is a lot of loose nuclear material around the world”; this is true for the United States as well

  • Pure samples of telltale xenon-133 gas help detectors sniff out nuclear tests

    Nuclear explosions produce an excited form of the radioactive gas xenon-133, called xenon-133m, in which the atomic nucleus is boosted to a higher-energy state, but it is not known exactly how sensitive detectors are to this form because there has been no way to make pure samples of xenon-133m with which to test them; until now

  • Obama administration to unveil nuclear weapons policy

    The administration’s Nuclear Posture Review was initially scheduled for release late last year, and then again for 1 March, but it is coming; it will lay out the administration’s justifications and strategy for maintaining a nuclear arsenal, and will be important in guiding work throughout the energy department, including at the primary weapons laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California

  • A nuclear Iran may be good for U.S. defense industry

    A defense expert says that the emergence of a nuclear-armed Iran will lead to growth in exports of American weapons systems, training, and advice to U.S. Middle Eastern allies; this would give the American defense industry a needed shot in the arm; Boeing has been making noise about shifting out of the defense industry, which would mean lost American jobs and would also put the United States in a difficult position should it be threatened by a rising military power like China; “a nuclear Iran could forestall such a catastrophe”

  • Scientists: Only nukes can stop planet-threatening asteroids

    A new report by the U.S. National Research Council (NRC) says that the United States is not doing enough to protect itself – and the world – from Near Earth Objects (NEOs); the panel says that the only hope humanity has to against the larger asteroids – those bigger than 1 km; if they hit Earth, they would release energies in the hundred-thousand-megaton range – is to use nuclear weapons to try and push them off course

  • Scientists cautiously optimistic as Doomsday clock reset

    The minute hand of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday clock was moved back one minute – to seven minutes to midnight – to indicate a slight improvement in the world’s nuclear weapons situation; midnight on the clock signifies the apocalypse, and the minute hand symbolizes the countdown to disaster

  • Delays in delivery of bunker-busting weapons to U.S. Air Force

    The 14-ton steel pencil – aka God’s Rods — is the ideal weapon for destroying Iran’s underground nuclear weapons facilities; marrying the bunker-busting ordnance to the bat-winged B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber would mean a smaller strike force and fewer casualties in the event of a military action against Iran; it is reported that there are delays in delivering the bombs

  • India, Israel discuss counter-terrorism, intelligence sharing, arms delivery

    India and Israel both face Islamic militants and nuclear-armed, or would-be nuclear armed, adversaries; the defense and intelligence cooperation between the two countries has been steadily growing, and is now in the open

  • Obama administration makes stopping nuclear terror key goal

    The administration, in its February 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, will declare that stopping nuclear terrorism is its central aim on the nuclear front; countering nuclear terrorists — whether armed with rudimentary bombs, stolen warheads, or devices surreptitiously supplied by a hostile state – will become a task equal to the traditional mission of deterring a strike by major powers or emerging nuclear adversaries; shift in nuclear emphasis would mean devoting less money to modernizing bombers, missiles, and submarines, and more to surveillance satellites, reconnaissance planes, and undercover agents

  • U.S. organize an international meeting on bolstering nuclear plant security

    The fluctuation in oil prices and concerns about climate change have renewed interest in building nuclear power plants; this fact, and the fact that more nuclear material may become available as a result of deep cuts in the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, increase worries about the safety of nuclear materials

  • Romania receives radiation detectors

    The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration provided Romania with radiation detectors for Romanian border crossing; shipment is part of the agency’s Second Line of Defense Program provides foreign nations with radiation monitoring devices and equipment training

  • Iran tested advanced nuclear warhead design

    The “two-point implosion” is one of the most guarded secrets in nuclear weapons states; yet Iranian engineers, in what Western nuclear experts describe as a breakthrough, has tested such a design, which much be described as a giant leap in acquiring nuclear weapons