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Ultrafast Supercomputer to Simulate Nuclear ExplosionLeading nuclear scientists with top security clearances will gather next summer at a screening room east of San Francisco and witness the results of the greatest effort ever in supercomputing.
Using a computer doing 360 trillion calculations a second, scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Lab will simulate the explosion of an aging nuclear bomb in three dimensions. The short, highly detailed video produced by the world's fastest computer will attempt to illustrate how missiles dating back to the Nixon administration would perform today. [via Yahoo! News]
Nuclear Secrets Emerge in Khan Inquiry, More Are SuspectedThe discovery of blueprints for a 10-kiloton atomic bomb in the files of the Libyan weapons program earlier this year by US and IAEA officials gave a new appreciation of the audacity of the rogue nuclear network led by A. Q. Khan, a chief architect of Pakistan's bomb. Intelligence officials had watched Dr. Khan for years and suspected that he was trafficking in machinery for enriching uranium to make fuel for warheads.
"This was the first time we had ever seen a loose copy of a bomb design that clearly worked," said one American expert, "and the question was: Who else had it? The Iranians? The Syrians? Al Qaeda?" [The New York Times ]
Russia to Conduct Two ICBM Tests This WeekRussia is set this week to conduct two ICBM tests, according to reports.
One test, scheduled to be held tomorrow, will involve an RS-20 ICBM launched from a mini-cosmodrome in Russia's Orenburg region, according to ITAR-Tass. The missile is also known as the SS-18 in NATO classification.
The new base is expected to replace the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for ballistic missile combat training launches, according to Russian Strategic Missile Troops Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Sergei Khutortsev (ITAR-Tass/BBC Worldwide Monitoring, Dec. 20).
Russia is also set to test its mobile Topol-M ICBM on Friday from the Plesetsk cosmodrome, according to Interfax. The test is scheduled to be the last for the missile, which will then be supplied to army units, a Russian Defense Ministry official said (Interfax/BBC Monitoring, Dec. 21). [via NTI: Global Security Newswire]
Iran Continues to Process Yellowcake UraniumDespite a recent pledge to suspend all uranium enrichment activity, Iran has continued to process "yellowcake" uranium, diplomats close to the International Atomic Energy Agency said today.
"The Iranians have decided to continue UF4 (uranium tetrafluoride) production until the end of February," a diplomat told Reuters. Two other diplomats in Vienna confirmed the report.
Iranian officials agreed last month in negotiations with the European powers not to process any yellowcake uranium that was not already in the conversion facility, Reuters reported. However, Tehran has now decided to convert all 37 tons of its raw uranium." [via NTI: Global Security Newswire ]
Site UpdatesIt may be the holiday season, but we are still working here.
We recently replaced two of the animations on the website. The animations now are annotated. There are:
Let us know if you like the changes.
We have also added a new Nuclear Facilities map for Iran.
Look for more additions in the coming weeks.
the atomicarchive.com development team
Interceptor Missile Test FailsAn interceptor missile failed to launch early Wednesday in what was to have been the first full flight test of the U.S. national missile defense system in nearly two years.
A target missile carrying a mock warhead was successfully launched as scheduled from Kodiak, Alaska, in the first launch of a target missile from Kodiak in support of a full flight test of the system.
However, the Missile Defense Agency said the ground-based interceptor "experienced an anomaly shortly before it was to be launched" from the Ronald Reagan Test Site at Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean 16 minutes after the target missile left Alaska.
An announcement said the interceptor experienced an automatic shutdown "due to an unknown anomaly."
The agency gave no other details and said program officials will review pre-launch data to determine the cause for the shutdown. [via CBS News]
Marie Curie article and bookRecently author and historian Barbara Goldsmith has written a new biography on the life of Marie Curie entitled Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie. We will be publishing a review of this book shortly. In support of this book, Parade, a newspaper supplement had a small article about the life of Marie Curie.
CNN Presents: Nuclear TerrorIt is our worst nightmare: A terrorist group builds a nuclear device and smuggles it into a major American city. Could it happen? Unfortunately, experts say yes. Three years after September 11, has the threat of nuclear terrorism grown worse? CNN Presents investigates in this special report.
Saturday, December 11 at 6 a.m., 8 p.m., 11 p.m. Eastern
New Dr. Strangelove DVDTo celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the film's theatrical release, Sony Pictures recently released a Dr. Strangelove 40th Anniversary Special Edition DVD. While the film has received the DVD treatment twice before, the new anniversary edition spans two discs and offers a variety of new featurettes. They include "No Fighting in the War Room or: Dr. Strangelove and the Nuclear Threat," which provides historical context and features interviews with Bob Woodward, Spike Lee, James Earl Jones, and Robert McNamara; "Inside the Making of Dr. Strangelove," a documentary by Kubrick fanatic David Naylor about the making of the film; and a nearly 25-minute long, unedited interview with McNamara. The DVD also offers all the features from the 2001 Dr. Strangelove DVD from Columbia TriStar. [Available at amazon.com]
Iran Says Nuclear Freeze Won't Last LongIran reiterated Tuesday it was only prepared to freeze its uranium enrichment activities for a few months and would not, as the EU and Washington want, permanently mothball facilities which could make atomic bombs. The comments, made by Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, were a further blow to European Union efforts to persuade Tehran to scrap enrichment for good and were likely to fuel U.S. concerns that Iran secretly plans to produce nuclear weapons.
"The length of the suspension will only be for the length of the negotiations with the Europeans and... must be rational and not too long," Hassan Rohani, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, told a news conference. [via Yahoo! News]