FAS Roundup: August 31, 2015

Debuts September 1st on the website: Scientist Spotlight, a new installment that will feature Q&As with prominent FAS-affiliated scientists and engineers. From the Blogs OLC: President May Withhold WMD Info from Congress: Despite an explicit statutory requirement to keep Congress “fully and currently informed” about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the President may withhold proliferation-related information […]

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Contrasting Views on Public Release of CRS Reports

Last year, the Congressional Research Service produced more than 1,000 new reports and more than 2,500 updates of previous reports for the use of Congress, according to the latest CRS annual report. Those figures do not include “approximately 62,000 requests for custom analysis and research” for individual members or Committees. “For all public policy issues, […]

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The Risk of Nuclear Winter

Since the early 1980s, the world has known that a large nuclear war could cause severe global environmental effects, including dramatic cooling of surface temperatures, declines in precipitation, and increased ultraviolet radiation. The term nuclear winter was coined specifically to refer to cooling that result in winter-like temperatures occurring year-round. Regardless of whether such temperatures […]

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Who was Willy Higinbotham?

Editor’s note: The following is a compilation of letters by Dr. William Higinbotham, a nuclear physicist who worked on the first nuclear bomb and served as the first chairman of FAS. His daughter, Julie Schletter, assembled these accounts of Higinbotham’s distinguished career.   Thank you for this opportunity to share with you my father’s firsthand […]

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The False Hope of Nuclear Forensics? Assessing the Timeliness of Forensics Intelligence

Nuclear forensics is playing an increasing role in the conceptualization of U.S. deterrence strategy, formally integrated into policy in the 2006 National Strategy on Combatting Terrorism (NSCT). This policy linked terrorist groups and state sponsors in terms of retaliation, and called for the development of “rapid identification of the source and perpetrator of an attack,” […]

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FAS Roundup: May 11, 2015

How South Korea Could Acquire and Deploy Nuclear Weapons With security concerns in Northeast Asia regarding North Korea’s build up of its nuclear weapons arsenal, there is a possibility that states in the region, including South Korea and Japan, would consider and start to develop nuclear weapons. In a new paper published by the Nonproliferation […]

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Obama Administration Releases New Nuclear Warhead Numbers

By Hans M. Kristensen In a speech to the Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in New York earlier today, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry disclosed new information about the size of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. Updated Stockpile Numbers First, Kerry updated the DOD nuclear stockpile history by declaring that the stockpile as of […]

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FAS Roundup: April 27, 2015

Russia Nuclear Forces, 2015 Currently, Russia is modernizing its strategic and nonstrategic warheads; it currently has 4,500 nuclear warheads and 1,780 are deployed on missiles and bomber bases. Additionally, there are 700 strategic warheads and 2,000 nonstrategic warheads in storage, and an estimated 3,200 retired but largely intact warheads awaiting dismantlement. In the latest Nuclear […]

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Is China Planning To Build More Missile Submarines?

By Hans M. Kristensen Is China increasing production of nuclear ballistic missile submarines? Over the past few months, several US defense and intelligence officials have stated for the record that China is planning to build significantly more nuclear-powered missile submarines than previously assumed. This would potentially put a bigger portion of China’s nuclear arsenal out […]

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New Nuclear Notebook: Russian Nuclear Forces 2015

By Hans M. Kristensen Russian nuclear weapons have received a lot of attention lately. Russian officials casually throw around direct or thinly veiled nuclear threats (here, here and here). And U.S. defense hawks rail (here and here) about a Russian nuclear buildup. In reality, rather than building up, Russia is building down but appears to be […]

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