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Joint Declaration on Security of Supply for Molybdenum

Posted: Dec 18, 2014 15:48 CST
World Nuclear News

Eleven countries have presented a joint declaration to the Council of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), urging the development of new infrastructure to replace ageing facilities used for the production of the most widely used medical radioisotope, molybdenum-99.


Ghana Prepares for Nuclear Energy Program

Posted: Dec 18, 2014 15:48 CST
Voice of America

Ghana is set to become the second country in Africa to introduce nuclear energy after South Africa. This follows the International Atomic Energy Agency approval of Ghana’s application after decades of negotiation. The project could have a large impact on Ghana’s power shortfall and raises questions about what safety protocols are in place. Ghana’s nuclear ambitions date back to the 1960s but stalled after the overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president. Now, with erratic power supply ...


U.S. Perspectives on the Opportunities and Challenges of Nuclear Disarmament

Posted: Dec 18, 2014 15:47 CST
U.S. Department of State (originally published Dec 17, 2014)

Remarks by Robert Wood, Special Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, at the Geneva Center for Security Policy, December 17, 2014: "Disarmament, arms control, and nonproliferation are the focus of my professional life here in Geneva, and nuclear disarmament is under particularly close scrutiny as we approach the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, which we refer to in the shorthand of this business as the “NPT RevCon.” The last NPT RevCon, in 2010, generated a...

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Rumors about Nuclear Weapons in Crimea

Posted: Dec 18, 2014 15:46 CST
FAS Strategic Security Blog

The news media and private web sites are full of rumors that Russia has deployed nuclear weapons to Crimea after it invaded the region earlier this year. Many of these rumors are dubious and overly alarmist and ignore that a nuclear-capable weapon is not the same as a nuclear warhead. Several U.S. lawmakers who oppose nuclear arms control use the Crimean deployment to argue against further reductions of nuclear weapons. NATO’s top commander, U.S. General Philip Breedlove, has confirmed that R...

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Sanctions, Sabotage, Science Delay Iran's Missile Program

Posted: Dec 18, 2014 15:45 CST
Al-Monitor (originally published Dec 17, 2014)

While attention has focused on curbing Iran’s ability to produce fissile material for a nuclear weapon, sanctions, sabotage, technical problems and political calculation have combined to set back Iran’s development of missiles that could potentially deliver such a weapon. Michael Elleman, an expert on missiles at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told Al-Monitor in an interview Dec. 16 that the Iranians are “a little bit behind where I thought they would be” in developing mis...


Could Russia's Economic Meltdown Lead to Loose Nukes?

Posted: Dec 18, 2014 15:45 CST
The Hill

Senior lawmakers alarmed by Russia's collapsing economy fear some of the nuclear power's atomic arsenal could fall into the wrong hands. While officials say there's no immediate reason to think Russia's weapons could be sold off to the highest bidder or stolen, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) intends to hold hearings next year on what Moscow is doing to keep its nukes safe. “We’re going to be taking on that whole issue in Armed Services Committee and we’ll be figuring out what needs to be done,” M...

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Nuclear Program Has 'Hurt Iran More Than Iraq War'

Posted: Dec 18, 2014 15:44 CST
Radio Free Europe (originally published Dec 17, 2014)

Iran's nuclear activities and ambitions faced rare, blunt criticism at a roundtable at Tehran University, where one of the speakers said the damage done by the nuclear program was greater than that by the 1980-88 war with Iraq, which left tens of thousands dead and caused much devastation. "The imposed war [with Iraq] did not damage us as much as the nuclear program has," professor Sadegh Zibakalam said at the December 17 roundtable, according to reports by Iranian semiofficial news agencies....

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China and India: Nationalism and Nuclear Risk

Posted: Dec 18, 2014 15:43 CST
The Diplomat

Following Gaurav Kampani’s recent essay in International Security, another paper by the author was published by the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies. This new paper is quite compelling and deserves a close look, especially where he notes two tendencies increasing deterrence instability between India and China. However, there may be a blind spot in Kampani’s analysis. But let’s start with the first tendency noted by Kampani: As both militaries have entered nuclear strategic decision mak...

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Radioactive Pollution Remains One of Worst Problems in Russia’s Arctic - Nature Minister

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:33 CST
ITAR TASS (originally published Dec 16, 2014)

Radioactive pollution of the Arctic seas remains one of the worst problems of Russia’s Arctic, Natural Resources Minister Sergey Donskoy told a session of the Russian Academy of Sciences on Tuesday. “Apart from radioactive fallouts following nuclear weapons tests and the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster there are other major factors for this problem, such as the flow of Atlantic waters along the western coast of Norway with the Gulfstream current, which brings radioactive waste from the...

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Fukui Nuclear Reactors Move Big Step toward Restarts

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:32 CST
Asahi Shimbun

Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama plant here became the second nuclear power facility to receive the virtual go-ahead to resume operations under tougher safety requirements introduced after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Dec. 17 said it concluded that the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the Takahama nuclear plant have met the safety standards required to prepare for natural disasters and severe accidents.


UK Government Urged to Look at SMR Costs

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:32 CST
World Nuclear News

The UK government should encourage the development and deployment of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), a parliamentary committee has recommended. However, it says the costs need to be fully understood. "While we recognize that the nuclear industry's immediate priority is rightly the successful delivery of the UK's current conventional new build program, we also recognize that SMRs - particularly those based on known nuclear technologies - are a viable proposition for future deployment in the UK ...


South Africa Reports Reactor Vendor Progress

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:32 CST
World Nuclear News

South Africa "continues to make significant progress," in its engagements with various prospective nuclear vendor countries, according to a statement from President Jacob Zuma's office today. "Similarly, the National Development Plan enjoins us to do thorough investigations on various aspects of the nuclear power generation program before a procurement decision is taken. These policy prescripts are meant to add 9600 megawatts of electricity to the national electricity grid and ensure that we ...


Repairing the Diplomatic Threat Reduction Enterprise

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:31 CST
Arms Control Work (originally published Dec 15, 2014)

The “nuclear enterprise,” – as the nuclear weapons complex and force structure in the United States have been successfully rebranded — is bloated and in need of paring. It is also in need of repair. The Pentagon commissioned two high-level studies to clarify particulars and remedies. Repair work on an aging command and control infrastructure and a broken security culture is not optional.

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Advisory Panel Tells Congress the Nuclear Weapons Complex Is Too Big and Too Old

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:30 CST
CeCenter for Public Integrity

A special panel appointed by Congress to examine the U.S. nuclear weapons complex reported in December that it is too big and too old, and recommended reorganizing the Department of Energy to give its weapons modernization work a larger political profile and a higher fiscal priority. Instead of calling for stricter contract supervision — an idea long urged by the Energy Department’s office of inspector general — the study recommended the Energy Department reduce regulation, cut the number of ...


Kim Jong Un Looks to Complete Nuclear Legacy Left by Father

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:29 CST
Bloomberg (originally published Dec 16, 2014)

Kim Jong Un has spent the three years since his father’s death tightening his grip on power, leaving the Supreme Leader better positioned to achieve Kim Jong Il’s dream of deploying nuclear weapons. North Korea proving it could launch a nuclear-tipped missile across the Pacific could lend more urgency to efforts to restart aid-for-disarmament talks stalled since 2008. Unveiling the technology to the world would also help the younger Kim establish his own legacy and help him emerge from the sh...

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Gorbachev Says Nuclear Deterrence Still Matters

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:28 CST
Sputnik News

The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, has disagreed with allegations that nuclear deterrence is no longer relevant in international affairs, in an interview with RT TV channel. "I do not agree with those who claim that nuclear threat is not a deterrent anymore. We are now far more aware of what nuclear weapons and nuclear power are [capable of]," Gorbachev said.


Case Study: Iranian Illicit Financing for Quds Force’s Overseas Purchases

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:28 CST

Iran faces many difficulties in financing its illegal overseas procurement operations. A window into Iran’s methods to free up funds internationally despite sanctions was provided recently by a November 18, 2014 Reuters report. It reported on Chinese private and financial companies linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, an elite group that supports pro-Iranian militant groups in the Middle East. Because Iran is expected to continue such violations of sanctions after a comprehe...

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Is Iran Already Cheating on a Nuclear Deal?

Posted: Dec 16, 2014 15:14 CST
Foreign Policy (originally published Dec 15, 2014)

Just before Labor Day weekend, the State and Treasury Departments sanctioned several individuals and organizations “providing support to illicit Iranian nuclear activities.” Due to the holiday, or perhaps because a few days later the Islamic State murdered an American journalist, the announcement attracted sparse attention. But, it should have been big news. Some of the actions cited in the notice seem within what the Obama administration tolerates during ongoing negotiations, even if they vi...

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Russian Strategic Missile Forces Plan 14 Launches in 2015 — Commander

Posted: Dec 16, 2014 15:02 CST

Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) plan to carry out 14 launches next year, 9 of which will be test launches, RVSN Commander Colonel General Sergei Karakayev told reporters on Tuesday. “A total of 14 launches are planned for 2015 - for the flight tests of advanced weapons samples and controlling technical readiness of missile systems adopted for service,” he said on the eve of the 55th anniversary of RVSN creation.

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Update on IR-5 Centrifuge Issue: Taking Stock

Posted: Dec 16, 2014 15:01 CST

About a month ago, we raised the question of whether Iran had violated its commitments under the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) when it fed for the first time uranium hexafluoride (UF₆) into the IR-5 centrifuge at the pilot enrichment plant at Natanz. We have welcomed the ensuing debate and sought to learn from it. Overall, no definitive answer has emerged, with positions on this question varying. Most viewed the feeding of the IR-5 as problematic. One issue is clear, however: the Joint Plan of ...



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Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute
336 Zachry Engineering Center,Texas A&M University
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