NATO Nuclear Weapons Security Costs Expected to Double

By Hans M. Kristensen The cost of securing U.S. non-strategic nuclear weapons deployed in Europe is expected to nearly double to meet increased U.S. security standards, according to the Pentagon’s FY2015 budget request. According to the Department of Defense NATO Security Investment Program , NATO has invested over $80 Million since 2000 to secure nuclear weapons storage sites in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey. But according to the Department of Defense budget request, […]

Read More

Ukraine: The Value of Risk Analysis in Foreseeing Crises

The quantitative risk analysis approach to nuclear deterrence not only allows a more objective estimate of how much risk we face, but also highlights otherwise unforeseen ways to reduce that risk. The current crisis in Ukraine provides a good example. Last Fall, I met Daniel Altman, a Ph.D. candidate at MIT, who is visiting Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) this academic year. When I told him of my interest in risk analysis of nuclear deterrence, […]

Read More

B61-12: First Pictures Show New Military Capability

By Hans M. Kristensen The U.S. government has published the first images of the Air Force’s new B61-12 nuclear bomb. The images for the first time show the new guided tail kit that will provide new military capabilities in violation of the Nuclear Posture Review. The tail kit will increase the accuracy of the bomb and enable it to be used against targets that today require bombs with higher yields. The guided tail kit is […]

Read More

Saving Money and Saving the World

As the United States struggles to deal with budget problems, as the U.S. Air Force deals with boredom, poor morale, drug use, and cheating on certification exams by their personnel entrusted with control of nuclear missiles, we have a solution that will save money as well as make the world a much safer place – get rid of most of our nuclear weapons immediately.  A recent New York Times editorial pointed out that it would […]

Read More

A Credible Radioactive Threat to the Sochi Olympics?

With the Sochi Olympics set to start on February 6th there has been an escalating concern about security threats to the Games. There are hunts for female suicide bombers (“black widows”), video threats from militant groups, etc., all of which have triggered a massive Russian security response, including statements by President Putin insuring the safety of the Games. Many of the security concerns are raised by the proximity of Sochi  to Chechnya and relate to […]

Read More

General Confirms Enhanced Targeting Capabilities of B61-12 Nuclear Bomb

By Hans M. Kristensen The former U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, General Norton Schwartz, confirmed last week that the B61-12 nuclear bomb planned by the Obama administration will have improved military capabilities to attack targets with greater accuracy and less radioactive fallout. The confirmation comes two and a half years after an FAS publication first described the increased accuracy of the B61-12 and its implications for nuclear targeting in general and the deployment of […]

Read More

Radioactive Theft in Mexico: What a Thief Doesn’t Know Can Kill Him

While the theft of a truck carrying radioactive cobalt made international headlines, this was unfortunately not the first time thieves or scavengers have exposed themselves or others to lethal radiation. Probably the most infamous case was on September 13, 1987 in Goiania, Brazil. Scavengers broke into an abandoned medical clinic and stole a disused teletherapy machine. These machines are used to treat cancer by irradiating tumors with gamma radiation typically emitted by either cobalt-60 or […]

Read More

One Step at a Time With Iran

As hoped, the P5+1 and Iran settled on a “first step” agreement to resolve concerns about Iran’s potential to develop nuclear weapons and its interest in doing so. We cannot predict how far this process will go or what the next step to establish a comprehensive, enduring agreement that puts the nuclear issue squarely in the past will include. But we can predict that we will never know how good a final agreement can be unless […]

Read More

Making the Cut: Reducing the SSBN Force

By Hans M. Kristensen A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report – Options For Reducing the Deficit: 2014-2023 – proposes reducing the Navy’s fleet of Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines from the 14 boats today to 8 in 2020. That would save $11 billion in 2015-2023, and another $30 billion during the 2030s from buying four fewer Ohio replacement submarines. The Navy has already drawn its line in the sand, insisting that the current force level […]

Read More

New Nuclear Notebook: Chinese Nuclear Force Modernization

By Hans M. Kristensen China continues to upgrade bases for mobile nuclear medium-range ballistic missiles. The image above shows one of several new launch pads for DF-21 missile launchers constructed at a base near Jianshui in southern China. A new satellite image* on Apple Maps shows the latest part of a two-decade long slow replacement of old liquid-fuel moveable DF-3A intermediate-range ballistic missiles with new road-mobile solid-fuel DF-21 medium-range ballistic missiles. Similar developments can be […]

Read More