September 29, 2005

Think Outside the Bomb National Telecast

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation invites you to view two of the substantive panel discussions that took place during our National Youth Conference on Nuclear Issues, Think Outside the Bomb, from August 15-21 at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The panels will be aired through the University of California's television channel, UCTV. UCTV is shown nationwide on the DishNetwork, channel 9412 and on a number of community cable stations throughout California. To view a list of community cable stations broadcasting UCTV, go to www.uctv.tv/cable.

The first panel, US Nuclear Policy and Nuclear Disarmament, focused on issues of nuclear weapons development, threat of use, nuclear proliferation, nuclear testing and its harmful effects, nuclear disarmament obligations under international law, and proposals for achieving compliance with those obligations. Featured speakers on the panel included: David Krieger (President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation), Arjun Makhijani (President, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research), Jacqueline Cabasso (Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation), and Tony De Brum (former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marshall Islands).

The second panel, US Nuclear Energy and Waste Policies, focused on the social and environmental implications of the nuclear fuel cycle, the ongoing dangers of nuclear energy production, the lack of an adequate plan or repository for the storage of high-level nuclear waste, and the potential for alternative sustainable sources of energy production. Featured speakers on the panel were Michael Mariotte (Executive Director, Nuclear Information and Resource Service), Arjun Makhijani (President, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research), and Rochelle Becker (Executive Director, Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility).

Schedule:
US Nuclear Policy and Nuclear Disarmament will air nationally on the following dates:

Monday, October 3 at 9:00 AM
Tuesday, October 4 at 1:00 PM
Wednesday, October 5 at 5:00 and 8:00 PM
Thursday, October 6 at 6:00 AM
Friday, October 7 at 3:00 AM
Saturday, October 8 at 12:00 AM
Sunday, October 9 at 6:00 AM

US Nuclear Energy and Waste Policies will air nationally on the following dates:

Monday, October 10 at 9:00 AM
Tuesday, October 11 at 1:00 PM
Wednesday, October 12 at 5:00 and 8:00 PM
Thursday, October 13 at 6:00 AM
Friday, October 14 at 3:00 AM
Saturday, October 15 at 12:00 AM
Sunday, October 16 at 6:00 AM
September 28, 2005

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The complete collection of maps from Carnegie's, Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Threats.

The first five maps reflect the worldwide proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and their missile delivery systems. The country maps show the major nuclear installations, both civilian and military, in each country. [via Carnegie Endowment for International Peace]
September 26, 2005

Iran threatens to resume uranium enrichment

Iran will resume uranium enrichment and stop allowing U.N. snap checks of its atomic facilities if moves to report it to the Security Council are not reversed, a foreign ministry statement said on Monday.

The statement, read out on state television, said Iran 'would cancel all its voluntary and temporary measures including implementation of the Additional Protocol.'

The Additional Protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty allows snap checks of atomic facilities. [via Yahoo! News]

EU submits resolution on Iran

The European Union submitted a motion Friday to the U.N. atomic watchdog agency that sets Iran up for referral to the Security Council later this year unless it halts some of its nuclear activities.

The draft resolution urges the 35-nation board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency to consider reporting Iran to the Security Council, according to a copy obtained by The Associated Press. It cites noncompliance with provisions of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and suspicions that Tehran's nuclear activities could threaten international peace and security.

Any resolution still has to be accepted by the board before it has validity. It was unclear when the text would be put to a vote, but nations supporting it were in the majority, according to diplomats who spoke on condition of because they were not authorized to discuss details of the closed proceedings. [via Yahoo! News]
September 21, 2005

NPR : North Korea Pledges to Abandon Nuclear Arms Work

On NPR's Talk of the Nation, Joseph Cirincione, director for non-proliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,
Richard Reagan, country director of the United Nations World Food Program, and Robert Gallucci, dean of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service; negotiated the 1994 U.S. Non-Proliferation Agreement with North Korea during the Clinton administration, discuss the recent agreement to end the showdown in North Korea. [via NPR]

Victory on the Peninsula

Although the crisis is not over, North Korea's agreement to give up all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and return to the Non-Proliferation Treaty is a major success for the nations in the six-party talks, writes Carnegie Director for Non-Proliferation Joseph Cirincione in a new Proliferation Analysis. [via Carnegie Endowment for International Peace]

Iran gains reprieve in nuclear standoff

Iran gained a reprieve in the standoff over its nuclear program Wednesday, with diplomats saying the European Union had decided to postpone its push to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council.

The decision to delay a vote until a later board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency instead of demanding one this week appeared driven by concerns about strong opposition. More than a dozen of the 35 IAEA board member nations meeting in Vienna -- including Security Council members Russia and China -- are against the idea. [via CNN.com]
September 20, 2005

North Korea changes nuclear deal

North Korea jeopardized a six-country deal on giving up its nuclear arms just one day after it was struck by vowing on Tuesday to keep the weapons until Washington provides civilian atomic reactors.

The U.S. State Department said the North's views, set out in a long statement, did not match the agreement signed in Beijing.

The six countries, also including Russia, had agreed on Monday to a set of principles on winding up Pyongyang's nuclear programs in return for aid and recognition of its right to a civilian nuclear program. The six agreed to discuss providing a light-water reactor "at an appropriate time."

Analysts noted that the North had backtracked on seemingly rock-solid positions before, and so the deal was not yet dead. [via Yahoo! News]
September 16, 2005

Iran Willing to Offer Nuclear Aid to Islamic States

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday that his country is willing to share nuclear technology with other Islamic nations, Agence France-Presse reported.

"The Islamic Republic in no way seeks weapons of mass destruction and with respect to the needs of Islamic nations for nuclear technology, we are ready to transfer nuclear knowledge to these countries," the IRNA news agency quoted

Ahmadinejad as saying.Ahmadinejad made the offer during talks with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan while at the U.N. summit in New York, according to AFP (Agence France-Presse/Borneo Bulletin, Sept. 15). [via NTI: Global Security Newswire]
September 15, 2005

North Korean Nuclear Talks in disarray

Talks on ending North Korea's nuclear ambitions were in disarray on Friday after Pyongyang insisted on being supplied a light-water nuclear reactor and threatened to boost weapons production if it was not.

As negotiators gathered for a fourth day of talks, the United States said the North's demand was holding up a resolution to a deal that would allow aid and security guarantees for the impoverished state if it abandoned all nuclear programs. [via Yahoo! News]
September 14, 2005

Evidence of nuclear tests found in tooth enamel

Tests of nuclear bombs conducted in the 1950s have had an unexpected benefit for forensic scientists.

A permanent record of the fallout from above-ground tests is embedded in tooth enamel and allows scientists to estimate the age of a person at the time of death more precisely. [via MSNBC.com]
September 13, 2005

New Nevada Test Site web site

The National Nuclear Security Adminstration Nevada Site Office launched a completely redesigned internet website. The new site, located at http://www.nv.doe.gov, includes sections on: National Security, Environmental Programs, Nevada Test Site and a Library. More than 1,400 photographs, 95 films, and hundreds of documents and publications are featured on the site.
September 12, 2005

Iran 'won't suspend nuclear work'

Iran's new foreign minister has said the country will not suspend activities at its Isfahan uranium conversion facility and it plans to seek bids for the construction of two more nuclear plants. [via CNN.com]
September 09, 2005

'Dirty bomb' detention is upheld

The US government has the power to detain a man being held as an enemy combatant without charges, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The court overturned an earlier ruling that Jose Padilla, accused of planning an attack with a "dirty bomb", should either be charged or freed. [via BBC NEWS ]
September 08, 2005

Companion website

We recently reviewed Whole World on Fire. There is a companion site at http://www.wholeworldonfire.com/

University nuclear reactors slow to stop using weapons-grade fuel

Research reactors sprouted worldwide in the wake of President Eisenhower's "Atoms for Peace" program in 1953, including at dozens of American colleges. But by 1978, Cold War tensions and security concerns prompted a Department of Energy initiative to convert research reactors to the low-enriched alternative more commonly found at commercial power reactors.

Currently two university reactors in the United States still use fresh HEU are at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Missouri. The Missouri reactor's federal license limits to five kilograms the amount of unirradiated, or "fresh" highly enriched uranium.MIT officials declined to disclose the amount stored there, though previously published reports suggest at least nine kilograms are in the reactor at any given time.

The distinction between irradiated and unirradiated fuel is significant. Once uranium-based fuel is doused with radiation, the number of isotopes rapidly increases, making the fuel highly radioactive and unsuitable as a weapon.

A good report on this issue can be found at Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

[via SignOnSanDiego.com ]

North Korean Talks to resume next week

Six-nation negotiations on North Korea's nuclear ambitions will resume Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced today. [via NTI: Global Security Newswire]
September 07, 2005

Review: Whole World on Fire

Book CoverLynn Eden's "Whole World on Fire" is a well written and carefully documented book that examines the devastating firestorms, or more accurately "mass fires," that would follow a nuclear explosion and why this consequence was largely ignored by nuclear war planners.

Eden, associate director of research at the Center for International Security and Cooperation of the Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, gives the reader an account of the devastation that a single 300 kiloton weapon would create if detonated over the Pentagon, near Washington D.C. Such an attack would produce an area of "approximately 45-60 square miles...(that) would be engulfed in a mass fire." She describes an environment where the "average air temperature would exceed the boiling point of water, and winds would be of hurricane force."

So with such tremendous effects that far exceed those from the blast forces, why did the U.S. war planners not factor them into their targeting and weapons requirements?

This is the heart of the book. Starting before World War II, military planners focused on the strategy of precision bombing and the blast effects necessary to destroy a specific target. Eden traces this mindset through the early years of the atomic age, as planners ignored the massive damage produced by the fires at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and remained focused on the atomic bomb's blast effects.

There were attempts at modeling the possible extent of damage produced by the fires, but uncertainty and organizational resistance into this area slowed understanding of this component of nuclear warfare.

One of the principle investigators in to the thermal effects is Harold Brode. Through most of his career, he has been pushing for better modeling and revision into the damage tables that war planners use in developing their targeting requirements.

Personally, I was drawn into the study of nuclear weapons by the threat of multiple mass fires producing an effect known as "nuclear winter." It is disturbing to learn that so little is truly known about the true extent of the consequences of a nuclear explosion over a city.

This book provides the reader with a great insight into how well-funded and highly professional organizations can produce incomplete or incorrect analyses by focusing on what they do well. Implications of this organization failure can have dramatic results, such as the sinking of Titanic or the O-ring failure of the space shuttle Challenger. This book is a must read for anyone interested in the development of nuclear policy and organization structures. Available at amazon.com

A.Q. Khan Nuclear Chronology

The complete extent of Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan's decades-long involvement in the illegal transfer of nuclear materials and technologies is not known. The details are submerged in Khan's work over the past thirty years, which has included both the development of Pakistan's uranium enrichment capabilities and a complex international network of experts, suppliers, and front companies that have aided Iran, Libya, North Korea, and potentially others. Since we do not know exactly what Khan did, we cannot know when he did it. As more information is released from those who have questioned Khan and his network partners, a more complete image of the nuclear black market will emerge. This chronology summarizes what we now know.

Download the complete A.Q. Khan Nuclear Chronology with citations at www.CarnegieEndowment.org/static/npp/Khan_Chronology.pdf.

60 Years Late/An Untold Story

When the atomic bomb exploded over the port city of Nagasaki, Japan in the late morning of August 9th, 1945, tens of thousands of civilian Japanese died immediately. By October, many thousands more were dying of a mysterious disease, but journalists were barred from the affected areas so few accounts of the suffering would reach readers here at home. Brooke talks with Editor& Publisher's Greg Mitchell about the very first reporter on the scene, George Weller, who wrote a series of articles that were never published, until this year. [via On the Media]
September 01, 2005

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Rotblat Dies

Joseph Rotblat, the only scientist to resign from the Manhattan Project and who later received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to rid the world of atomic weapons, has died at the age of 96, his spokesman said Thursday.

Rotblat and the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, the group he founded to promote nuclear disarmament, received the prestigious prize in 1995.

Rotblat, who was born in Warsaw, died peacefully in his sleep in London on Wednesday night, the group said.[via Yahoo! News]

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