• 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.

  • Nuclear safetyAnalyzing Forensic Signatures of Nuclear Materials to Prevent Smuggling

    A scientific exercise scenario involved seized nuclear materials for which law enforcement requested nuclear forensic analysis to help discern whether the process histories of the two seized materials were consistent with one another and related to similar materials seized previously by authorities. The exercise was part of an international nuclear forensic drill in support of a simulated nuclear smuggling investigation.

  • Nuclear safetyNuclear Waste Storage Canisters to Be Tested

    Three 22.5-ton, 16.5-feet-long stainless-steel storage canisters, with heaters and instrumentation to simulate nuclear waste so researchers can study their durability, will be tested at Sandia National Lab. The three canisters have never contained any nuclear materials. They will be used to study how much salt gathers on canisters over time. Sandia will also study the potential for cracks caused by salt- and stress-induced corrosion with additional canisters that will be delivered during the next stage of the project.

  • 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 securityStudents of Nuclear Security Have a Problem. Here’s How to Help Them.

    Radioactive materials are attractive targets to thieves and other bad actors. These are rare finds, valuable on the black market and relatively easy to weaponize. New security professionals rarely learn practical skills for protecting these targets until they are on the job at nuclear power plants, research reactors, processing plants and other nuclear facilities.

  • 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.

  • Nuclear threatsNuclear Threats Are Increasing – Here’s How the U.S. Should Prepare for a Nuclear Event

    By Cham Dallas

    On the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, some may like to think the threat from nuclear weapons has receded. But there are clear signs of a growing nuclear arms race and that the U.S. is not very well-prepared for nuclear and radiological events. Despite the gloomy prospects of health outcomes of any large-scale nuclear event common in the minds of many, there are a number of concrete steps the U.S. and other countries can take to prepare. It’s our obligation to respond.

  • Nuclear accidentsTracking the Neural Network's Nuclear Clues

    Following the 2011 earthquake in Japan, a tsunami disabled the power supply and cooling in three Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant reactors. The reactors’ cores largely melted in the first 72 hours. The disaster helped inspire PNNL computational scientists looking for clues of future nuclear reactor mishaps by tracking radioactive iodine following a nuclear plant reactor breach.

  • Nuclear wasteReducing Radioactive Waste in Dismantle Nuclear Facilities

    On Monday, France announced it was shutting down the country’s oldest nuclear reactor – and that additional twelve aging reactors will be dismantled by 2035. Scientists have designed a methodology for dismantling nuclear facilities while limiting the amount of toxic nuclear waste generated in the process.

  • Nuclear powerAn Atomic Catch 22: Climate Change and the Decline of America's Nuclear Fleet

    By Eric Scheuch

    Nuclear energy in the United States has become deeply unprofitable in the last decade, driven by a combination of aging infrastructure and other electricity sources like renewables and natural gas simply becoming cheaper to build and operate. While some in the environmental community may cheer nuclear’s decline, others are concerned. Love it or hate it, nuclear plays a unique role in the American electric sector, one for which we currently have no market-ready replacement, and its decline will likely make other environmental issues, particularly climate change, harder to solve.

  • Nuclear detectionCatching Nuclear Smugglers: Fast Algorithm Enable Cost-Effective Detectors at Borders

    Nations need to protect their citizens from the threat of nuclear terrorism. Nuclear security deters and detects the smuggling of special nuclear materials—highly enriched uranium, weapons-grade plutonium or materials that produce a lot of radiation—across national borders. A new algorithm could enable faster, less expensive detection of weapons-grade nuclear materials at borders, quickly differentiating between benign and illicit radiation signatures in the same cargo.

  • Nuclear disastersConsequences Remain Decades After Chernobyl Disaster: UN

    The United Nations says persistent and serious long-term consequences remain more than thirty years after the explosion and fire at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. The world body is marking International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day on 26 April, the 34th anniversary of the accident that spread a radioactive cloud over large parts of Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia. The anniversary is being marked after fires recently burned in the 30-kilometer exclusion zone around the plant, raising concerns about the potential release of radioactive particles into the air.

  • Nuclear safetyMaintaining Nuclear Safety and Security During the COVID-19 Crisis

    By William Tobey, Simon Saradzhyan, and Nickolas Roth

    Every major industry on earth is struggling to adapt in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes nuclear facilities and nuclear-powered vessels, which count among the critical infrastructure of dozens of nations now struggling with the pandemic, representing more than half the world’s population. Meanwhile, ISIS has already announced its intent to exploit the pandemic while a number of other violent extremist organizations are also taking pains to exploit the crisis. Without implementing extraordinary measures to maintain safety and security, nuclear installations risk compounding the crisis with a large-scale radiation release.