FAS Roundup: August 26, 2013

Summer issue of the PIR, Fukushima and much more.

Summer Issue of the Public Interest Report

The Summer issue of the PIR is now available online; it includes articles on benefits and challenges of active monitoring of nuclear weapons, history of the U.S. nuclear stockpile,  and mechanisms to attract students to the nuclear policy field.

Summer 2013 Public Interest Report

Volume 66, No 3


Building a Foundation for the Future of Nuclear Security

PDF Version

The future of domestic and global nuclear security depends on today’s university students and young professionals feeding the pipeline to supply the requisite scientific workforce. To develop the next generation of nuclear security experts, universities must not only train students in technical nuclear science but also provide a comprehensive educational platform including nuclear energy and weapons policy in the context of the current political science architecture. By Erika Suzuki, Bethany Goldblum and Jasmina Vujic. 

President’s Message: Innovative Ideas to Reduce Nuclear Dangers

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FAS President Charles Ferguson discusses ideas to reduce nuclear dangers.

The History of the U.S. Nuclear Stockpile 1945-2013

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The United States has produced approximately 66,500 nuclear weapons from 1945 to mid-2013, of approximately 100 types. The historic high of the U.S. stockpile was reached in 1967 with 31,255 nuclear warheads. This article examines three main factors which led to the growth and diversity of the U.S. nuclear program: rivalry between the branches of the armed forces, belief that the United States could achieve security through superiority with nuclear weapons and a hyperactive definition of deterrence. By Robert S. Norris.

Using Trade to Build Stability in South Asia

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South Asia is a region home to nearly one-fifth of the world’s population. In order to create stability between India and Pakistan, it is necessary to build better trade relations. This article discusses recommendations to achieve economic stability in both countries, including improvements to infrastructure and forming a uniform trade policy. By Ravi Patel.

The Benefits and Challenges of Active Monitoring in Support of Future Arms Control Initiatives

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As the United States remains on a path towards continued reductions of nuclear weapons in concert with Russia, there is a likelihood that future arms control initiatives may include individual warheads – strategic and tactical, deployed and non-deployed. Verification of such an agreement could prove to be challenging and costly under an inspection-oriented regime. An active monitoring system could reduce the burden of inspection activities to achieve equivalent confidence that treaty obligations are being upheld by increasing transparency of operations. This article explores the active monitoring concept, in addition to highlighting both the challenges and solutions such a system would provide. By Jay Brotz, Justin Fernandez and Sharon DeLand. 

Deterrence and Assurance: Reassessing the Nuclear Posture

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Remarks from Hans Kristensen’s presentation to the Deterrence and Assurance Working Group at the U.S. Air Force’s Global Strike Command at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. The remarks address critical questions including how many nuclear weapons are enough and ways the United States can reduce nuclear targeting and alert levels of forces. By Hans Kristensen.

More from FAS

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News and Notes from FAS Headquarters.

Thinking Outside Fukushima

Two and a half years after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) finally admitted that it needed outside help to control the numerous problems at its stricken plant. Recently, it was reported that at least 300 metric tons of contaminated water leaked from above-ground storage tanks into the surrounding soil. There are many challenges at the Fukushima station including maintaining continuous cooling of the three damaged reactor cores and expediting the cleanup of the surrounding regions.

In a new article published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, FAS president Dr. Charles Ferguson writes that the future of Japan’s use of nuclear power hinges on an effective and transparent response to the problems at Fukushima Daiichi.

Read the article here.


From the Blogs

The Warrior Ethos and More Military Doctrine: Secrecy News has obtained new documents regarding military doctrine. These documents include the Navy’s new guidance to combat the Insider Threat, the Pentagon’s doctrine on Homeland Defense and the US Army Training Circular on warrior ethos and soldier combat skills, which aims to communicate and instill core military values.

The Rocks of Yucca Mountain: In the second post of a series on Yucca Mountain on the ScienceWonk Blog,  Dr. Y investigates the use of deep geologic repositories to store nuclear waste and the rocks that make up Yucca Mountain. Currently, five nations are using geological repositories, which is when the waste is stored in deep and stable rock formations, isolated from the environment. When it comes to geologic repositories, not all rock is created equal. Ideally, the rock used to contain high-level radioactive waste for hundreds of millennia should be able to keep that waste isolated from the environment – it should be tough, impermeable, and dry.

Mental Health Problems Surge In the Military: The Congressional Research Service has released a new report on mental health problems in the military. These problems are on the rise and pose a growing challenge to active duty forces. Secrecy News also obtained updated CRS reports on DoD’s new strategic guidance, military justice and Syria’s chemical weapons.


Call for Applications: NPEC Public Policy Fellowship for Government Staffers

The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC) Public Policy Fellowship is designed to educate policymaking staffers in the U.S. government on the essentials of issues related to nuclear weapons proliferation and nuclear energy.  Participants will include policy staffers committed to protecting U.S. and international security against the threats posed by the further spread of nuclear weapons.

The lecture-based seminars are taught by Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center; and Charles Ferguson, president of the Federation of American Scientists. The deadline to apply is September 11, 2013.

For more information on the fellowship and application information, click here.

FAS in the News

Aug 24: Los Angeles Times“NSA Having Flashbacks To Watergate Era”

Aug 22: Think Progress“Sequestration Helping Keep More Government Secrets Secret”

Aug 22: Associated Press“Bradley Manning Says He Wants To Live As A Woman”

Aug 21: Washington Post“Nerve Agents The Most Deadly Recognized Chemical Weapons, Can Kill Within 10 Minutes”

Aug 21: Christian Science Monitor“Bradley Manning And Leaks To News Media: Is US Pursuit Too Hot?”

Aug 21: MSNBC- The Rachel Maddow Show“UN Inspectors To Access Scenes Of Horror In Syria”

Aug 21: The Guardian“History Suggests Bradley Manning’s Punishment Does Not Fit His Crimes”

Aug 21: Baltimore Sun“Bradley Manning Sentenced To 35 Years In WikiLeaks Case”

Aug 21: Global Security Newswire“Air Force Commander: Unit Failed ICBM Test By Tiny Margin”

Aug 21: New York Times“Manning Sentenced To 35 Years For Leaking Government Secrets”

Aug 21: Discovery News“Why A Chemical Threat In Syria Is Terrifying”

Aug 21: Financial Times“US Military Tested Using Twitter To Profile Civilians In Anti-Terror Scheme”

Aug 20: Associated Press“Judge To Announce Manning’s Sentence Wednesday”

Aug 20: New Scientist“Secret Clean-Up Secures Weapons-Grade Plutonium Dump”

Aug 20: YTN (South Korea), “Renewable Energy in South Korea”

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