• How serious is the threat of an "EMP Pearl Harbor"?

    In 1962 the United States conducted a high-altitude nuclear test above Johnston Island, 825 miles southwest of Hawaii; detonated 400 kilometers above the island, the resulting nuclear blast knocked out street lights across Hawaii and tripped circuit breakers, triggered burglar alarms, and damaged a telecommunications relay facility on the island of Kauai; could terrorist, or a nuclear-armed rogue state, launch an EMP Pearl harbor against the United States?

  • A U.S. attack on about a half-dozen nuclear facilities would "defang" Iran

    Iran has many potential nuclear weapons-related targets, but only about a half-dozen facilities are so critical that, if destroyed, would set back the program significantly; John Pike of Global Security.org: “Almost all [the high-value targets] are in isolated areas where civilian casualties would not be much of a problem. Most of them have co-located staff housing. Bomb the housing, kill the staff, set back the program by a generation”

  • U.S. intensifies covert campaign against Iran's nuclear weapons program

    Since 1960, Israel relied on covert — and, at times, less covert — campaign to prevent Egypt, Iraq, and Syria from acquiring nuclear weapons; Libya, too, was persuaded to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons; during the past decade and half, both the United States and Israel have been directing their covert anti-nuclear efforts toward the Iranian nuclear program; one analyst notes that sabotage campaign is a tactic, not a diplomatic strategy — but the history of successful non-proliferation efforts is often a history of kicking the nuclear can down the diplomatic road until new leadership comes to the conclusion that it has more to gain by abandoning illicit nuclear activity than by acquiring a bomb

  • Iran shipped advanced radar systems to Syria

    Iran has supplied Syria with advanced radar system which would make it more difficult for Israel to over-fly Syrian air space in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities; the radar would also offer protection to thousands of Hezbollah medium- and long-range missiles warehoused on Syrian soil just across the border with Lebanon

  • U.S. has no plan to keep nuclear bomb materials from crossing border

    In 2006 the George W. Bush administration announced a $1.2 billion project to deploy thousands of scanners for screening vehicles and cargo at U.S. ports to block the importation of radioactive materials that could be used to make a bomb to protect the United States; the scanners — known as the advanced spectroscopic portal (ASP) machines — proved a failure, and in February, following one setback after another, officials abandoned full-scale deployment of the machines; GAO says that the attention and resources invested in the ill-fated ASPs delayed the creation of a “global nuclear detection architecture” to protect the United States

  • Scientist says nuclear weapons best bet for saving Earth from asteroids

    Scientists argue that the best way to prevent a large asteroid from doing grave damage to Earth is to blast the asteroid with nuclear weapons; the sheer power of a nuclear explosion may make it the most practical and cost-effective option for deflecting or fragmenting asteroids, compared with alternatives such as chemical fuel or laser beams; for one thing, a nuclear explosive would be cheaper to launch into space due to its large amount of energy per unit mass; in contrast, a non-nuclear blast might require several launches for an equivalent amount of power

  • Iran takes a major step toward bomb

    Iran has publicly admitted that it has taken a major step toward building nuclear weapons: enriching uranium to 20 percent; the Brazil-Turkey-Iran deal of two months ago was supposed to address this issue: Iran would deliver to Turkey 1,200 kg of low-enriched uranium and, in return, would receive sufficient amounts of uranium enriched to 20 percent to operate a small research reactor; Iran did not wait for the ink to dry on its signature on the deal before violating it

  • Political summits should be held in remote locations

    Canadian security expert says that holding the G8 summit in Toronto makes no sense; bringing world leaders to an urban setting escalates cost — and risk; “it is overwhelmingly easier to get a device such as a powerful dirty bomb into Toronto than it would have been into Kananaskis [Alberta],” where the 2002 G8 summit was held

  • Myanmar's nuclear ambitions exposed

    Robert Kelley, an experienced former inspector for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), analyzed materials smuggled to the West by a scientists who defected from Myanmar, and wrote that the kind of nuclear research work Myanmar is doing leads to the inescapable conclusion that such work is “for nuclear weapons and not civilian use or nuclear power”

  • U.S. stealthy war on terror expands, deepens; Special Operations forces take lead

    The Obama administration has expanded and deepened the U.S. war on terror, and increase the role of Special Forces in that war; U.S. Special Forces are now deployed in 75 countries, compared with about 60 at the beginning of last year; plans exist for preemptive or retaliatory strikes in numerous places around the world, meant to be put into action when a plot has been identified, or after an attack linked to a specific group; the administration has also authorized the assassination of the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a rare — some say unprecedented — move against an American citizen

  • New automated tool debugs nuclear weapon simulations

    The United States relies on nuclear weapons in its deterrence strategy; international conventions, however, prohibit the testing of nuclear weapons; U.S. leaders , military and civilians, must thus rely on simulations to have confidence in the operational reliability of these untested weapons; Purdue researchers offer a new methods to debug nuclear weapons simulations

  • UN: Iran has fuel for two nuclear weapons

    IAEA says Iran has enough nuclear fuel for two nuclear weapons; the toughly worded IAEA report says that Iran has expanded work at one of its nuclear sites; it also describes, step by step, how inspectors have been denied access to a series of facilities, and how Iran has refused to answer inspectors’ questions on a variety of activities, including what the agency called the “possible existence” of “activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile”

  • U.K. firm investigated over sale of dirty bomb material to Iran

    British company sells cobalt aluminate; the material can be used to produce alloys as well as the lethal radioactive isotope cobalt 60; for this reason its sale to nations like North Korea and Iran is tightly limited; cobalt is considered by nuclear experts as more likely to be used in a dirty bomb than in a nuclear warhead

  • The threat of nuclear terrorism against Israel

    Former Israeli deputy national security adviser writes that the threat of nuclear terrorism Israel faces may be more likely to materialize than an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel — should Iran acquire nuclear weapons; he recommends a staunch and uncompromising deterrence policy, based on “retaliate first, no questions asked” — and a study of potential targets of high value to al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations which would be destroyed in a retaliatory attack

  • Iran's nuclear fuel swap is a sham; sanctions may still be imposed

    Following a meeting in Tehran over the weekend of the leaders of Iran, Brazil, and Turkey, Iran said it agreed to send 1,200 kg of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to Turkey in exchange for 120 uranium rods enriched to 20 percent; Turkey and Brazil were quick to argue that there is no reason now for sanctions on Iran; the deal, though, is a sham; Iran has more than a ton of LEU left, and most importantly: it continues aggressively to enrich uranium and it has accelerated work on other components of a nuclear weapon