FAS Roundup: March 11, 2013

By March 11, 2013

Overview of U.S. nuclear arsenal, Congress requests report on drone surveillance and much more.

From the Blogs

Congress Requires a Report from DoD on Drone Surveillance: Congress has directed the Secretary of Defense to report on the handling of surveillance data collected by drones operating in domestic airspace. This  provision in the 2013 continuing appropriations conference bill was  approved by the House on March 7.

What Were They Thinking?: Back in the day, the U.S. and the USSR constructed over a hundred small HEU-fueled reactors and shipped them all over the world. Today, there are a number of reactors fueled with uranium that could be turned into nuclear weapons. In a new post on the ScienceWonk Blog, Dr. Y examines nuclear reactors fueled with highly enriched uranium (HEU).

Congress Bars Removal of Intelligence Spending from DoD Budget: Steven Aftergood writes that Congress has again blocked the transfer of the National Intelligence Program outside the Department of Defense budget, rejecting a move that had been urged by the 9/11 Commission.  The transfer was specifically prohibited in the 2013 continuing appropriations conference bill passed by the House on March 7.

In Memory of Dr.  Donald Glaser: Dr. Donald Glaser, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who served as a member of FAS’s Board of Sponsors for many years, passed away last week at the age of 86. Glaser was the inventor of the bubble chamber, which allowed researchers to trace the paths of subatomic particles, which allowed for scientists to further discover that most particles of matter are composed of small particles called quarks.

Gun Control Proposals and More from CRS: Secrecy News has obtained recently released CRS on topics such as gun control proposals for the 113th Congress, minimum wage and the recent cybersecurity executive order.

U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2013

In a new edition of the Nuclear Notebook, Hans M. Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project, and Dr. Robert S. Norris, senior fellow for Nuclear Policy, write in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists regarding the U.S. nuclear stockpile in 2013. The U.S. has continued to reduce its stockpile and of the total stockpile of 4,650 warheads, an estimated 2,150 warheads are currently deployed.

Additionally, the arsenal is composed of roughly 1,950 strategic warheads deployed with approximately 800 missiles and bombers, as well as nearly 200 nonstrategic warheads deployed in Europe.

Read the article here.

FAS President Speaks at University of Illinois

On March 6, FAS President Dr. Charles Ferguson gave a presentation on “The Physics (and Politics) of Nuclear Disarmament” at the physics colloquium of the University of Illinois. This event was, in part, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the course Physics 280: Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear War, and Arms Control taught for 30 years by Prof. Frederick Lamb and now taught by Prof. Matthias Grosse Perdekamp. This is believed to be the longest continuously taught course on these issues; more than 1,000 students have taken this course. View slides here.

On March 7, Dr. Ferguson gave the MillerComm lecture at the University of Illinois on the topic of “Leveraging Science and Technology to Transform International Security: The Social Responsibility of Engineers and Scientists.” View slides here.

Event: Taking on Nuclear Deterrance

On Tuesday, April 9, 2013, Dr. Martin Hellman, Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University and Advisor to the FAS Nuclear Security Program, will speak at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Manufacturing Research Center on “The Wisdom of Foolishness: Taking on Nuclear Deterrence”.

The event is co-sponsored by the Daisy Alliance, Georgia Tech’s Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Center for International Strategy, Technology & Policy, Nuclear & Radiological Engineering Program and the General Ray Davis Memorial Fund.

More information on the event available here.

Click here to RSVP.

FAS in the News

Categories: FAS Roundup