• RADIATION DETECTIONBioengineered Potato Plant Detects Gamma Radiation

    A researcher in the University of Tennessee Herbert College of Agriculture has developed a potato plant that can detect gamma radiation, providing reliable indications of harmful radiation levels without complex monitoring technologies. The natural radiation sensor is affordable, too.

  • IRAN’S NUKESAnalysis of IAEA Iran Verification and Monitoring Report — November 2023

    By David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, Spencer Faragasso, and Andrea Stricker

    Iran’s stocks of enriched uranium and its centrifuge capacity combined are sufficient to make enough weapon-grade uranium (WGU), taken as 25 kilograms (kg) of WGU, for six nuclear weapons in one month, eight in two months, ten in three months, eleven in four months, and twelve in five months.

  • IRAN’S NUKESIran Now Has Enough Enriched Uranium for “Several” Nuclear Bombs: IAEA

    In 2015, the world powers reached an agreement with Iran which severely restricted its nuclear weapons-related activities. In 2018, then-President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the United States out of the accord without replacing it with any alternative mechanism to constrain Iran’s nuclear weapons-related activities. Trump’s decision allowed Iran to relaunch its nuclear weapons program, and the IAEA’s director-general has just warned that Tehran has enough enriched uranium for “several” nuclear bombs if it made the decision to build them.

  • NUCLEAR DETECTIONDetecting Nuclear Materials Using Light

    Sandia materials scientist developed the state of the art technology known as Organic Glass Scintillators for radiation detection. Organic Glass Scintillators emit light in the presence of radiation.

  • NUCLEAR WEAPONSOptions for Strengthening South Korea’s Nuclear Assurance

    What are the major nuclear weapon threats to ROK security? What policy and strategy options might strengthen ROK nuclear assurance? What nuclear employment planning and execution options might strengthen ROK nuclear assurance? What nuclear weapon force options might strengthen ROK nuclear assurance? How can they be designed to minimize political difficulties with the ROK and with ROK neighbors?

  • NUCLEAR WEAPONSMonitoring Nuclear Weapons Stockpiles with Radio Waves

    Monitoring whether states are complying with disarmament treaties is not an easy task. An international team has been exploring remote monitoring with the help of two antennas and a couple of mirrors.

  • NUCLEAR PROLIFERATIONHappy 60th Birthday to Vela, Watchman for Nuclear Detonations

    By Rebecca Ullrich

    Sixty years ago last week, on Oct. 16, 1963, the United States launched a pair of satellites whose primary purpose was to determine the feasibility of using satellites to detect nuclear detonations in outer space. The satellites were part of the Vela program, initiated in 1959 to provide a nuclear detonation detection capability to verify compliance with nuclear treaties. On Sept. 27, 1984, the last of the Vela satellites were turned off.

  • NUCLEAR WEAPONSIs Myanmar About to Go Nuclear?

    By Andrew Selth

    The specter of the world’s first ‘Buddhist bomb’ still hangs over Myanmar. It has been given impetus by the coup in February 2021 and the military regime’s increasingly close relations with Russia. The question must be asked: why is the junta expending precious resources on a nuclear reactor of arguable utility when it is already struggling with a costly civil war, an economy in dire straits, the collapse of government services and widespread poverty and hardship?

  • ARGUMENT: CYBERTHREATS & NUCLEAR CREDIILITYThe Cyber Threat to Nuclear Non-Proliferation

    Most cyber scholars looking at the nexus of cyber campaigns/operations and the nuclear weapons enterprise—command and control, communications, and delivery systems—focus on the consequences of targeting the enterprise through cyber operations during militarized crises or armed conflicts between nuclear powers. Michael P. Fischerkeller writes that there is, however, a third geopolitical condition—competition short of crisis and armed conflict—where the consequences, although of a different ilk, are no less severe.

  • NUCLEAR DRILLSWhat's Behind North Korea's “Nuclear Attack” Drills?

    By Julian Ryall

    Pyongyang has carried out a series of unprecedented military drills and threatened to use nuclear weapons in an invasion of South Korea. It’s partly encouraged by closer alliances with Russia and China, experts say.

  • NUCLEAR WEAPONSNuclear Engineer Uses Machine Learning on Weapons Testing Images to Understand Fallout

    After WWII, the U.S. wanted to better understand what happened after a nuclear weapon was detonated. Researchers conducted tests in the southwestern U.S. and the Pacific Ocean and recorded those experiments on film. Scientists used the original reel-to-reel films to manually measure data from the blasts. Today, nuclear forensic scientists combine modern computational techniques with the historical records of nuclear tests to obtain precious insights into the physics of these type of events, which are otherwise hard to study experimentally.

  • ASIA WATCHChanging State Perception of Nuclear Deterrence in Japan and South Korea

    By Abhishek Verma

    Japan and South Korea face the combined threat of an increasingly assertive China and a progressively more destabilizing North Korea, not to mention a Russia which has resumed its role as a Pacific power. The US has enhanced its engagement with its East Asian partners in nuclear planning and consultation mechanisms. The prospects of indigenous nuclear weapons acquisition by Japan and South Korea, though, cannot be ruled out.

  • NUCLEAR MATTERSThe Nuclear Arms Race’s Legacy at Home: Toxic Contamination, Staggering Cleanup Costs and a Culture of Government Secrecy

    By William J. Kinsella

    The Manhattan Project spawned a trinity of interconnected legacies. Among other things, it led to widespread public health and environmental damage from nuclear weapons production and testing. And it generated a culture of governmental secrecy with troubling political consequences.

  • NUCLEAR WINTERNuclear War Would Be More Devastating for Earth’s Climate Than Cold War Predictions – Even with Fewer Weapons

    By Mark Maslin

    A limited nuclear war between India and Pakistan could kill 130 million people and deprive a further 2.5 billion of food for at least two years. A global nuclear war including the US, Europe, and China could result in 360 million people dead and condemn nearly 5.3 billion people to starvation in the two years following the exchange.

  • OPPENHEIMEROppenheimer and the Pursuit of Nuclear Disarmament

    By Melissa De Witte

    Stanford scholar and political scientist Scott Sagan talks about what the film “Oppenheimer” got right – and missed – about creating the world’s first atomic bomb: the politics of nuclear proliferation, Oppenheimer’s attempts after World War II to constrain the new military technology, and the frightening role nuclear weapons play today. “I think there’s a broader tragedy that came out less clearly: the political tragedy of the nuclear arms race,” he says.