• Risks of a Dirty Bomb Attack Are Increasing

    In a new factsheet, the GAO says that the risks of a dirty bomb attack are increasing and the consequences could be devastating.

  • Iran Vows to Continue Nuclear Activities

    Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has said Iran will continue nuclear development activities as talks to revive Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers remain stalled. The nuclear deal collapsed four years ago when former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement, allowing Iran to vastly expanded its nuclear work.

  • Food Security During a Nuclear Winter

    A nuclear war would cause global blockage of the sun for several years due to injections of black carbon soot into the upper atmosphere, covering most of the planet with black clouds. This could result in less than 40 percent of normal light levels near the equator and less than 5 percent normal light levels near the poles. Research focuses on how meeting food security and nutrition in post-catastrophe conditions, which could last 15 years in some wet tropical forests.

  • History Never Ended: Ukraine and the Risk of Nuclear Escalation

    Putin has issued implicit and explicit nuclear threats, and has also raised the specter of chemical weapons. Together, these threats imply that Putin may seek deliberate escalation in order to limit NATO’s options. Putin’s assumption may be that the West won’t be prepared to risk escalation to a strategic nuclear exchange and will back down even in the face of a demonstrative use of a low-yield nuclear weapon, or large-scale use of chemical weapons against urban areas in Ukraine.

  • The Smaller Bombs That Could Turn Ukraine into a Nuclear War Zone

    The nuclear weapons in the arsenals of Russia and NATO countries have much smaller yields than the large bombs built during the Cold War. These warheads are even smaller than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. William Broad writes that it is this much lower yield which makes their use more thinkable.

  • Israel-Iran Stealthy War Intensifies

    Last Sunday, Iran launched a missile attack which destroyed an Israeli intelligence facility located in Irbil, in the Kurdish autonomous zone in Iraq. The Iranian attack was in retaliation for a daring, and successful, mid-February Israeli attack, using six armed drones, on an Iranian drone production facility, in which hundreds of advanced Iranian drones were destroyed. Israel operates several intelligence and military bases in the Kurdish region and in Azerbaijan.

  • The Nuclear Threat Returns

    Nuclear arms were a symbol of the Cold War. The recent Russian threats in the war with Ukraine have put them on the map again for many people. How does deterrence work and what kind of protection does Europe have?

  • Can Ukraine Be Saved Without Triggering a Nuclear Response?

    Worries about the war in Ukraine are deepened by the prospect that if, against the odds, Russian forces are brought to the point of defeat, Putin will launch a ‘battlefield’ or ‘tactical’ nuclear weapon to destroy the forces opposing the Russian military, and, perhaps, even attack military bases inside neighboring countries – some are NATO member states – which provide supplies to the resistance.

  • Will Putin Use Nuclear Weapons?

    Nuclear signaling is woven through the invasion of Ukraine in a way we haven’t seen since the days of the Cuban missile crisis. Naturally, it has fed a wave of speculation on social media about the potential crossing of the nuclear threshold, either deliberately or inadvertently.

  • Refurbishing Nukes: Major Milestone for B61-12 Life Extension Program

    Sandia National Laboratories marked a major milestone in November 2021 when the Nuclear Security Enterprise successfully produced the first completely refurbished bomb for the B61-12 life extension program.

  • U.S. Mulls Iran’s Bomb-Making Scenarios Iran Nears Uranium Breakout Capacity

    With the United States warning that Iran is just weeks from developing the capacity to make a nuclear weapon, there is disagreement among Washington experts on the likelihood of Iran rushing to build such a weapon, and how the U.S. and its allies should deal with that risk.

  • Ensuring Safe Nuclear Waste Disposal

    Disposal concepts call for the waste to be isolated a third of a mile belowground for safe storage, enclosed within engineered barrier systems and surrounded by subsurface rock. But there’s still the chance radionuclides might leak out if these systems lose their protective properties as it heats up due to radioactive decay. International nuclear waste disposal research effort evaluates maximum allowable temperature for buffer material.

  • Examining How Countries Go Nuclear — and Why Some Do Not

    In a new book, political scientist Vipin Narang argues that too often we imagine that all countries pursue nuclear weapons the way the U.S. and Soviet Union did during and after World War II — a swift race culminating in the rapid buildup of arsenals, leaving little room for intervention. But that paradigm applies to almost no other country. Recognizing how different countries choose different paths to proliferation is an essential part of arms control: Grasping how one country is pursuing nuclear weapons can help other countries constrain that pursuit.

  • The Progress of Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program

    As of November 2021, Iran had enough enriched uranium hexafluoride (UF6) in the form of near 20 and 60 percent enriched uranium to produce enough weapon-grade uranium (WGU), taken here as 25 kilograms, for a single nuclear weapon in as little as three weeks. It could do so without using any of its stock of uranium enriched up to 5 percent as feedstock. The growth of Iran’s stocks of near 20 and 60 percent enriched uranium has dangerously reduced breakout timelines.

  • China’s Nuclear Buildup is About More Than Nukes

    U.S.-China nuclear and strategic stability will be tested in the coming year after a series of revelations in 2021 about Beijing’s nuclear program. Jacob Stokes writes that “The U.S.-China nuclear and strategic relationship has entered a new stage.” He adds: “Pursuing nuclear and strategic stability between the United States and China will likely prove harder than ever — but it is perhaps more important than ever, too.”