March 31, 2006

Iran nuclear plan 'irreversible'

"Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has said Tehran's decision to pursue nuclear power is irreversible.

Speaking in Geneva, Mr Mottaki, however, said Iran was still ready to negotiate to find a compromise.

His comments came a day after the five permanent members of the UN Security Council gave Iran 30 days to suspend uranium enrichment or face isolation.

Tehran insists its nuclear activities are peaceful and has rejected the council's demand.

'We have been trying to build international confidence in our peaceful nuclear program,' Mr Mottaki told the BBC.

'However, we will not yield to pressure and intimidation and will not renounce by any means our country's legitimate right as recognized by international law,' the minister said. [via BBC NEWS]
March 29, 2006

U.N. Demands That Iran Suspend Enrichment

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a statement Wednesday demanding that Iran suspend uranium enrichment, the first time the powerful body has directly urged Tehran to clear up suspicions that it is seeking nuclear weapons.

The statement, which is not legally binding, will ask the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, to report back in 30 days on Iran's compliance with demands to stop enriching uranium, a process that can lead to a nuclear weapon. [via ABC News]

10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America

The most ambitious original programming event in the THC history, 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America encompasses 10 days in American history as envisioned through 10 powerful documentaries that will be written, produced and directed by 10 award-winning filmmakers. Expansive in scope, the goal is not to countdown or list the "most important" days in U.S. history, but to select days that represent the broad themes that ultimately shaped America’s people, culture and history.

Of particular interest will be the episode entitled: "Einstein's Letter". Albert Einstein’s letter to FDR that launched the development of the atomic bomb. The result, known as the Manhattan Project, brought government and science together in a project to build the bomb and change the world forever.

Site Error Fixed

A visitor to the site spotted an error with Sec. of Defense McNamara's "Mutual Deterrence" Speech link. We incorrectly listed the year as 1962, when it should have been 1967. We are posting it here to aid in having the search engine update their databases. We also fixed an incorrect listing in
March 28, 2006

Site Updates

Detroit ScenarioWe have just added a new example scenario of a 1 megaton surface burst on Detroit. This is based on the scenario that was described in the Office of Technology Assessment's report The Effects of Nuclear War.

Also, we added several new terms to the glossary section.

-the team

Iran Wants to Set Up Nuclear Fuel Facility

Iran has proposed setting up a nuclear fuel production facility within its borders with international help, the Iranian Embassy said Tuesday, days before the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany meet to discuss Tehran's suspect program.

The new proposal is an alternative to Russia's offer to host Iran's nuclear fuel production as a way to ease concerns that enrichment conducted in Iran could be used to develop weapons. Iran maintains its atomic program is for generating electricity. [via ABC News]
March 27, 2006

Could terrorists smuggle dirty bombs into U.S.?

Undercover investigators slipped radioactive material enough to make two small "dirty bombs" across U.S. borders in Texas and Washington state in a test last year of security at American points of entry.

Radiation alarms at the unidentified sites detected the small amounts of cesium-137, a nuclear material used in industrial gauges. But U.S. customs agents permitted the investigators to enter the United States because they were tricked with counterfeit documents.

In an exclusive report, NBC's Lisa Myers shares the answer. [via also ABC News]

Rapatronic Nuclear Photographs

The speed of events of a nuclear explosion exceeded the capabilities of current photograph during the early days of the nuclear age. This page explores the invention of the Rapatronic Camera. With this invention, nuclear weapon designers were able to photograph the early formation of the nuclear explosion and the fireball. [via Damn]
March 22, 2006

Nuclear Power

An intertesting day for the nuclear power industry. Here are some headlines:

Radioactive material found under N.Y. plant
High levels of strontium detected in groundwater near Hudson River [via]

2 hurt in Japan nuclear plant fire
Firefighters extinguished a four-hour blaze that broke out at a nuclear power plant in western Japan on Wednesday. Officials said no radiation leaked, but two workers were injured. [via]

From Senate job to nuclear lobbyist — twice has a report about a former U.S. Senate staff member who has helped steer billions through Congress as a Senate staffer in between stints representing nuclear power companies. [via]
March 16, 2006

Site Updates

We thought we would mention that we have updated a few parts of the website.

So what else is happening at atomicarchive? We have 3 new historical sections nearing the end of development. Look for the first one to go live in a few weeks.

We also have been doing a lot of work with our Nuclear Pathways partners. Nothing to annouce quite yet, but we are very pleased with the project's progress. Keep tuned to this blog for more information!
March 14, 2006

No Support From China or Russia on Iran Measure

The United States, France and Britain failed on Monday to get support from China and Russia on a proposed statement pressuring Iran to suspend its nuclear enrichment efforts, diplomats said, and they considered putting a resolution to a vote anyway within the 15-member U.N. Security Council.

The day's events reflected the frustration of the United States and its European allies that a week of closed-door negotiations in New York with China and Russia have failed to yield an agreement. A push for a vote without such an agreement carries the risk of creating a rift among the council's most powerful members. U.S. and European diplomats hope they can increase diplomatic pressure on Moscow and Beijing by involving other council members in the negotiations, said European diplomats.[via Washington Post]
March 10, 2006

Urge Congress to Address the Nuclear Legacy in the Marshall Islands

Write a letter to your Representative and urge them to co-sponsor H. Res. 692, a bi-partisan resolution marking the 60th anniversary of the start of US nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands.

30 June 2006 marks the 60th anniversary of start of US nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands. Between 1946 and 1958, the United States conducted 67 nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands, all of which were atmospheric. The most powerful of these tests was the BRAVO shot, a 15-megaton device detonated on 1 March 1954, at Bikini atoll. The BRAVO shot alone was the equivalent to 1,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs. 17 other tests in the Marshall Islands were in the megaton range, and the total yield of the 67 tests was 108 megatons, the equivalent yield of more than 7,000 Hiroshima bombs; 93 times the total of Nevada atmospheric tests; and the equivalent yield of 1.6 Hiroshima-sized bombs fired every day for 12 years in the Marshall Islands.

In July 1998, the US Center for Disease Control estimated that 6.3 billion curies of radioactive iodine-131 was released to the atmosphere as a result of the testing in the Marshall Islands. To this day, the people of Rongelap Atoll, the inhabited island closest to the ground zero locations, remain in exile.

The 177 agreement under the Compact of Free Association between the United States and the Marshall Islands was based on a study done by the Department of Energy called the 1978 Radiological Survey of the Northern Marshalls, which was presented to the Marshallese as the definitive study on the full extent of damages in the Marshalls. Since the negotiation of the Compact of Free Association and the 177 agreement, the United States Department of Energy has released additional information previously classified, revealing information was withheld during negotiations from Marshallese negotiators, American negotiators and Congress that would have prevented the agreement had the full extent of the damage of nuclear weapons testing been known. Under a provision in the Compact of Free Association, the Republic of the Marshall Islands has filed a Changed Circumstance Petition with the United States, but it has not yet been negotiated.

In July 2005, the National Academy Sciences released the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR) VII Report, reaffirming the conclusion of the 1990 BEIR V report that every exposure to radiation produces a corresponding increase in cancer risk.

The United States must extend its hands to assist the people of the Marshall Islands to extricate themselves from the legacy of the nuclear age and the burden of providing testing grounds for nuclear weapons. The importance of the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction must also include the essential nonproliferation of illness, forced relocation, and social and cultural ills in the indigenous communities, which paid disproportionately for the adverse consequences of weapons processing, deployment and storage.

Please help commemorate the 60th anniversary of the start of US nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands and help spread the story of the Marshallese. Here’s what you can do:

1. Invite a survivor of US nuclear testing to your community to tell their story. For more information, contact Carah Ong at

2. Order and show the film "Home on the Range" by Adam Horowitz. Adam Horowitz’s terrific documentary about Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific is a balanced view of native islanders displaced by the US military. The group of Islands is one part of the Marshall Islands and the site of a missile base that is the target for rockets fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Combining archival footage with film of a spirited but ill-fated occupational revolt by local chieftain Handel Dribo, the film raises questions that probe the heart of our democratic principles. In light of the recent surge in military patriotism, Adam Horowitz’ "Home on the Range" offers a fresh look at the side effects and questionable values of missiles, Star Wars and military technology. To obtain a copy of Home on the Range, contact Carah Ong at

3. On February 18, 2006, Representative Eni Faleomavaega (D-Samoa) and Representative Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) introduced H. Res. 692. The resolution commends the people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands for the contributions and sacrifices they made to the United States nuclear testing program in the Marshall Islands, solemnly acknowledges the first detonation of a hydrogen bomb by the United States on March 1, 1954, on the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, and remembers that 60 years ago the United States began its nuclear testing program in the Marshall Islands. Write to your Representative and urge them to co-sponsor H. Res. 692.
March 08, 2006

Iran warns US of 'pain' over Security Council

Iran warned the United States on Wednesday it could inflict 'harm and pain' to match whatever punishment Washington persuades the U.N. Security Council to mete out over concerns Tehran is secretly seeking atomic bombs.'So if the United States wishes to choose that path, let the ball roll,' Tehran national security official Javad Vaeedi said.Iran and the United States, arch-foes since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, clashed at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's governing board called to consider an IAEA report that says Iran is accelerating nuclear research. [via]

Iran report goes to UN Security Council

A UN report on Iran's nuclear program is being forwarded to the UN Security Council for consideration of possible punitive action. IAEA took the decision after debating the document - which contains criticism of Iran.

The US says the council will debate Iran's "flagrant threats and phoney negotiations" early next week. Iran has threatened to press ahead with industrial-scale uranium enrichment if its nuclear work is reported to the UN.

The Security Council has the power to impose sanctions, but it is not clear that all its key members would back them. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that such measures would be ineffective. [via BBC NEWS ]
March 07, 2006

Atomic Bomb Survivors Who Had Higher Radiation Exposure Show Increased Incidence Of Thyroid Diseases

urvivors of the two atomic bombs in Japan 60 years ago who had a higher exposure to radiation now have a greater incidence of certain thyroid diseases, including tumors and cysts, and that risk increases with being younger at the time of exposure, according to a study in the March 1 issue of JAMA. [via ScienceDaily]
March 02, 2006

Owen Chamberlain dies

Renowned physicist Owen Chamberlain, who shared a Nobel Prize for introducing the world to antimatter, died Tuesday in Berkeley, Calif., at the age of 85.

Chamberlain died at his home from complications caused by Parkinson's disease, the Los Angeles Times reported.

He, along with University of California-Berkeley physicist Emilio Segre, led the team that discovered the antiproton in 1955 -- a step some scientists compare with the discovery of the electron.

"If (the antiproton) had not been discovered, the foundations of physics really would have crumbled," Nobel physicist Steven Weinberg of the University of Texas told the New York Times.

An emeritus professor of physics at UC Berkeley, Chamberlain had remained active within world of science and on Monday attended a physics colloquium, his wife said.

During his career, Chamberlain worked on the Manhattan Project, helping create the atomic bomb, and attended the first atomic bomb test at Alamogordo, N.M., in 1945. He bet $5 the bomb wouldn't explode. He lost.

India, US seal nuclear deal

India and the United States sealed a landmark civilian nuclear cooperation pact on Thursday, the centerpiece of President George W. Bush's first visit to the world's largest democracy.

The pact marks a major breakthrough for New Delhi, long treated as a nuclear pariah by the world, as it allows it to access American atomic technology and fuel to meet its soaring energy needs -- provided the U.S. Congress gives its approval. It is also expected to allow atomic trade between India and other nuclear powers if the Nuclear Suppliers Group, an informal group of nations that controls global nuclear transactions, follows suit by lifting curbs on New Delhi. [via Yahoo! News]

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