Author: Katie Colten

FAS Roundup: March 17, 2014

NATO nuclear weapons security costs expected to double, anniversary of Fukushima, crisis in Ukraine and more. From the Blogs B61-12 Bomb Integration on NATO Aircraft to Start in 2015: The U.S. Air Force FY15 budget request indicates that  integration of the B61-12 on NATO F-16 and Tornado aircraft will start in 2015 for completion in 2017 and 2018. The integration marks the beginning of a significant enhancement of the military capability of NATO’s nuclear posture in Europe. The integration work includes software upgrades on the legacy aircraft, operational flight tests, and full weapon integration. Development of the guided tail kit is well underway in reparations for operational tests. It estimated that integration efforts will cost more than $1 billion. Reducing the Risk of Russian-American Standoff: Congress is considering sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine. Dr. Martin Hellman, Adjunct Fellow for Nuclear Risk, professor at Stanford, and an expert on crisis risk reduction, writes that situation in the Ukraine is deplorable and Russia has made its share of mistakes. But, Russia is not solely to blame and the West needs to take responsibility as well. Dr. Hellman urges the public to contact their Congressional representatives about the crisis in Ukraine.

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More on the Ukraine

With the Crimea voting today on whether to secede from the Ukraine, and early returns indicating strong support for secession, the following perspectives on the crisis are particularly relevant. As…

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FAS Roundup: December 16, 2013

Sanctions against Iran, Global Fissile Material Report and  more. Op-ed: Congress Should Delay Action on New Sanctions Against Iran In an op-ed published in Al Jazeera America, Christopher Bidwell, Senior Fellow for Nonproliferation and Law, writes that economic sanctions have proven effective against Iran, but at this point they will only interfere with peaceful negotiations over their nuclear program. Congressional action toward new sanctions against Iran now would make the U.S. appear bellicose and uninterested in a policy change on Iran’s nuclear program. Read the article here.    2013 Global Fissile Material Report Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project, and Robert S. Norris, Senior Fellow for Nuclear Policy, authored a chapter in the recently released 2013 Global Fissile Material Report: Increasing Transparency of Nuclear Warhead and Fissile Material Stocks as a Step Toward Disarmamentproduced by the International Panel on Fissile Materials. Kristensen and Norris provide an overview of world nuclear warhead stockpiles and transparency. Global Fissile Material Report 2013 is the seventh Global Fissile Material Report by IPFM. The report includes proposals to increase nuclear weapon state transparency of their warheads and fissile material stocks. Read the chapter here. 

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FAS Roundup: December 9, 2013

Radioactive theft in Mexico, 3D printing of guns and  more. From the Blogs White House Sets New Goals for Open Government: On December 6, the White House released a new plan which affirms its support for open government values, and set an agenda for the remainder of the current Administration.  A new interagency Classification Review Committee is being established with White House leadership to evaluate proposals for classification reform, and to coordinate their implementation throughout the executive branch. The creation of such a body was the primary recommendation of the Public Interest Declassification Board last year, and it was strongly endorsed by public interest groups. 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 have exposed themselves or others to lethal radiation. Because cobalt is a solid metal, it is hard to disperse, even with explosives. Yet, this incident reiterates the need for better controls on highly radioactive sources. FAS president Charles Ferguson writes that there needs to be more effective means of tracking shipments, training of response forces, developing replacement technologies for phasing out dispersible sources, and increasing government cooperation in sharing intelligence information about threats to radioactive materials of security concern.

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FAS Roundup: December 2, 2013

Declassification priorities, control of civilian nuclear fuel cycles, Holiday membership drive and more. 50% off FAS Membership Today is the last day to take advantage of our holiday membership drive. FAS membership is 50% off for all new members; this promotion will end at midnight. Hurry and take advantage of this offer before it expires- join our extensive network, including 65 Nobel Laureates who support our work to reduce the risk of nuclear dangers.  Implications of the Recent Deal with Iran on Getting Controls on Civilian Nuclear Fuel Cycles In an op-ed published on the Hiroshima Report Blog of the Center for the Promotion of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation in Japan, FAS President Dr. Charles Ferguson takes a look at one of the largest challenges to nonproliferation: how states can walk up to the line of crossing into nuclear weapons capability by developing uranium enrichment plants or reprocessing plants.  Both of these technologies are dual-use in that the same enrichment plant can be used to make low-enriched uranium useful for fueling peaceful nuclear reactors or to further enrich to high enough concentrations of the fissile isotope uranium-235 useful for powering nuclear weapons. Very few non-nuclear weapon states have one or both of these technologies; the one non-nuclear weapon country that has both enrichment and reprocessing is Japan. Could the new deal with Iran have implications for Japan and other non-nuclear weapon states like South Korea that aspire to acquire enrichment or reprocessing capabilities? The answer is yes. Read the op-ed here. 

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