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Finland's Waste Fund Grows to €2.4 Billion

Posted: Feb 27, 2015 15:21 CST
World Nuclear News

Finnish nuclear operators had set aside a total of €2.38 billion ($2.67 billion) by the end of 2014 - up from €2.27 billion ($2.55 billion) by the end of 2013 and €2.16 billion ($2.42 billion) by the end of 2012 - for waste disposal and decommissioning activities, the country's Ministry for Employment and the Economy has reported. In Finland, nuclear power companies bear the costs of nuclear waste management, and the funds for that purpose are collected into the State Nuclear Waste Management...

 

Exelon Applauds Low Carbon Portfolio Standard as Lifeline for Illinois Fleet

Posted: Feb 27, 2015 15:20 CST
Nuclear Street

Legislation introduced in both the House and Senate in Springfield, Ill., on Thursday would give Exelon's six nuclear power plants in the state economic viability for up to six years, the company said in a news release. Exelon has said its nuclear fleet in the state was struggling due to economic headwinds that include stagnant demand in a post-recession era and stiff competition from natural gas and wind power, especially the former, which has seen dynamic priced changes since hyrdofracking ...

 
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America Readies Its New ‘Smart’ Nuke

Posted: Feb 27, 2015 15:20 CST
Medium (originally published Feb 26, 2015)

The U.S. Air Force is on the cusp of flight testing a new tail-kit assembly that will upend the old way of conducting tactical nuclear combat, should the United States ever enter a shooting match with a nuclear-armed state like Russia or China. We’re talking about an upgrade to the B61 thermonuclear bomb — the oldest nuclear gravity bomb in America’s stockpile. The Boeing-built guidance unit adds range and accuracy, turning it into a “smart,” nuke compatible with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter...

 
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Korea Poses 'Serious' Nuclear Threat, US Says

Posted: Feb 27, 2015 15:19 CST
The Hill (originally published Feb 26, 2015)

North Korea's nuclear arsenal poses a "serious threat," to the United States and the East Asia region, according to a declassified U.S. intelligence report released Thursday. "Pyongyang is committed to developing a long-range, nuclear-armed missile that is capable of posing a direct threat to the United States," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper wrote in the annual worldwide threat assessment submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee. The document notes that North Korea...

 
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U.S. Casts Doubt on Secret Iran Nuke Facility

Posted: Feb 27, 2015 15:18 CST
USA Today (originally published Feb 26, 2015)

The State Department on Thursday cast doubt on claims by an Iranian dissident group that it has discovered a secret underground Iranian nuclear facility. "We'll look into the reports," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters, using the Persian initials of the group, also known as the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). "We don't have any information at this point in time to suggest the (NCRI) conclusions are accurate." Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday told t...

 
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North Korea’s Nuclear Futures Project: Technology and Strategy

Posted: Feb 27, 2015 15:18 CST
38 North (originally published Feb 26, 2015)

Since the end of the Korean War, the United States has grappled with the security challenge posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. An increasingly important component of that challenge has been North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Pyongyang’s quest has stretched out over decades, representing an enormous investment of manpower, resources and money totaling billions of dollars. While the international community is generally aware of Pyongyang’s programs, ...

 
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Iran, Six Powers to Hold Nuclear Talks in Switzerland on March 5: EU

Posted: Feb 27, 2015 15:18 CST
Reuters

Senior officials from Iran and six powers negotiating with Tehran over its nuclear program will hold more talks in Montreux, Switzerland, on March 5, the European Union said on Friday. The talks between political directors will be preceded by a series of bilateral meetings between Iran and some of the six powers - the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - starting on Monday, March 2.

 
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Future Directions in the DPRK’S Nuclear Weapons Program: Three Scenarios for 2020

Posted: Feb 27, 2015 15:17 CST
ISIS (originally published Feb 26, 2015)

Like many secret nuclear weapons programs, the DPRK goes to great lengths to hide its capabilities to produce nuclear explosive materials and nuclear weapons. Despite these actions, a picture can be drawn of North Korea’s current and projected plutonium and weapons-grade uranium (WGU) stocks. Knowing these plutonium and WGU stocks can, in turn, allow an estimate of the DPRK’s current number of nuclear weapons and a range of projections of the number North Korea could build in the next several...

 

N. Korea Yet to Miniaturize Nukes: Seoul

Posted: Feb 26, 2015 17:17 CST
The Korea Herald

North Korea does not appear to have miniaturized nuclear warheads to fit on its ballistic missiles despite having advanced its technology to "a considerable level," Seoul's defense ministry said Thursday. Officials and experts from South Korea and the United States have said the communist country is believed to have the technology to build nuclear-tipped missiles, though Pyongyang has yet to demonstrate the miniaturization capability.

 

Scientists Witness Greenhouse Effect

Posted: Feb 26, 2015 15:27 CST
World Nuclear News

Scientists have for the first time actually observed an increase in carbon dioxide's greenhouse effect at the Earth's surface. They attributed this upward trend to rising emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. The influence of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) on the balance between incoming energy from the Sun and outgoing heat from the Earth - the planet's so-called 'energy balance' - is well established. However, this effect has not been experimentally confirmed outside a laboratory un...

 

S.Korea's Nuclear Watchdog Approves Restart of Second-Oldest Reactor

Posted: Feb 26, 2015 15:27 CST
Reuters

South Korea's nuclear watchdog said on Friday it had approved the nuclear operator's plan to restart the country's second-oldest reactor and continue running it to 2022, supporting the country's pro-nuclear policy. Seven of nine commissioners at the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission voted for the approval in a meeting that started on Thursday and lasted 14 hours, according to a statement from the nuclear watchdog.

 
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The INF Crisis: Bad Press and Nuclear Saber Rattling

Posted: Feb 26, 2015 15:24 CST
FAS Strategic Security Blog

Russian online newspaper Vzglaid is carrying a story that wrongly claims that I (Hans M. Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists) have said a Russian flight-test of an INF missile would not be a violation of the INF Treaty as long as the missile is not in production or put into service. That is of course wrong. I have not made such a statement, not least because it would be wrong. On the contrary, a test-launch of an INF missile would i...

 

China, India, and Pakistan—Growing Nuclear Capabilities with No End in Sight

Posted: Feb 26, 2015 15:22 CST
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (originally published Feb 25, 2015)

The nuclear weapon programs in China, India, and Pakistan are worthy of attention because they are active, expanding, and diversifying at a time when the overall global trend remains a continuing contraction of nuclear inventories.

 

Regional Nuclear Dynamics

Posted: Feb 26, 2015 15:22 CST
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (originally published Feb 25, 2015)

The most immediately pressing objective of U.S. policy should be to apply vigorous, creative diplomatic and political energy to prevent another crisis between India and Pakistan, and if one cannot be prevented, to manage it with minimal escalation.

 
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Pakistan 4th Nuclear Reactor Has Just Become Operational: Government

Posted: Feb 25, 2015 15:25 CST
Economic Times

The fourth nuclear reactor of Pakistan capable of producing plutonium for use in nuclear weapons has just become operational, government today informed the Lok Sabha. In a written reply in the House, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said the Indian government is aware of Pakistan's nuclear reactors at Khushab. "Government of India is aware that Pakistan is operating nuclear reactors at Khushab capable of producing plutonium for use in Pakistan's nuclear weapon. According to ...

 

5 Nations Want Exploratory Talks on N.K. Nuke Program: Seoul Envoy

Posted: Feb 25, 2015 15:24 CST
Yonhap

Five countries to the six-party talks on ending North Korea's nuclear program have reached a consensus on the need to have exploratory dialogue to gauge Pyongyang's willingness to denuclearize, Seoul's top nuke envoy said. The remarks by Hwang Joon-kook came after he and his Russian counterpart, Morgulov Igor, held a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss ways to resume the long-stalled six-party talks. Hwang left for Russia on Monday for a three-day visit. Hwang said that five countries -- ...

 
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Nuclear Postures

Posted: Feb 25, 2015 15:24 CST
Arms Control Work

Nuclear postures matter. They frame requirements, add to or detract from stability, and can affect outcomes when deterrence fails, which happens more than expected. Vipin Narang covers this ground in his masterful new book, Nuclear Strategy in the Modern Era: Regional Powers and International Conflict (2014). Finally, we have a book on proliferation that is rooted in the discipline of Political Science with persuasive explanatory powers and great analytical value. Vipin’s book has one chapter...

 

N. Korea's Possible Nuke Test Forecast to Be More Powerful: Seoul

Posted: Feb 25, 2015 15:23 CST
Yonhap (originally published Feb 24, 2015)

North Korea has continued high-explosive detonation tests and its possible nuclear test is forecast to be much more powerful both in scale and yield than previous ones, Seoul's intelligence authorities said Wednesday. "North Korea has been carrying out high-explosive tests at a test site in Pyongyang to secure technology for weapons miniaturization and stronger explosive power," an official said, requesting anonymity. "Should the North conduct a fourth round of nuclear test, its explosion w...

 

Turkey’s Interests and Tanideh

Posted: Feb 25, 2015 15:23 CST
Arms Control Work (originally published Feb 23, 2015)

Two months from now in New York, cabinet-level officials from 189 countries will read out national statements filled to the brim with resolve to combat the spread of nuclear arms, as they do every five years when the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) is reviewed by its member states. The NPT imposes legally binding obligations on its parties. These include putting peaceful-use nuclear materials under safeguards, and not manufacturing nuclear weapons. But there are other things that consti...

 

Exile Group Accuses Iran of Secret Nuclear Weapons Research

Posted: Feb 25, 2015 15:23 CST
The Washington Post (originally published Feb 24, 2015)

An Iranian exile group on Tuesday accused Iran’s government of conducting secret research with the aim of developing nuclear weapons, even as it is negotiating potential constraints on its ability to do so. The National Council of Resistance of Iran said underground labs in suburban Tehran have been used since 2008 to enrich uranium. It said the plant, named Lavizan-3 after the neighborhood where many officers and their families live, is reached through tunnels leading from under a building o...

 

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