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Nunn-Lugar, R.I.P.

Posted: Jan 27, 2015 16:58 CST
Arms Control Wonk

The most important post-Cold War initiative to reduce nuclear dangers undertaken by the United States has come to a quiet, unceremonious end. Cooperative threat reduction programs to secure loose nukes and reduce surplus force structure in the remnants of the former Soviet Union were the crowning achievements of the distinguished legislative careers of Senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar. These programs became necessary and possible only when Moscow was a supplicant and when Washington was ge...

 

Indian Nuclear Deals Still Complicated for US Firms despite Claims of Obama-Modi Breakthrough

Posted: Jan 27, 2015 15:39 CST
AP

India and America's declaration of a breakthrough in contentious nuclear energy cooperation has been met with a lukewarm response from industry and analysts. Few expect the potentially lucrative Indian market to suddenly become less complicated for U.S. nuclear companies. President Barack Obama's three-day visit to New Delhi raised hopes for concrete plans to tackle India's fossil fuel dependency and to resolve a four-year standoff over liability that prevented U.S. and Japanese nuclear energ...

 
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U.S. 'Cannot Stop' Russian Nuclear Missiles — Deputy Prime Minister

Posted: Jan 27, 2015 15:38 CST
Moscow Times (originally published Jan 26, 2015)

U.S. missile defense “cannot stop,” Russia's nuclear weapons, a top minister said, in an apparent reversal of Moscow's policy of slamming U.S. anti-ballistic missile capability as a dire threat to Russian security. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees Russia's military-industrial complex, boasted of unspecified breakthroughs in Russian military technology during a talk show on the state-run Rossiya 1 television channel on Sunday night. “We will not disclose those technical detai...

 

Sarmat Tests to Begin in 2015

Posted: Jan 27, 2015 15:38 CST
Russian Strategic Forces Blog (originally published Jan 26, 2015)

Deputy Minister of Defense Yuri Borisov, told RSN radio that the Sarmat development program is well on track and the first tests of the missile (pop-up tests from a silo) will take place in 2015. The missile, according to Borisov, will be ready to begin service in 2020, as planned.

 
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Sen. Menendez Alters Course on Iran Sanctions

Posted: Jan 27, 2015 15:37 CST
Defense News

A key US Democrat wants the Senate to delay approval of an Iran sanctions bill he helped write, arguing he now is willing to give Tehran one more chance. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey is the co-author of a measure with Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., that would slap tougher sanctions on Iran if ongoing talks with five Western countries fail to bear fruit by July. The Senate Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over international sanctions legislation, is slated to mark up the bill on Thursday.

 
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America Has a Very Expensive Plan to Replace Very Old Nukes: Pricey New Missile Could Take the Place of Today’s Minuteman III

Posted: Jan 27, 2015 15:36 CST
Medium

The U.S. Air Force has announced its strategy for replacing America’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles—which have stood alert, awaiting Armageddon, for nearly five decades. Making nukes is hard. But squeezing another multi-billion-dollar project into the Air Force’s already bulging budget is perhaps the bigger challenge. According to a Jan. 23 notice on the government’s contracting Website, the Air Force wants to build an entirely new booster stack but keep the existing Minut...

 
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Looking Beyond the Interim Deal

Posted: Jan 27, 2015 15:34 CST
Arms Control Association

The negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program have been extended again, removing any remaining doubts that, after 18 months of intense negotiations, the key to obtaining a comprehensive agreement still hinges on finding clever, new technical solutions to bridge the remaining disagreements between the parties.

 

"Exciting Times for Nuclear Power," IAEA Director General Says

Posted: Jan 26, 2015 16:19 CST
IAEA

Nuclear power is enjoying a period of revival worldwide, particularly in Asia, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said in Singapore earlier today. A growing number of countries are considering building nuclear power plants to meet increasing energy needs of their growing economies while decreasing their greenhouse gas emissions, Mr Amano said at Singapore's Energy Market Authority, where he gave a public lecture as part of the agency's Distinguished Visitor Program.

 
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9 Takeaways on US-India Ties After Obama's India Visit

Posted: Jan 26, 2015 16:17 CST
The Diplomat

After arriving in India over the weekend, U.S. President Barack Obama concluded a series of bilateral agreements with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. What follows below is a quick distillation of nine highlights out of the released joint statement, joint strategic vision document, and the visit overall. I’ll likely follow this up shortly with more detailed analysis on at least a couple of these points. I put together a similar summary of the previous U.S.-India bilateral joint statement ...

 

Obama and Modi Announce Nuclear 'Breakthrough' During India Visit

Posted: Jan 26, 2015 15:44 CST
Al Jazeera (originally published Jan 25, 2015)

U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a deal on Sunday aimed at unlocking billions of dollars in nuclear trade, a step that both sides hope will help establish an enduring strategic partnership. The two countries reached an understanding on two issues that, despite a groundbreaking 2006 agreement, had stopped U.S. companies from setting up reactors in India and became one of the major irritants in bilateral ties. "We are committed to moving towards full ...

 
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China Urges India to Take Steps to Satisfy Standards of Nuclear Group

Posted: Jan 26, 2015 15:42 CST
Reuters

China called on India on Monday to take more steps to satisfy the standards of a global organization that controls atomic exports after U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States was in favor of India joining the group. Obama reaffirmed on the weekend during a visit to India the U.S. position that India is ready for membership into the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), according to a U.S.-India joint statement. China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said India's admi...

 
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Iran Lawmakers Drafting Law on Nuclear Enrichment Hike

Posted: Jan 26, 2015 15:40 CST
AFP (originally published Jan 24, 2015)

Iran's parliament has started to draft a law that would allow the country's nuclear scientists to intensify their uranium enrichment, a step that could complicate ongoing talks with world powers. The move, announced Saturday by parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, comes after US lawmakers said they were planning legislation that could place new sanctions on Iran. Hossein Naghavi Hosseini, committee spokesman in Tehran, told the ISNA news agency that draft legislation w...

 

S. Korea, 4 Nations Hope for Early Nuke Talks: Official

Posted: Jan 26, 2015 15:39 CST
Yonhap

South Korea and four parties to the six-way talks on ending North Korea's nuclear program share the need to break the stalled process for Pyongyang's denuclearization as early as possible, a Seoul official said Monday. The multilateral talks on North Korea's nuke programs -- involving the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia -- have been dormant since late 2008, when Pyongyang walked away from the bargaining table. "The five parties have believed that there is the need to break the s...

 
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The United States and Russia Must Repair Their Partnership on Nuclear Security

Posted: Jan 26, 2015 15:37 CST
Washington Post (originally published Jan 23, 2015)

For more than two decades, the United States and Russia partnered to secure and eliminate dangerous nuclear materials — not as a favor to one another but as a common-sense commitment, born of mutual self-interest, to prevent catastrophic nuclear terrorism. The world’s two largest nuclear powers repeatedly set aside their political differences to cooperate on nuclear security to ensure that terrorists would not be able to detonate a nuclear bomb in New York, Moscow, Paris, Tel Aviv or elsewher...

 

Sabotaging a Deal with Iran

Posted: Jan 26, 2015 15:36 CST
The New York Times

America and Iran took a step toward a final nuclear deal on Jan. 18, but they should be making leaps. The negotiators have proposed some creative solutions but major political compromises are sorely needed, and soon. If a framework agreement can’t be reached in March, the talks could become mired in stalemate. Those who oppose any diplomacy between Iran and the West are already seeking to end the process altogether. With time, they will gain further ammunition.

 
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Scientists Search for New Ways to Deal with US Uranium Ore Processing Legacy

Posted: Jan 23, 2015 15:29 CST
Phys.org

Researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory are trying to find out why uranium persists in groundwater at former uranium ore processing sites despite remediation of contaminated surface materials two decades ago. They think buried organic material may be at fault, storing toxic uranium at levels that continue to pose risks to human health and the environment, and hope their study will pave the way for better long-term site management and protection of the pu...

 

TEPCO to Miss March Target for Fukushima Toxic Water Cleanup

Posted: Jan 23, 2015 15:28 CST
Kyodo News

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday it will fail to fulfill its commitment to process by the end of March all highly radioactive water stored at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant due mainly to equipment troubles, causing further delay in the decommissioning process. TEPCO President, Naomi Hirose, on Friday met with Takayuki Ueda, commissioner of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, and said the company now expects to finish treating the water by the end of May at the lates...

 

Canadian Waste Management on Track

Posted: Jan 23, 2015 15:28 CST
World Nuclear News

As Canada issues its latest report on national radioactive waste management initiatives, the country's Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has identified four more communities for further study as potential hosts for a long-term radioactive waste repository.

 
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Amano Wants Development Recognition

Posted: Jan 23, 2015 15:27 CST
World Nuclear News

The IAEA's mandate could easily be changed to 'Atoms for Peace and Development', said its leader Yukiya Amano in Malaysia. He wants the organization to be a "unique stakeholder," in global development. Amano spoke in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, at the start of a tour of Southeast Asia. He praised the contribution of Malaysia to the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA's) work as well as regional nuclear development, though, for example, the hosting of students of nearby nations...

 
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North Korea’s Expansion of Molybdenum Production

Posted: Jan 23, 2015 15:27 CST
38 North

North Korea’s expansion of the March 5 Youth Mine—a showcase facility intended to produce non-ferrous metals encompassing almost 2,500 acres near the Chinese border—began in 2008 and culminated in summer 2014 with the completion of a molybdenum production facility. The factory represents a notable expansion in Pyongyang’s production infrastructure and a significant new tool for earning foreign capital. Besides the financial implications of molybdenum production, domestic uses have both direct...

 

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