FAS Roundup: September 30, 2013

By September 30, 2013

Plutonium shortage, court rules against CIA and much more.

From the Blogs

Court Curbs CIA Use of a FOIA Exception: A federal court ruled last month that the CIA tried to make “inappropriate” use of an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act to withhold information that was not subject to the exemption. The judge ruled that the Agency was also wrongly attempting to withhold “information that relates to” CIA organization and personnel– which is almost everything the Agency does.

Houston, We Need Some Plutonium: According to recent reports, the United States may be running out of plutonium – specifically the isotope Pu-238, which is used to fuel spacecraft. In a new post on the ScienceWonk Blog, Dr. Y investigates how Pu-238 is used as a power source, and other alternative energy sources that are being researched to ensure that the U.S. space exploration program continues.

Reaching the Debt Ceiling and More from CRS: Secrecy News has obtained recently released CRS reports on topics such as the debt ceiling, private health plans under ACA, Pentagon operations during a government shutdown and an overview of federal funding gaps.


Office Space for Rent in Washington, DC

FAS has three offices for rent in the heart of Washington’s central business district, within less than a minute’s walk to Farragut North metro stop on the red line, and less than four minutes walking distance from Farragut West metro stop on the orange and blue line. The offices are 130 sqft each and are furnished.

Rent for each office is $1,200 per month; package deals with reduced rates are possible. Included is the use of one large conference room, as well as a small meeting room; kitchen; reception; the use of a copy room, and general work area; separate work area for interns.
For more information, click here.

Job Opportunity: Nuclear Scientist at NRDC

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is seeking a full-time nuclear scientist or nuclear engineer to work with the Nuclear Program team in the Washington, DC office on technical projects concerning: reactor safety and regulation, the role of nuclear power in an energy policy that addresses climate change, and the environmental and non-proliferation impacts of the nuclear fuel cycle. The position will directly support a recently-initiated NRDC project to prototype a citizen radiation monitoring network, including work with hand-held radiation detectors, data acquisition and analysis, and the development of the online network architecture. The position will also have a leading role in NRDC’s work on security aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, including MOX and cyber threat issues.

Responsibilities will include performing calculations and technical analysis, authoring and contributing to NRDC publications and to scientific publication of research in peer-reviewed professional journals. The candidate will also provide technical support to NRDC’s nuclear regulatory and licensing interventions, and NRDC’s legislative work on the nuclear fuel cycle.

Applications may be submitted here.


Event: Short Course on Nuclear Issues in the 21st Century

The American Physical Society’s Forum on Physics & Society and the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs are sponsoring a short course on nuclear weapons issues in the 21st century on November 2-3, 2013 at George Washington University in Washington, DC.

The workshop will bring together international experts who will give technical background on issues such as CTBT on-site inspections, India and Pakistan’s nuclear programs, ballistic missile defense and nuclear forensics.

Director of the Nuclear Information Project Mr. Hans Kristensen will be presenting on modernizing the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Early registration is encouraged as the course may sell out; last day to register is October 25. For conference agenda and registration, click here. 

FAS in the News

Sept 25: Associated Press“Iran Tries To Shine Light On Israeli Nukes”

Sept 25: Time“RIP Megatons For Megawatts”

Sept 23: RT“Aging US Atomic Bomb Caught In Strategic Tug-Of-War”

Sept 22: Omaha World-Herald“Clock Is Ticking On Aging B61 Bomb, StratCom Chief Says”

Categories: FAS Roundup