• Following Yoon-Biden Summit, South Korean Conservatives Criticize “Nuclear Shackles”

    The United States’ pledge to reinforce its nuclear umbrella protecting South Korea has failed to quiet some South Korean conservatives who want their country to develop nuclear weapons. In meetings between President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, the United States vowed to deploy more “strategic assets,” such as nuclear-capable submarines, long-range bombers and aircraft carriers, to South Korea. In return, South Korea stated its “full confidence” in the U.S. defense commitment and reaffirmed it would not pursue nuclear weapons.

  • Increase in Number of Nuclear Warheads In Arsenals of Nuclear Weapons States

    New report shows that the global arsenal of nuclear weapons available for use by the armed forces of the nine nuclear-armed states has increased. At the beginning of 2023, the nine nuclear-armed states had a combined inventory of approximately 12,512 nuclear warheads, of which 2,936 are retired and awaiting dismantlement. The remaining 9,576 nuclear warheads are available for use by the military, and have a collective destructive power of more than 135,000 Hiroshima bombs.

  • Germany's Balancing Act on Nuclear Weapons

    Germany is not a nuclear power, but it is part of U.S. nuclear strategy. In light of the war in Ukraine and the undoing of Cold War-era arms control, the country’s balanced approach is coming under more pressure.

  • Underwater Nuclear Drone: North Korea’s Nuclear Madmen

    One remarkably irresponsible claim by Kim Jong Un is North Korea’s announced testing of an underwater drone that it states can carry a nuclear weapon, able to infiltrate enemy waters and create a deadly radioactive plume of water. Such a detonation could severely contaminate ships and port cities with intense radioactive fallout mixed with water.

  • Iran Could Make Fuel for Nuclear Bomb in Less Than 2 Weeks: Gen. Milley

    Iran could make enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb in “less than two weeks” and could produce a nuclear weapon in “several more months,” according to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley. The 2015 nuclear deal signed by the Obama administration increased Iran’s “breakout” time – that is, the time required to produce one nuclear weapon once a decision to do has been made — to about twelve months, but the Trump administration’s 2018 decision unilaterally to withdraw from the deal has allowed Iran to reduce the breakout time to about two weeks.

  • Survey of Iran’s Advanced Centrifuges - March 2023

    Iran continues to deploy advanced centrifuges at its three enrichment facilities at Natanz and Fordow in violation of the limitations outlined in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). InFebruary 2021, Iran stopped providing declarations about its production and inventory of centrifuge rotor tubes, bellows, and rotor assemblies, and blocked the IAEA access to IAEA cameras recording activities in the enrichment facilities. In June 2022, Iran removed the IAEA cameras from the enrichment facilities, so no recordings exist. Consequently, the IAEA has had no ability to take inventory.

  • Ignition Experiment Advances Nuclear Stockpile Stewardship Mission

    When scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) achieved fusion ignition at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) on Dec. 5, 2022 — an extraordinary scientific breakthrough that was decades in the making — the primary mission and driving goal behind the experiment that day was stockpile stewardship science.

  • Ben Thomas: Spotlighting Careers in Nuclear Nonproliferation

    The goal of Ben Thomas of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is not only to bring universities and colleges from across the U.S. into the nonproliferation network, but also to significantly increase the number of minority-serving institutions, or MSIs, participating in the National Nuclear Security Administration Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation University Consortia.

  • Spy Balloon Controversy Focuses Attention on Western Nuclear Missile Facilities

    Experts believe the Chinese balloon downed over the Atlantic coast this month was snooping on U.S. missile defenses. Part of the landscape for a half-century, they are headed for a costly refresh in an era of rising global tensions.

  • 12 Days: The Time Iran Needs to Produce Enough Weapon-Grade Uranium for a Nuclear Weapon

    Iran can now break out and produce enough weapon-grade uranium for a nuclear weapon in 12 days, using only three advanced centrifuge cascades and half of its existing stock of 60 percent enriched uranium. This breakout could be difficult for inspectors to detect promptly, if Iran took steps to delay inspectors’ access.

  • North Korea’s Nuclear Tests Expose Neighbors to Radiation Risks

    Tens of thousands of North Koreans and people in South Korea, Japan, and China could be exposed to radioactive materials spread through groundwater from an underground nuclear test site. North Korea secretly conducted six tests of nuclear weapons at the Punggye-ri site in the mountainous North Hamgyong Province between 2006 and 2017.

  • AI Nuclear Weapons Catastrophe Can Be Avoided

    There is a growing concern that emerging AI features will only increase the potential for disaster through the possibility of semiautonomous or fully autonomous nuclear weapons. Noah Greene writes that “As the Soviet-era Col. Petrov case kindly taught us, without a human firmly in control of the nuclear command-and-control structure, the odds of disaster creep slowly toward an unintended or uncontrolled nuclear exchange.”

  • Iran Enriching Uranium to Near-Weapon-Grade 84%: IAEA

    IAEA inspectors found uranium particles enriched up to nearly 84 percent in Iran’s underground Fordow uranium enrichment site. The 83.7 percent enriched uranium is just below the 90 percent purity needed for nuclear weapons. Experts say that Iran would need no more than 10-14 days to use the material to produce an atomic bomb.

  • South Korea: Support for Nukes Is on the Rise

    Over three-quarters of South Koreans believe a nuclear deterrent offers the best defense for their country amid growing security threats from North Korea and China.

  • Public Awareness of “Nuclear Winter” Too Low Given Current Risks

    The scientific theory of nuclear winter sees detonations from nuclear exchanges throw vast amounts of debris into the stratosphere, which ultimately blocks out much of the sun for up to a decade, causing global drops in temperature, mass crop failure and widespread famine. The combined nuclear arsenals of the U.S. and Russia have about 1,450 megatons. The use of only 0.1% of this joint arsenal would cause a nuclear winter which will claim 225 million lives.