September 27, 2007

Chernobyl to be covered in steel

The authorities in Ukraine have approved a giant steel cover for Chernobyl. Ukraine has hired a French firm to build the structure to replace the crumbling concrete casing put over the reactor after the 1986 accident. The casing project is expected to cost $1.4bn (£700m).

It will take five years to complete and the authorities say they will then be able to start dismantling the reactor. [via BBC News]

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September 26, 2007

Securing the Bomb 2007

Just released by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Securing the Bomb 2007 finds a dangerous gap in efforts to thwart nuclear terrorism and calls for urgent global campaign to reduce the risk.

The report provides a comprehensive assessment of efforts to secure and remove vulnerable nuclear stockpiles around the world and a detailed action plan for keeping nuclear weapons and their essential ingredients out of terrorist hands.

The report can be download from Nuclear Threat Initiative

You can also visit washingtonpost.com for special Securing the Bomb 2007 interactive features (registration required).

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September 10, 2007

Opps, did I load the wrong warheads

Been busy with various projects, but had to comment on the B-52 Stratofortress bomber that flew from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., on Aug. 30. So, what's wrong heading down to the Bayou for some good cajun food? Oh, yeah there were 6 ACM's with nuclear warheads 'accidently' mounted onboard. Initial reports had this at 5, but sources are now stating it was 6. Air Force and defense officials would not confirm the missiles were armed with nuclear warheads Wednesday, citing longstanding policy, but they did confirm the Air Force was "investigating an error made last Thursday during the transfer of munitions" from Minot to Barksdale.

The squadron commander in charge of Minot's munitions crews was relieved of all duties pending the investigation.

Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, said a host of security checks and warning signs must have been passed over, or completely ignored, for the warheads to have been unknowingly loaded onto the B-52.

"It's not like they had nuclear ACMs and conventional ACMs right next to each other and they just happened to load one with a nuclear warhead," Kristensen said.

I'm glad that no had the urge to grab a cowboy hat and doing an impression of Maj. T.J. 'King' Kong from Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

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September 06, 2007

Correction: Klaus Fuchs

A kind reader spotted an error in the biography of Klaus Fuchs. We had incorrectly listed him as being Jewish, when in fact he was Lutheran. In fact, his father was a minister.

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