Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Nuclear Proliferation -- What If...? by Immanuel Wallerstein

Nuclear Proliferation -- What If...? by Immanuel Wallerstein
Suppose that the United States made no further attempt to stop either North Korea or Iran from becoming an established nuclear power and made it clear to other powers that they would not collude in or tolerate military action. What would then happen?
more...
http://www.agenceglobal.com/Article.asp?Id=2099

Friday, August 14, 2009

Can Game Theory Predict When Iran Will Get the Bomb?

Can Game Theory Predict When Iran Will Get the Bomb?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/16/magazine/16Bruce-t.html?hpw

Poland to build first nuclear power plant by 2020: minister

Poland to build first nuclear power plant by 2020: minister
Warsaw (AFP) Aug 11, 2009 - Poland will build its first nuclear power plant by 2020 to bolster the energy security of the EU member, Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak said Tuesday. "We have adopted a four-stage road map ... with construction of the power plant from 2016-2020," Pawlak said after a cabinet meeting in Warsaw. Legislative work to clear the way for the project will be completed by 2010, he said, while ... more
http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/Poland_to_build_first_nuclear_power_plant_by_2020_minister_999.html

Drive for atomic energy adds to nuclear challenge: US

Drive for atomic energy adds to nuclear challenge: US
Geneva (AFP) Aug 12, 2009 - A senior US official acknowledged on Wednesday that the growing demand for atomic energy in response to climate change was adding to the challenges of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. "Some people are calling this a nuclear renaissance, it's very much in vogue," said Susan Burk, the US president's special representative for nuclear non-proliferation in what she termed her first publ ... more

http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/Drive_for_atomic_energy_adds_to_nuclear_challenge_US_999.html

Drive for atomic energy adds to nuclear challenge: US

Drive for atomic energy adds to nuclear challenge: US
Geneva (AFP) Aug 12, 2009 - A senior US official acknowledged on Wednesday that the growing demand for atomic energy in response to climate change was adding to the challenges of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. "Some people are calling this a nuclear renaissance, it's very much in vogue," said Susan Burk, the US president's special representative for nuclear non-proliferation in what she termed her first publ ... more

http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/Drive_for_atomic_energy_adds_to_nuclear_challenge_US_999.html

Pakistan nuclear thefts foiled

Pakistan nuclear thefts foiled
Arnaud de Borchgrave
Published 04:45 a.m., August 13, 2009

Is Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal theft-proof? Former President Pervez Musharraf and his successor, Asif Ali Zardari, and their army and intelligence chiefs repeatedly have assured both the Bush and Obama administrations that their 80-odd nuclear weapons are as secure as the U.S. arsenal of some 7,000 city busters.

The Pakistanis have separated warheads from delivery systems and stored them in different secret locations throughout the second-largest Muslim country in the world (after Indonesia). The United States has given Pakistan copies of its own blueprint to ensure fool-proof, total safety. Yet Pakistan’s secret nuclear-storage sites are known to Islamist extremists and have been attacked at least three times over the last two years, according to two recent reputable reports.

The Baltimore-based Maldon Institute, whose worldwide staff consists mostly of retired intelligence officers, and the Times of India’s Washington-based foreign editor Chidanand Rajghatta both report attempted nuclear thefts that have been tracked by Shaun Gregory, a professor at Bradford University in Britain.

The first such attack against the nuclear-missile-storage facility was on Nov. 1, 2007, at Sargodha; the second, by a suicide bomber, occurred Dec. 10, 2007, against Pakistan’s nuclear air base at Kamra; and the third, Aug. 20, 2008, and most alarming, was launched by several suicide bombers who blew up key entry points to a nuclear-weapons complex at the Wah Cantonment, long believed to be one of Pakistan’s main nuclear-weapons assembly points, where warheads and launchers come together in a national emergency.

Mr. Gregory’s research paper was first published in West Point’s Counter Terrorism Center Sentinel, and elicited no attention or reaction. Renowned terrorist expert Peter Bergen, one of the very few journalists to interview al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden before Sept. 11, 2001, reviewed Mr. Gregory’s paper and was baffled by the lack of reaction from the rest of the media.

More…
http://www.washtimes.com/news/2009/aug/13/pakistan-nuclear-thefts-foiled/print/

Pakistan's nukes are safe. Maybe.

Pakistan’s nukes are safe. Maybe.
Thu, 08/13/2009 – 4:57pm
By Vipin Narang

An excellent series of recent articles on the subject by Shaun Gregory, Rolf Mowatt-Larssen (a former director of intelligence at the Department of Energy), and Brig. Gen. Feroz Hassan Khan (Ret.) assess the very grim threat of Pakistan losing control over its 60-warheads-and-growing nuclear weapons arsenal. Given the lack of publicly available data on this critical issue, such articles by extremely knowledgeable scholars and practitioners represent some of the best information we have on realistic threats to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

Gregory’s article has gotten some recent attention for noting that there have worryingly been several attacks at the perimeter of bases that may house nuclear components, though U.S. intelligence officials are quick to point out that there is little reason to believe that nuclear assets were ever at risk. So whatare the primary risks to the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal?

In answering this question, it is important to differentiate between the various organizations involved with Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, and where and when nuclear assets are more or less vulnerable to internal and external threats. The bigger threat is probably not the Army losing control of nuclear assets, but rather insider-outsider collusion or diversion of nuclear material from the civilian nuclear agencies during either the production phase or transfer to Army locations.

The good news is that once the Pakistani Army takes custody of nuclear assets, the threat of terrorists successfully boosting a warhead or fissile cores — either through direct attack or facilitated by insiders — is reassuringly low. The Pakistani Army has every incentive to ensure firm control over the country’s nuclear assets since, should they be lost or stolen, there would literally be hell to pay.

More…
http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/08/13/pakistans_nukes_are_safe_maybe_0

Much Ado About Something: Terror and Pakistan’s Nuclear Assets

Much Ado About Something: Terror and Pakistan’s Nuclear Assets
— August 12, 2009

There has been a pitched debate in South Asia and in the Western World whether Pakistan’s nuclear infrastructures are secure or not, especially in the face of suicide terror attacks on nuclear weapons facilities in Pakistan.

http://asiasecurity.macfound.org/blog/entry/much_ado_about_something_terror_and_pakistans_nuclear_assets/

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Much Ado About Something: Terror and Pakistan’s Nuclear Assets By Animesh Roul

Much Ado About Something: Terror and Pakistan’s Nuclear Assets
By Animesh Roul

Every Pakistan watchers knew about those events. Bill Roggio has highlighted these events in his reports too (esp. in Long War Journal). But, Shaun Gregory (“The Terrorist Threat to Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons,” CTC Sentinel, Vol. 2 (7), July 2009) has analyzed these events to expose the vulnerability of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, the “pillar of Pakistan’s national security”.

The paper published in the CTC Sentinel (Combating Terrorism Center, West Point) has triggered a pitched debate in the region and in the Western World whether Pakistan’s nuclear infrastructures are secure or not , especially in the face of those (mentioned below) terror attacks that occurred in the last couple of years. Gregory’s article underscores three terror strikes on nuclear weapons facilities in Pakistan, questioning the physical security of the coveted nuclear assets:

“These have included an attack on the nuclear missile storage facility at Sargodha on November 1, 2007, an attack on Pakistan’s nuclear airbase at Kamra by a suicide bomber on December 10, 2007, and perhaps most significantly the August 20, 2008 attack when Pakistani Taliban suicide bombers blew up several entry points to one of the armament complexes at the Wah cantonment, considered one of Pakistan’s main nuclear weapons assembly sites.”

(Correction: The twin attack at the Wah Cantonment actually took place on August 21, Thursday, 2008, not on August 20 as chronicled in the paper).

Let’s revisit those terror events, all perpetrated by Taliban and Al Qaeda elements.

* November 1, 2007: Motorbike borne suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) bus, killing seven PAF officers and three civilians on the Faisalabad Road in Sargodha (Punjab province). The bus was carrying PAF staff from the Mushaf Mir Airbase to Kirana Ammunition Depot. This Suicide attack was targeted at the air force officials and civilians, no intention to harm or steal nuclear material, or create a radiological emergency.

* December 10, 2007: At least five schoolchildren and three others were injured when a Car borne suicide bomber exploded his vehicle targeting a Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) bus carrying air force employees’ children at Kamra air base. The blast took place on the outskirts of the PAC factories on the Qutba-Attock Road and bus was going to the Attock city.

* August 21, 2008: This was the most severe suicide attack ever carried out against military establishments. Two suicide bombers blew themselves up near the gates of the Pakistan Ordnance Factories located in the military cantonment at Wah (Attock district), killing at least 70 persons. The POF at Wah is a cluster of industrial units producing variety of arms and ammunitions for the armed forces. Taliban spokesman Maulvi Omar claimed responsibility of the suicide attacks saying that they had been carried out in retaliation for military operations in Bajaur and Swat.

These terrorist acts mentioned by Gregory, were actually targeted at the security forces or civilians at the highly fortified military bases and not necessarily targeted with the aim of stealing nuclear material or creating nuclear disaster. But he has very rightly pointed out that these attacks highlighted the vulnerability of military/nuclear infrastructures in Pakistan and the myth of safety and security standard. What Gregory has missed here is that previous similar but ‘direct’ attacks on nuclear establishments by Baloch militants, e.g. mortar attack on the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) controlled establishment on the Dera Ghazi Khan-Quetta highway in May 2006. However, this event received scant media attention and subsequent cover up by Pakistan.

In all three attacks, which were very symbolic depicting‘Taliban-Military feud’ in Pakistan, these terrorists never showed the intention to create a nuclear disaster instead they claim responsibility of the mayhems and threaten for more such type of attacks against the military/police in future to avenge anti-terror operations. Of course their Al Qaeda friends have their goals intact for acquiring nuclear weapons or materials.

The point of debate: More than these three events which caught the attention of media, though lately (the paper published online on July 21, 2009) and triggered debates now especially in India, Pakistan and USA (Read News Links below) , the crux of the paper, I believe, somehow ignored or overlooked. The media picked up these terror events to highlight the vulnerability of Pakistan’s nuclear assets (lack of adequate physical security) which might fall in the hand of terrorists or extremists, but missed out the important point of Gregory’ article. The existential threat emanating from Pakistan, the nuclear power with abysmal proliferation track records, lies somewhere else. Gregory points out that Pakistan Army could decide to transfer nuclear weapons to a terrorist group. He mentioned in his paper (citing Philip Bobbitt’s ‘Terror and Consent', and reminding us about Mirza Aslam Beg’s case of passing nuclear weapons technology to Iran in the past) that "states can become pressurized or incentivized to transfer nuclear weapons to terrorist groups because they are responding to threats from an external power but fear the consequences of being identified as the origin of a nuclear strike.” This insinuation should be the point of debate which questions the nexus between the army and its proxy warriors.

Read More »

Media Reports on the Issue:

"Western, neighboring country media propelling vicious propaganda blitz against Pakistan nuclear assets: F.O", Online - International News Network, ‎August 11, 2009‎.

"Pakistan Military Denies Nuclear Security Report" , VOA News, August 12, 2009.

"Pakistan denies al-Qaida targeting nuclear facilities," The Guardian, August 12, 2009.

Pak goes ballistic about report on nuclear complex attacks, Times of India, August 12, 2009.

"Pakistan nuke sites secure, says Pentagon," The News, August 12, 2009.

August 12, 2009 06:14 PM Link

Media Reports on the Issue:

"Western, neighboring country media propelling vicious propaganda blitz against Pakistan nuclear assets: F.O", Online - International News Network, ‎August 11, 2009‎.

"Pakistan Military Denies Nuclear Security Report" , VOA News, August 12, 2009.

"Pakistan denies al-Qaida targeting nuclear facilities," The Guardian, August 12, 2009.

Pak goes ballistic about report on nuclear complex attacks, Times of India, August 12, 2009.

"Pakistan nuke sites secure, says Pentagon," The News, August 12, 2009.


http://counterterrorismblog.org/2009/08/much_ado_about_something_terro.php

Iran calls for ban on striking nuke facilities George Jahn, Associated Press

Iran calls for ban on striking nuke facilities
George Jahn, Associated Press
Iran, whose nuclear facilities are under threat of possible Israeli military strikes, proposed Wednesday that a 150-nation conference convening in the fall ban such attacks.
Full Article
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iijfYgMUu7W_-ZKg8BjH5QNTww5QD9A1IQUO1

No shift in U.S. policy on North Korea: Gregg Kim Ji-hyun, The Korea Herald

No shift in U.S. policy on North Korea: Gregg
Kim Ji-hyun, The Korea Herald
The Barack Obama administration is far from switching to a containment policy as Washington is still intent on achieving complete and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea, according to a former U.S. national security aide.
Full Article
http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/NEWKHSITE/data/html_dir/2009/08/13/200908130019.asp

Make Breaking, Leaving Nuke Treaty Harder: U.S. Jonathan Lynn, Reuters

Make Breaking, Leaving Nuke Treaty Harder: U.S.
Jonathan Lynn, Reuters
States that break or leave the treaty preventing the spread of nuclear weapons should face tougher sanctions than at present, the top U.S. nonproliferation official said on Wednesday.
Full Article
http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLC122632

Why U.S. Diplomacy Will Fail With Iran Edward N. Luttwak, The Wall Street Journal

Why U.S. Diplomacy Will Fail With Iran
Edward N. Luttwak, The Wall Street Journal
Long before his inauguration, Barack Obama lucidly explained how he would deal with Iran. During the campaign he said he would “engage” its leaders by offering talks without preconditions—without even asking them to stop chanting “death to America” when concluding their speeches.
Full Article
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204908604574336690663256038.html

Pakistan nuclear thefts foiled Arnaud de Borchgrave, The Washington Times

Pakistan nuclear thefts foiled
Arnaud de Borchgrave, The Washington Times
Is Pakistan's nuclear arsenal theft-proof? Former President Pervez Musharraf and his successor, Asif Ali Zardari, and their army and intelligence chiefs repeatedly have assured both the Bush and Obama administrations that their 80-odd nuclear weapons are as secure as the U.S. arsenal of some 7,000 city busters.
Full Article
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/13/pakistan-nuclear-thefts-foiled/?feat=home_commentary

* Pakistan denies al-Qaida targeting nuclear facilities

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/aug/12/pakistan-nuclear-al-qaida

NKorea official, in rare interview, defends nuclear weapons

NKorea official, in rare interview, defends nuclear weapons
Tokyo (AFP) Aug 12, 2009 - A North Korean official Wednesday insisted that his country's communist regime needed to develop nuclear weapons to defend itself against a US nuclear threat, Japan's Kyodo News reported. Ro Jong Su, a director-level researcher at the North Korean foreign ministry, gave a rare interview in Pyongyang to the Japanese news agency in which he reiterated the Stalinist nation's policies. "Nobo ... more

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/NKorea_official_in_rare_interview_defends_nuclear_weapons_999.html

China warns against missile defence systems

China warns against missile defence systems
Geneva (AFP) Aug 12, 2009 - China's foreign minister warned on Wednesday that there was a "looming danger" of an arms race in outer space, as he urged countries not to deploy missile defence systems that could undermine global security. "The practice of seeking absolute strategic advantage should be abandoned," Yang Jiechi told the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. "Countries should neither develop missile defen ... more

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/China_warns_against_missile_defence_systems_999.html

White House adviser calls for nonproliferation watch

White House adviser calls for nonproliferation watch
An administration official on Wednesday said the increased demand for nuclear energy to reduce the effect that emissions have on the climate is making it more difficult to prevent weapons proliferation. Susan Burk gave her first public talk this week as a White House nonproliferation policy expert, calling for adherence to global agreements so countries are not "creating proliferation when we turn the lights on."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gJnMzqv43bWc-0NlDmMtzwxImjJg

NRC safety report clears Indian Point for 20 more years

NRC safety report clears Indian Point for 20 more years
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's final safety statement on Indian Point finds no reason to stop the New York nuclear plant from operating for another 20 years. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo asked that the license renewal request be rejected, but the NRC said in a statement that Entergy "has identified actions that have been or will be taken to manage the effects of aging in the appropriate systems, structures and components of the plant." Bloomberg
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601130&sid=ahHTRciXSDCY

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Israeli Paper Says Strike On Iran Could Delay Bomb

Israeli Paper Says Strike On Iran Could Delay Bomb
from War News Updates by Bookyards
From Reuters:

JERUSALEM, Aug 12 (Reuters) - A major Israeli newspaper ran a front-page story on Wednesday quoting an unidentified "senior defence official" as saying Israel believed a military strike could disrupt what it says is an Iranian nuclear arms programme.

Under a photograph of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sitting the previous day in the cockpit of an F-15I long-range fighter-bomber, mass-selling Maariv quoted the official as saying Israel could carry out such a strike without U.S. approval but time was running out for it to be effective.

Read more ....

Update: US intel chief says no Iran nukes possible before 2013 -- Christian Science Monitor

My Comment: A bombing attack may delay Iran's nuclear project .... but I suspect that such a delay will not be as long as the Israelis may hope it would be.

If they want to make an impact, they will need to conduct a comprehensive and extensive bombing campaign .... but realistically .... they do not have the resources to do it.

And even if they are permitted by their Arab neighbors to have an unrestricted air corridor to bomb Iran, the anger and rage that will then occur in Iran will take decades to calm down and will have consequences that I doubt most countries .... Israel included .... have calculated.

http://in.reuters.com/article/oilRpt/idINLC60776820090812

Duke Energy and China team on clean energy

Duke Energy and China team on clean energy
Beijing (UPI) Aug 11, 2009 - Duke Energy, America's third-largest electric utility, and China Huaneng Group, China's largest electricity producer, will explore renewable and other clean-energy technologies as part of a memorandum of understanding signed Monday in Beijing. Under the agreement, the two companies will exchange information and explore potential long-term cooperative initiatives to reduce coal plant ... more
http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Duke_Energy_and_China_team_on_clean_energy_999.html

US imposes sanctions on North Korean bank

US imposes sanctions on North Korean bank
Washington (AFP) Aug 11, 2009 - The United States slapped sanctions Tuesday on a bank in nuclear-armed North Korea for providing services to institutions blacklisted for links to the communist nation's illicit weapons programs. The Treasury said that the assets of Korea Kwangson Banking Corp (KKBC) would be frozen and Americans prohibited from engaging in transactions with the bank in a bid to isolate it from the US ... more
http://www.spacewar.com/reports/US_imposes_sanctions_on_North_Korean_bank_999.html

Russia building new 'star wars' missiles: air force

Russia building new 'star wars' missiles: air force
Moscow (AFP) Aug 11, 2009 - Russia is developing new missiles to counter space-based missile systems that could soon be deployed by the United States, Russia's air force commander was quoted as saying on Tuesday. "We are building new missiles that will be capable of defending not only against air-defence systems but space-based systems," General Alexander Zelin said, quoted by Russian news agencies. ... more
http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Russia_building_new_star_wars_missiles_air_force_999.html

EIA: Nuclear energy needs to double to meet House goals

EIA: Nuclear energy needs to double to meet House goals
An Energy Information Administration review of the House-passed climate-change bill concludes that the U.S. would have to double its output of nuclear energy to meet 2030 goals for low-cost, low-carbon energy. While nuclear opponents criticized the report and the government for failing to plan for energy needs better, proponents said it shows how critical nuclear energy is to the nation's goals. "You clearly cannot have a credible program to control carbon emissions without expanded nuclear power," said NEI's Richard J. Myers. The Washington Times
http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/12/democrat-energy-bill-requires-nuke-use-to-double/

Florida Cabinet approves proposal for nuclear plant

Florida Cabinet approves proposal for nuclear plant
Florida's governor, chief financial officer and attorney general approved a request by Progress Energy to build a nuclear plant in Levy County. The utility company needs federal approval, but the vote of the Florida Cabinet pushes the application forward. The plant would be the first built in the state in more than 30 years. The Miami Herald
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/southflorida/story/1181898.html

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Clinton: No illusions Iran will return to talks Steven R. Hurst, Associated Press

Clinton: No illusions Iran will return to talks
Steven R. Hurst, Associated Press
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the United States has no illusions that Iran will accept overtures to return to negotiations about its nuclear program and will not wait much longer for Tehran to respond.
Full Article
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iZfgLuKrg3QBRltJ0qQMIzgIohdQD99VK7SO4

North Korea’s Nuclear Blackmail

North Korea’s Nuclear Blackmail
Henry A. Kissinger, The New York Times
Amidst the widespread relief that the two American journalists have avoided the brutal fate meted out to them by a North Korean court, it may seem captious to consider the long-term implications.
Full Article
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/10/opinion/10iht-edkissinger.html

Coming to Terms With Containing North Korea David E. Sanger, The New York Times

Coming to Terms With Containing North Korea
David E. Sanger, The New York Times
Bill Clinton's rescue mission to Pyongyang last week may have done more than win the freedom of two young American journalists. To many in Washington, it seemed to reconfirm hints of just how shrunken North Korea's ambitions (not to mention its leader) have become after years of confrontation with the world.
Full Article
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/09/weekinreview/09sanger.html?_r=1

Maximizing U.S. federal loan guarantees for new nuclear energy BY JOHN C. SLOCUM AND JOHN J. REED

Maximizing U.S. federal loan guarantees for new nuclear energy
BY JOHN C. SLOCUM AND JOHN J. REED
The Energy Department has selected the final four nuclear power plant projects that will vie for $18.5 billion in federal loan guarantees. So, now how does it spend the money wisely and efficiently?

http://thebulletin.org/web-edition/features/maximizing-us-federal-loan-guarantees-new-nuclear-energy

Disarmament movement lessons from yesteryear BY LAWRENCE S. WITTNER

Disarmament movement lessons from yesteryear
BY LAWRENCE S. WITTNER
As the push for a nuclear-weapon-free world continues to gather momentum, nuclear abolitionists would do well to study the successful disarmament movements of the past.

http://thebulletin.org/web-edition/op-eds/disarmament-movement-lessons-yesteryear

Jihadis thrice attacked Pakistan nuclear sites

Jihadis thrice attacked Pakistan nuclear sites

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/world/pakistan/Revealed-Jihadis-thrice-attacked-Pakistan-nuclear-sites/articleshow/4879235.cms

These attacks have occurred even as Pakistan has taken several steps to secure and fortify its nuclear weapons against potential attacks, particularly by the United States and India, says Gregory.

In fact, the attacks have received so little attention that Peter Bergen, the eminent terrorism expert who reviewed Gregory's paper first published in West Point's Counter Terrorism Center Sentinel, said "he (Gregory) points out something that was news to me (and shouldn't have been) which is that a series of attacks on Pakistan's nuclear weapons facilities have already happened."

Pakistan insists that its nuclear weapons are fully secured and there is no chance of them falling into the hands of the extremists or terrorists.

But Gregory, while detailing the steps Islamabad has taken to protect them against Indian and US attacks, asks if the geographical location of Pakistan's principle nuclear weapons infrastructure, which is mainly in areas dominated by al-Qaida and Taliban, makes it more vulnerable to internal attacks.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Turkey in nuclear energy pact By Delphine Strauss in Ankara

* Turkey considers taking stake in nuclear project
Turkey is in talks with Russia to take a 25% stake in a consortium of investors planning to build Turkey's first nuclear power station. Critics are concerned that Turkey is turning away from the European Union and becoming more dependent on Russia. Financial Times

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/96a2abbc-837d-11de-a24e-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1

South Korea's first rocket ready - at last

South Korea's first rocket ready - at last
South Korea's first domestically developed rocket is finally scheduled to launch this month after a delays that have strained relations with the Russian space agency that helped build it. Seoul had few options when choosing a space ally - the United States refused to help the nation's space program for years, fearing this would kick-start a regional arms race. - Peter J Brown (Aug 10, '09)

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/KH11Dg01.html

New nuke report debunks Iran hawks

New nuke report debunks Iran hawks
The United States' latest estimate of when Iran will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon is the year 2013, years later than alarmist reports would have it. This news, in tandem with political uncertainty in Iran, has heightened calls for Washington to go easier on Tehran. (Aug 10, '09)

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KH11Ak01.html

Nagasaki Mayor Urges Worldwide Nuclear Arms Ban

Nagasaki Mayor Urges Worldwide Nuclear Arms Ban

http://wire.antiwar.com/2009/08/09/nagasaki-mayor-urges-worldwide-nuclear-arms-ban-5/

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Depleting stockpiles The nuclear arms race since 1945

Depleting stockpiles

The nuclear arms race since 1945

Russia and America have far fewer nuclear weapons than they once did

ON MONDAY July 6th, Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev, the presidents of America and Russia, concluded negotiations in Moscow with an agreement to trim their countries' nuclear arsenals. Under the new accord, Russia and America will reduce the number of strategic warheads to between 1,500 and 1,675 each within seven years of a new treaty being signed, probably by the end of the year. This replaces their current obligations under a 2002 treaty to cut warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200 by 2012. Russia has almost 2,800 strategic warheads at present, 600 more than America. While these are still deadly enough to destroy most living things, stockpiles have shrunk to a fraction of their cold war peaks.

http://www.economist.com/daily/chartgallery/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13981102

Struggling to hold up a bank Aug 6th 2009 From The Economist print edition: When narrow national interests obstruct a noble cause

Struggling to hold up a bank
Aug 6th 2009 From The Economist print edition:
When narrow national interests obstruct a noble cause

PAVED it may be with good intentions, but there are many twists and pot-holes along the road to a nuclear-free world. So many, in fact, that the path, tantalisingly opened up by Barack Obama, may yet turn out to lead nowhere.

But to keep things minimally on track, governments that care about the spread of the bomb will make a big effort to shore up the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at next year’s five-yearly review. The Obama administration, unlike its predecessor, talks of ratifying the test-ban treaty. America and Russia are busy cutting warheads. Nuclear officials from America, Russia, Britain, France and China will meet in London next month to explore ways to build confidence for future disarmament.

Yet all will be in vain unless better ways can be found to deal with a practical problem as old as the nuclear age: how to stop nuclear technologies that can be used legitimately for making electricity from being abused for bomb-making. Efforts to tackle it are in a muddle.

Go to link for rest of the article
http://www.economist.com/world/international/displayStory.cfm?story_id=14183061&source=hptextfeature

Tehran: Israel's "200 nuclear warheads" must first be part of Middle East disarmament

Tehran: Israel's "200 nuclear warheads" must first be part of Middle East disarmament

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

July 26, 2009, 9:48 PM (GMT+02:00)
Tehran: Dismantle Israel's nukes, we have no weapon program


Iran has posted a new package of "proposals" to the West in response to its offer of engagement on Tehran's nuclear activities. Foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said the "comprehensive and updated" package aims to prepare the ground for more "fluid interaction" with the West. "But we cannot speak of a Middle East without nuclear weapons without discussing the more than 200 nuclear warheads of the Zionist regime Israel," said the foreign ministry spokesman in Tehran.
http://www.debka.com/search.php?type=headline&q=nuclear+weapons&submit.x=9&submit.y=9

Pentagon to speed giant "bunker buster" production amid Iranian, North Korean nuclear concerns

Pentagon to speed giant "bunker buster" production amid Iranian, North Korean nuclear concerns

DEBKAfile Special Report

August 8, 2009, 9:30 PM (GMT+02:00)
MOP penetrates 61 m. underground before exploding

MOP penetrates 61 m. underground before exploding

The Obama administration has indicated for the first time that diplomatic engagement is not its only option for grappling with Iran's nuclear weapons drive, DEBKAfile's military sources report. If Congress shifts enough funds to the program, the radar-evading B-2 bomber would be capable of carrying the non-nuclear, 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator, MOP which is designed to destroy deeply buried bunkers, by July 2010.
More...
http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=6207

Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: A Global Intelligence Imperative By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen

Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: A Global Intelligence Imperative
By Michael Jacobson

This afternoon, the Washington Institute published a piece by Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, the former DOE intelligence chief and head of the CIA's WMD Department in the Counterterrorism Center. In the article, Mr. Mowatt-Larssen lays out the threat the US still faces from nuclear terrorism, and outlines some steps the US and the international community should take to mitigate this dangerous situation. One particularly important step, in Mr. Mowatt-Larssen's view, would be to establish a full-fledged intelligence office at the IEAE.

Here is an excerpt from the piece:

As Mohamed ElBaradei's term as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) draws to a close, the organization is struggling to choose a new leader. After deadlocking on an initial vote in March, a new round of nominations closed on April 27, with the next vote scheduled in the coming months. While the IAEA sorts out changes at the top, the United States should try to expand the agency's mandate and responsibilities. One such change would be the establishment of a full-fledged intelligence office, which would dramatically improve the agency's ability to identify and deter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Post-September 11 Urgency

After the September 11 attacks, the CIA faced the daunting prospect of al-Qaeda seeking a nuclear bomb and collaborating with Pakistani nuclear scientists in an effort to build one. A mood of grim determination gripped the U.S. intelligence establishment, a sentiment highlighted by CIA Director George Tenet when he stated that "We are behind the eight ball" in tracking al-Qaeda's efforts to obtain WMDs.

This threat galvanized an unprecedented response, which stimulated a degree of risk taking, experimentation, and creativity that would have been impossible under normal circumstances. U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies abandoned traditional methods of conducting business and worked together in unprecedented ways to defuse the threat. Government agencies agreed to colocate officers and work together as an integrated team, drawing from a well of capabilities that included everything at the U.S. government's disposal. The United States also shared raw leads and information with dozens of countries in the war on terrorism, most notably with our new Russian partners. Washington went to extreme lengths to ensure information was passed to anyone who might have answers, including Syria, Sudan, and Iran. Conventional rules limiting the sharing of information were suspended in favor of sharing everything with everyone. In all, the CIA passed WMD-related leads and analysis to over two dozen countries. In fact, in the process of averting a WMD-enabled al-Qaeda, the United States and its allies were able to thwart attacks in the formative stages in several countries.

To read the rest of the piece, click here
http://washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=3048

NEFA Foundation: Transcript of Shaykh Mustafa Abu al-Yazid's Al-Jazeera Interview By Evan Kohlmann

NEFA Foundation: Transcript of Shaykh Mustafa Abu al-Yazid's Al-Jazeera Interview
By Evan Kohlmann

nefayazid.jpgThe NEFA Foundation has obtained a transcript of an Arabic-language interview Shaykh Mustafa Abu al-Yazid (a.k.a. “Shaykh Saeed”) gave to Al-Jazeera television on June 22, 2009. Asked about Pakistani nuclear weapons, Abu al-Yazid replied, "Allah-willing the nuclear weapons will not fall in the hand of the Americans, and the Muslims take them [weapons] and use them against the Americans Allah-willing.” Commenting on Hezbollah, he said, “Hezbollah, we do not consider it an Islamic Party and it is a rejectionist party as you know, and its loyalty is towards Iran…a complete loyalty. There is no relationship between us and them, and what we mean is the mujahideen from the people of Sunna like Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon; they are the ones we commend and the likes of them.” And addressing Iran, he stated, "Regarding Iran, we consider it a state of hypocrisy and schism, and it is the state that appears Muslim and claims Islam but in fact it fights the Muslims."

The English transcript can be downloaded from the NEFA Foundation website.
http://counterterrorismblog.org/2009/06/nefa_foundation_transcript_of_5.php

This picture doesn't exist

This picture doesn't exist

Netnyahu at Dimona

The Israeli government has long been sensitive about its Dimona nuclear research center, where the country developed its unacknowledged nuclear arsenal. After technician Mordechai Vanunu revealed Israel's nuclear secrets to London's Sunday Times in 1986, he was kidnapped by Israeli agents and taken to Israel, where he was convicted of treason and espionage, and served 18 years in jail. He was released in 2004, with restrictions on his speech and movements.

But with Israel and Iran in a growing confrontation over Iran's own nuclear weapons program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday visited the nuclear complex in Israel's southern Negev desert. A statement from Netanyahu's office quoted him as praising workers there for contributing to Israel's "strength and security," according to the Associated Press. The statement called the visit routine, but it seemed calculated to send a message to Iran, whose president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has done his own white-gowned tours of Iran's nuke facilities.

This unprecedented photo was then released, but only to Israel's state-owned Channel 1, according to the Jerusalem Post newspaper.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1249418532537

Apparently a bit miffed, the J-Post, as the English-language daily is sometimes known, went in search of the photograph. An official in Netanyahu's office denied that the picture existed. No one else seemed to want to take responsibility for the picture either.

The paper's account, concluded, perhaps a bit conspiratorially: "All material relating to the Dimona nuclear reactor must go through military censorship. In the face of the PMO's (Prime Minister's Office) denial that the picture exists, the further question arises as to whether there was a security breach here, or whether there was a calculation behind the picture's appearance on state TV only."

(The Hebrew-language caption, according to the Post's website, reads: ‘The Prime Minister visits the Dimona nuclear reactor, receives briefing on the scientific programs undertaken there.')

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/article830147.ece
Mordechai Vanunu: The Sunday Times articles

http://washingtonbureau.typepad.com/nationalsecurity/

Confronting nuclear energy's proliferation problem

Confronting nuclear energy's proliferation problem
Journal Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
ISSN 0096-3402
Issue Volume 65, Number 2, March / April 2009
DOI 10.2968/065002001
Online Date Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Abstract

U.S. officials should not delay in addressing the potential for a global expansion of nuclear energy to lead to weapons proliferation.
http://thebulletin.metapress.com/content/vhv6p5h644114844/?p=8c9804ecc924447c90d33880049e387e&pi=0

Emerging strategic dilemmas in U.S.-Chinese relations Journal Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Emerging strategic dilemmas in U.S.-Chinese relations
Journal Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Joshua Pollack

Abstract

Since the Cold War, arms control negotiations have been strictly a bilateral affair between Washington and Moscow. But as times have changed, so must this dynamic. Enter China.
http://thebulletin.metapress.com/content/24783518wg6304j7/?p=bcda3b0e5dfe4e50b20039058f3fcc26&pi=5

Source Documents
China: Suspected Acquisition of U.S. Nuclear Weapons SecretsChina: Suspected Acquisition of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Secrets (278.9 KB)

U.S. Conventional Forces and Nuclear Deterrence: A China Case StudyU.S. Conventional Forces and Nuclear Deterrence: A China Case Study (137.1 KB)

US Confronts the Russia-Iran Alliance

US Confronts the Russia-Iran Alliance
Iran's warmer relations with Russia and others outside the U.S. orbit complicate President Obama's plans, reports TheRealNews. August 4, 2009

http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/080409c.html

G8 bears witness to growing nuclear interest

G8 bears witness to growing nuclear interest
08 July 2008

G8 Hokkaido 2008

G8 leaders are seeking a global target of a 50% cut of carbon emissions by 2050, but have stopped short of an outright endorsement of nuclear energy as a means of tackling climate change. The group has acknowledged that a growing number of countries see it that way.

In its Environment and Climate Change statement, released during the G8 Hokkaido summit, the leaders jointly called for a global goal of at least a 50% cut in carbon emissions by 2050, calling on all parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to "consider and adopt... the goal of achieving at least 50% reduction of global emissions by 2050." While acknowledging that G8 countries must take the lead, with each of the G8 nations implementing "ambitious, economy-wide" goals in the medium term, the statement is clear that the response to carbon emissions must be on a global scale.

Only one country - Germany - does not openly support the widespread use of nuclear power in the context of climate change, but the statement did not go as far as openly endorsing nuclear. Instead, according to the statement, "We witness that a

"A country that has
the capability to
responsibly use nuclear
has a responsibility to do
so, if we want to get
serious about not just
cutting greenhouse gas
emissions, but also
improving public health
through reduced air
pollution."

James Connaughton, chairman,
White House Council on
Environmental Quality

growing number of countries have expressed their interest in nuclear power programs as a means to addressing climate change and energy security concerns." However, the group has said it will launch an international initiative on '3S-based' nuclear energy infrastructure.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/EE_G8_bears_witness_to_growing_nuclear_interest_0807087.html

G8 endorses emissions cuts and nuclear

G8 endorses emissions cuts and nuclear
09 July 2009


Leaders of the G8 have agreed goals for global greenhouse gas emission reductions and have witnessed the essential role to be played by nuclear energy.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/EE-G8_endorses_emissions_cuts_and_nuclear-0907096.html

US nuclear utilities beat emissions goals

US nuclear utilities beat emissions goals
24 July 2009


Two of the three companies recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions under its Climate Leaders program are nuclear utilities.

Peach Bottom (Exelon)
Peach Bottom - helping both Exelon and PSEG exceed their emissions targets (Image: Exelon)
The EPA said that Exelon and Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), together with Raytheon, "have found cleaner sources of energy, reduced energy consumption, increased production of renewable energy and retired old equipment, all in an effort to reduce their contribution to climate change."

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/EE-US_nuclear_utilities_exceed_emission_goals-2407094.html

Iran Needs Four Years to Produce Nuclear-Weapon Material, U.S. Says

Iran Needs Four Years to Produce Nuclear-Weapon Material, U.S. Says

http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/nw_20090807_4391.php

Iran would need until 2013 to produce weapon-grade nuclear material, the U.S. State Department's intelligence office concluded in a report provided to lawmakers earlier this year (see GSN, Aug. 5).


The determination, reached by the department's Intelligence and Research Bureau, was disclosed in a
document obtained by the Federation of American Scientists through a Freedom of Information Act request, the Washington Post reported today.

Strengthening the Proliferation Security Initiative - Lowy Institute

Strengthening the Proliferation Security Initiative - Lowy Institute

http://www.lowyinstitute.org/Publication.asp?pid=1093

A tighter net: strengthening the Proliferation Security Initiative
Emma Belcher

Summary
In a new Lowy Institute Policy Brief, entitled 'A Tighter Net: Strengthening the Proliferation Security Initiative', non-proliferation scholar Emma Belcher urges practical steps for WMD non-proliferation at sea.

Australia and other countries should redouble their efforts to fix serious gaps in an international arrangement to stop maritime shipments of materials destined for weapons of mass destruction programs, according to the Brief. It argues that heightened concerns over North Korea provide an opportunity to bolster the Proliferation Security Initiative, a 95-country arrangement to promote interception of transfers of cargoes related to weapons of mass destruction.

Go to link to download report
http://www.lowyinstitute.org/Publication.asp?pid=1093

Pariahs of Asia and Their Nukes - Gwynne Dyer, Japan Times

Pariahs of Asia and Their Nukes - Gwynne Dyer, Japan Times

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20090809gd.html

The North Korea Fallout - Henry Kissinger, Washington Post

The North Korea Fallout - Henry Kissinger, Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/07/AR2009080703071.html?nav=rss_opinion/columns