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Why Iran Wants a Nuclear Deal

Posted: Jul 3, 2015 16:07 CST
The Atlantic (originally published Jul 2, 2015)

If the U.S. and Iran conclude a nuclear deal next week, the Islamic Republic stands to gain billions of dollars in eventual sanctions relief. But money isn’t the most important reason the Iranian leadership may be set to shake hands with its historic enemy after 18 months of negotiations. “One of the most important reasons Iran is signing this deal, in my opinion ... is not actually sanctions,” said Vali Nasr, the dean of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. “I...

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The Father of Iran's Nuclear Program Recalls How It All Began

Posted: Jul 3, 2015 16:07 CST
Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty

It was late in 1973 when Akbar Etemad got the call -- the shah wanted to discuss ways to launch a nuclear program that would cement Iran's place among the world's modern nations. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi had reached the conclusion that Iran needed to diversify its energy sources for the future in order to provide for a rising population. A month later he personally delivered his findings to the shah, who immediately started reading the study. "The shah read the report in about an hour and a...


Iranian Foreign Minister: 'We Have Never Been Closer' to Nuclear Deal

Posted: Jul 3, 2015 16:07 CST

Days before the deadline for a nuclear deal, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif delivered a hopeful yet circumspect message in an English-language video message posted online. "At this 11th hour, despite some differences that remain, we have never been closer to a lasting outcome," he said Friday. "But there is no guarantee."


On-Going Debate over Iran’s Newly Produced LEU Hexafluoride

Posted: Jul 3, 2015 16:06 CST

The controversy over the status of Iran’s newly produced low enriched uranium (LEU) hexafluoride under the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) initially surprised us at ISIS. We have been monitoring the various provisions of the JPA since its inception, including Iran’s pledge to convert its newly produced LEU hexafluoride stocks into uranium dioxide form during the JPA term and its extensions. We would have expected the public controversy to center on other issues, including the near 20 percent LEU s...

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The New Dilemmas of Nuclear Deterrence

Posted: Jul 3, 2015 16:05 CST
The Diplomat

With nuclear modernization programs under way across a range of countries, Russia asserting its right to deploy nuclear weapons in the Crimea, NATO reviewing the role of nuclear weapons in the alliance, and a recent report in the US arguing for a more versatile arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons, it’s clear the world’s revisiting an old problem: how to build effective nuclear deterrence arrangements. Since the end of the Cold War, thinking about deterrence issues has been mainly confined to ...

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Nuclear Safety is a Continuum, not a Final Destination

Posted: Jul 3, 2015 16:05 CST

“There’s this continuum with regard to safety improvement,” said Ken Ellis, CEO of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and Chair of the International Conference on Operational Safety, held at IAEA headquarters in Vienna last week. Nuclear safety is a work in progress and not a status that is reached once and forever. “And the nuclear industry has learned that the best way to improve safety is to assist each other in that endeavor, share operating experience, share good practices...


TEPCO Calls In IAEA for Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Evaluation

Posted: Jul 3, 2015 16:04 CST
Nuclear Street

The Tokyo Electric Power Company, owner and operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiihi nuclear power plant, has turned to the International Atomic Energy Agency for help evaluating is shuttered Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant. TEPCO is reportedly turning to international experts to evaluate the plant because its credibility is so low in Japan that a restart of its other generating facility could be held up or denied simply because trust in TEPCO in Japan is parched, according to local media.

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Greenpeace and Utilities Launch Suit against Hinkley Nuclear Plant

Posted: Jul 2, 2015 16:09 CST
The Guardian

Greenpeace and nine German and Austrian utilities selling renewable energy said on Thursday they are launching legal action against state aid for a new British nuclear power plant, which was approved by the European commission. Greenpeace and the others in the group said at a news briefing that the lawsuit would be filed with the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg in the coming days, over the Hinkley Point C project in south-west England.

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Why the US Nuclear Industry is Eager to Save This Obscure, Government-Run Bank

Posted: Jul 2, 2015 16:09 CST
The Christian Science Monitor

The US nuclear industry has looked abroad for business as demand in the US has fallen. But without the Export-Import Bank's backing, some say it would be harder for US companies to seal nuclear deals abroad. Until recently, the bank was relatively low-profile, providing loans and loan guarantees to help US companies sell their goods abroad. The bank is perhaps best known for aiding Boeing in its efforts to sell airplanes abroad, making US planes competitive with European rival Airbus.


Resolving the IAEA’s PMD Concerns Concretely Prior to the Lifting of Key Sanctions

Posted: Jul 2, 2015 16:08 CST

A prerequisite for a comprehensive agreement is for the International Atomic Energy Agency to know when Iran sought nuclear weapons, how far it got, what types it sought to develop, and how and where it did this work. Was this weapons capability just put on the shelf, waiting to be quickly restarted? The IAEA needs a good baseline of Iran’s military nuclear activities, including the manufacturing of equipment for the program and any weaponization related studies, equipment, and locations. The...

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The US Doesn't Need Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Asia

Posted: Jul 2, 2015 16:07 CST
The Diplomat

Should U.S. tactical nukes return to Asia? Probably not. A new Project Atom report (of which several of my esteemed colleagues are co-authors) includes among its recommendations the U.S. forward deployment of “tactical,” nuclear weapons. I can think of very few reasons why redeploying tactical nuclear weapons to Asia would be a good idea, and many reasons why it would be a terrible one.

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No Clarity on Status of Iran Nuclear Talks

Posted: Jul 2, 2015 16:06 CST
Voice of America

Iranian negotiators in Vienna are sending mixed signals about the pace of talks with Western powers on the country's nuclear program. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said negotiators were "not at any kind of breakthrough moment yet." "The open question," said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, "is whether the will and courage will be sufficient among all at the end."

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China, France Further Strengthen Their Nuclear Cooperation

Posted: Jul 1, 2015 16:20 CST
World Nuclear News

A number of agreements were signed yesterday between Chinese and French nuclear energy companies aimed at strengthening their cooperation in the nuclear fuel cycle and power reactors. The agreements were signed in Paris during a meeting between Chinese premier Li Keqiang and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. The first is a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Areva and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) "marking a new step forward in the Chinese project for a used fuel processin...


French Nuclear Waste Will Triple after Decommissioning: Agency

Posted: Jul 1, 2015 16:19 CST

The amount of nuclear waste stored in France will triple once all its nuclear installations have been decommissioned, which will boost the need for storage facilities, French nuclear waste agency Andra said. In a report released on Wednesday, Andra estimated that final nuclear waste volumes will eventually reach 4.3 million cubic meters, up from 1.46 million at the end of 2013 and an estimated 2.5 million in 2030.

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New Pacific Russian Nuclear Missile Submarine Facility Could Open by October

Posted: Jul 1, 2015 16:19 CST
U.S. Naval Institute

Upgrades to the Russian Navy’s ballistic nuclear missile submarine (SSBN) base in the Pacific could be completed by October, Russian Navy chief Adm. Viktor Chirkov said on Wednesday according to Russian state-controlled media. “The system for basing the Borei-class strategic submarines in Kamchatka is moving along according to schedule and the work will be completed by October 1 of this year,” Chirkov said in the Sputnik news service.


Chinese Nuclear Forces, 2015

Posted: Jul 1, 2015 16:18 CST
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (originally published Jun 18, 2015)

China is the only one of the five original nuclear weapon states that is quantitatively increasing the size of its nuclear arsenal and it now is estimated to have approximately 260 warheads. The arsenal’s capabilities are also increasing as older missiles are replaced with newer ones. As China assigns a growing portion of its warheads to long-range missiles, the US intelligence community predicts that by the mid-2020s the number of warheads on missiles capable of threatening the United States...

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What It Really Takes for a US-Iran Deal

Posted: Jul 1, 2015 16:17 CST

Forget the mad spinning. Here it is, in a nutshell, what it really takes for Iran and the P5+1 to clinch a game-changing nuclear deal before the new July 7 deadline. Iran and the P5+1 agreed in Lausanne on a “comprehensive plan of action,” taking into account delicate constitutional considerations in both the US and Iran. A crucial part of the plan is the mechanism to get rid of sanctions. Lausanne – and now Vienna – is not a treaty; it’s an action plan. There will be a declaration when a dea...


U.S., Europeans Secure Guarantee to Reimpose Iran Sanctions

Posted: Jul 1, 2015 16:17 CST

The U.S. and its European allies have secured a way to snap back United Nations sanctions on Iran if it violates an accord curbing its nuclear program, according to diplomats from three countries negotiating with the Islamic Republic. The UN Security Council will need to periodically approve a resolution maintaining sanctions relief, they said. The resolution would allow a member state that has reason to believe Iran is violating the deal to block automatic rollover of the relief. They spoke ...


Iran’s Newly Produced Low Enriched Uranium Hexafluoride: Definitely Not Converted into Uranium Dioxide

Posted: Jul 1, 2015 16:16 CST

Under the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) Iran was expected to convert all newly produced LEU hexafluoride (LEUF6) into uranium dioxide (LEUO2), in order to ensure that the material was in a less proliferation resistant form and that Iran did not accumulate additional stocks of LEU hexafluoride at the end of the interim period of the JPA. This period has been extended twice so far, with the last period ending on June 30, 2015.


Status of Iran’s Nuclear Program in relation to the Joint Plan of Action

Posted: Jul 1, 2015 16:16 CST

As foreshadowed in GOV/2014/2, this report provides information on the status of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s (Iran’s) nuclear program in relation to the “voluntary measures,” that Iran has agreed to undertake as part of the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) agreed between the E3+3 and Iran on 24 November 2013. The JPA took effect on 20 January 2014, initially for a period of six months. On 24 July 2014, the JPA was extended until 24 November 2014, and on 24 November 2014 it was further extended u...



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Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute
336 Zachry Engineering Center,Texas A&M University
College Station, TX, 77843 USA

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