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Xi’s Submarine Sale Raises Indian Ocean Nuclear Clash Risk

Posted: Apr 17, 2015 13:32 CST
Bloomberg (originally published Apr 16, 2015)

Soon a brash naval captain may pose a bigger risk of triggering a nuclear crisis between India and Pakistan than a religious terrorist. China is likely to conclude a sale of eight conventional submarines during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Islamabad on April 20, more than doubling Pakistan’s fleet. Analysts say it may be the first step in helping Pakistan gain the ability to fire nuclear weapons at sea, keeping pace with rival India.

 
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UN's Nuclear Treaty Review Comes Amid Heightened Proliferation Concerns

Posted: Apr 17, 2015 13:31 CST
VOA

Later this month the United Nations hosts an important review conference for the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) - the landmark deal aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. This year's review is expected to be highly contentious and could test the treaty's viability. The cornerstone treaty of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, which went into force in 1970, is reviewed by its signatories every five years. There is anticipation there may be some drama this time around ...

 

Russian Nuclear Forces, 2015

Posted: Apr 17, 2015 13:30 CST
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Russia is modernizing its strategic and nonstrategic nuclear warheads. It currently has 4,500 nuclear warheads, of which roughly 1,780 strategic warheads are deployed on missiles and at bomber bases. Another 700 strategic warheads are in storage along with roughly 2,000 nonstrategic warheads. Russia deploys an estimated 311 ICBMs that can carry approximately 1,050 warheads. It is in the process of retiring all Soviet-era ICBMs and replacing them with new systems, a project that according to M...

 

Why Stop with Just One Nuclear Deal with Iran?

Posted: Apr 17, 2015 13:30 CST
The Hill (originally published Apr 16, 2015)

We are close to finalizing a deal preventing nuclear weapons in Iran. But let's not stop with just this one agreement. Let's enter into what President Kennedy called a "peace race." There are other steps needed to improve nuclear security in the Middle East and worldwide. It's not well known that Iran, the United States and Israel also have a historic opportunity to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Ban Treaty (CTBT), which bans all nuclear test explosions. Each nation has already signed th...

 

Deployment of US Missile Defense Considered for South Korea

Posted: Apr 17, 2015 13:29 CST
AP (originally published Apr 16, 2015)

China should not be concerned if the U.S. deploys an advanced missile defense system in South Korea to counter the threat from a nuclear North Korea, a U.S. military commander said Thursday. Commander of U.S. forces in Korea, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, told a congressional hearing that if employed, the Theater High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, system would be focused on the defense of the Korean Peninsula and would not have "any influence beyond that." Pacific forces commander Adm. Samuel L...

 
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PACOM House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, Prepared Statement

Posted: Apr 17, 2015 13:28 CST
U.S. Pacific Command (originally published Apr 15, 2015)

The Indo-Asia-Pacific remains one of the most dynamic regions on earth. It is vital to U.S. economic and security interests, and activities in the region will shape much of our nation’s future. The region encompasses 52% of the earth’s surface and is composed of 83% water and 17% land. Over half of the people on the planet reside on that 17% of land, and by the middle of the century, the Indo-Asia-Pacific will potentially contain 70% of the world’s population. This high population density cou...

 
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Negotiations Delay TransCanada’s Bruce Power Nuclear Reactor Updates

Posted: Apr 17, 2015 13:27 CST
Globe and Mail (originally published Apr 16, 2015)

Bruce Power and the Ontario government are mired in negotiations for a $15-billion deal to refurbish six nuclear reactors, delaying the planned project past a self-imposed deadline and posing new questions about the province’s future energy mix. The Liberal government insists it remains committed to refurbishing Ontario’s aging nuclear fleet. However, both sides have signaled they are concerned about potential cost over-runs, and Bruce and its shareholders worry about the province’s schedule,...

 

How WANO & INPO Measure Excellence in Nuclear Operations

Posted: Apr 17, 2015 13:26 CST
NEI Nuclear Notes (originally published Apr 16, 2015)

Achieving one great year of performance for an industry or an individual is noteworthy. Sustaining exemplary performance over a decade or more is the true measure of excellence. The U.S. nuclear energy industry’s long-term performance is documented by the performance indicators monitored by the World Association of Nuclear Operators(WANO) and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO). Why are these indicators so important?

 
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Providing the Big Picture During a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency

Posted: Apr 17, 2015 13:25 CST
IAEA

For one week in late April, more than 200 experts from 70 countries and five international organizations will gather at IAEA headquarters to discuss the latest trends related to assessment and prognosis in response to a nuclear or radiological emergency. The International Experts Meeting (IEM) on Assessment and Prognosis in Response to a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency will take place from 20 to 24 April. This is the ninth in a series of such meetings organized in the framework of the IAEA ...

 

Why I Like the Iran Deal (Sort Of): The Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Thinks It’s the Only Way to Change the Regime

Posted: Apr 16, 2015 15:45 CST
Politico

The nuclear agreement between the international community and Iran already stands as a remarkable if incomplete achievement. As in all such deals, the devil surely lies in its details and in implementation. I like the phrase “Distrust but Verify.” And yet the real significance of this agreement is broader. If successful, it portends historic opportunities for change, not only in Iran but in the Middle East as a whole.

 
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No Breakthrough between Iran and U.N. Nuclear Watchdog

Posted: Apr 16, 2015 15:44 CST
Reuters

The U.N. nuclear watchdog said it had a "constructive exchange" with Iran this week but there was no sign of a breakthrough on aspects of its nuclear program that the agency says Tehran has failed to fully address. The IAEA on Thursday issued a short statement saying it had technical talks with Iranian officials in Tehran on Wednesday, making no mention of major developments.

 

The IAEA’s Conclusion About Turkey

Posted: Apr 16, 2015 15:44 CST
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Not for the first time, when Barack Obama declared April 2 that the greater Middle East has no real alternative to a nuclear accommodation with Iran, advocates of the “cascade of proliferation” theory warned us that Turkey’s future would be nuclear-armed. In fact, kibitzers on both sides of the Iran divide routinely include Turkey in their quiver of arrows on the basis of a common assumption. Neocons claim that Turkey would “not be far behind” Saudi Arabia in a Middle East nuclear arms race ...

 
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Radioactive Material Stolen in Mexico

Posted: Apr 16, 2015 15:43 CST
CBS

The Mexican government has put civil protection agencies in five southern states and some federal agencies on alert following the theft of radioactive medical material from a vehicle on Monday. CBS News partner network UNO TV reported the iridium-192, a radioactive compound used in mobile medical radiography work, was stolen from a vehicle in Tabasco state, near Mexico's border with Guatemala.

 
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Pakistan Successfully Test Fires Nuclear-Capable Ghauri Missile

Posted: Apr 16, 2015 15:42 CST
DAWN (originally published Apr 15, 2015)

Pakistan test-fired on Wednesday ballistic missile Ghauri, which is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads up to a distance of 1,300 kilometres. In a statement, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the launch of the intermediate-range Ghauri was conducted by a Strategic Missile Group of the Army Strategic Forces Command (ASFC) that was aimed at testing the operational and technical readiness of (ASFC).

 
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Indian Army Test Launches Agni III Surface-To-Surface Missile

Posted: Apr 16, 2015 15:41 CST
Army-Technology.com

The Indian Army's Strategic Forces Command has successfully test launched the nuclear-capable Agni-III surface-to-surface missile from Wheeler Island, off of the Odisha coast. Fired from a mobile launcher from launch complex-4 of Integrated Test Range (ITR), the missile flew for 1,200 seconds and accurately homed onto the pre-designated target area in the Bay of Bengal. The trial comes a day after the Pakistani Army conducted training launch of its nuclear-capable Ghauri medium-range ballis...

 
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Construction Cleared For China's First Hualong One Units

Posted: Apr 16, 2015 15:41 CST
World Nuclear News

China's State Council has given final approval for construction of units 5 and 6 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant in Fujian province. They will be demonstration units for the domestically-developed Hualong One reactor design. In a statement, the State Council said, "Technologies used in the Hualong One reactor are based on experience gained after two decades of producing nuclear power for civilian use and have taken reference from the world's top-notch designs." It added, "Intellectual prop...

 

First Part of MOX Study Yet to Surface

Posted: Apr 16, 2015 15:40 CST
Aiken Standard

The first of two studies of alternatives for the Savannah River Site’s MOX program was slated for a Wednesday release. Now, “mums” the word on when the Department of Energy will release the highly-anticipated study, although many expect it to surface in the coming days. The first part of the study will debate whether to use a Dilution and Disposal method, or continue with MOX. The second study, slated for a mid-September release, will look into other MOX alternatives, including fast reactors...

 

Alternatives to MOX: Direct-Disposal Options for Stockpiles of Separated Plutonium

Posted: Apr 16, 2015 15:39 CST
IPFM (originally published Apr 13, 2015)

One dangerous legacy of the Cold War is about 220 tons of weapon-grade plutonium, 95 percent of it owned by Russia and United States. The U.S. and Russia have drastically downsized their nuclear arsenals since the end of the Cold War and much of this plutonium has become excess. In 2000, Russia and the United States agreed to each dispose 34 tons of excess weapon grade plutonium – mostly in uranium-plutonium mixed oxide (MOX) fuel to be used in light water reactors (LWRs). To encourage Russi...

 

Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage Enters into Force

Posted: Apr 15, 2015 16:37 CST
IAEA

The Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear damage (CSC) entered into force today. The CSC was adopted on 12 September 1997 together with the Protocol to Amend the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage. The CSC aims at increasing the amount of compensation available in the event of a nuclear accident through public funds to be made available by the Contracting Parties on the basis of their installed nuclear capacity and UN rate of assessment.

 

Kerry Reassures G-7 Iran Deal Can Stand Up to Congress

Posted: Apr 15, 2015 15:31 CST
Bloomberg

Secretary of State John Kerry reassured world powers that a nuclear agreement with Iran would hold up to U.S. congressional scrutiny as Germany raised the question of how Washington politics might influence a final deal. “We are confident about our ability for the president to negotiate an agreement and to do so with the ability to make the world safer,” Kerry said Wednesday in the northern city of Luebeck, where he joined the G-7 talks for less than four hours.

 

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