Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Friday, September 4, 2009

North Korea drops a uranium bombshell

North Korea drops a uranium bombshell

Suspicions that North Korea never halted its uranium nuclear weapons program have been at the core of United States diplomacy with Pyongyang for years. The North on Friday officially confirmed these fears, and worse, that enrichment is in its "final phase". Cornered by tough sanctions and a dire economic situation, Pyongyang hopes the revelation will hasten one-on-one dialogue with Washington. - Donald Kirk (Sep 4,

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/KI05Dg01.html

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Country Out? Bruno Tertrais, Proliferation Analysis

Country Out?
Bruno Tertrais, Proliferation Analysis
SarkozyAs many observers have noticed in the past eight years, France was fairly comfortable with the Bush administration's stance on nuclear issues in international forums and found itself in agreement with many of the hard-line positions taken by the United States in nonproliferation and disarmament negotiations. However, since the Obama administration overtly and explicitly embraced the goal of a "nuclear-weapon-free world," the picture seems to have changed. With London and Washington leading the way, and Beijing and Moscow not being shy of speaking about nuclear abolition (notwithstanding their policies often to the contrary), is France the odd country out in the debate? Yes and no.
http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=23789

No Signs of Iranian Flexibility on Nuclear Program

No Signs of Iranian Flexibility on Nuclear Program
Council on Foreign Relations Interview, September 2, 2009
George Perkovich, a leading expert on nuclear policy, says despite the world's revulsion at the apparently staged elections in Iran, the United States should be prepared to talk to the Iranian government. "The question isn't our willingness to negotiate or to try to find some resolution with this government in Iran," he says. "The real question is whether this government in Iran is at all willing to make compromises on its current posture."
Full Article
http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=23787&prog=zgp&proj=znpp

* Iran Would Not Discuss Nuclear Work with Powers: TV
http://www.reuters.com/article/gc08/idUSTRE58217720090903

* Ahmadinejad Wins Approval of Key Cabinet Slots
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/04/world/middleeast/04iran.html?_r=1&hp

China Prepares to Show Off Nuclear Missiles

China Prepares to Show Off Nuclear Missiles
Malcolm Moore, Telegraph
Chinese state media said that nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles, conventional cruise missiles, and an array of medium and short range missiles would be put on public display for the first time.
Full Article
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/6129561/China-prepares-to-show-off-nuclear-missiles.html

Pakistan Court Again Puts Curbs on Nuke Scientist

Pakistan Court Again Puts Curbs on Nuke Scientist
Babar Dogar, Associated Press
A Pakistani court on Wednesday suspended an earlier order lifting restrictions on the movement of nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who is alleged to have spread nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.
Full Article
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hF7ZYNqjRJW0jcpPOK3AcQ7NvuVAD9AF3SUO0

Court Nixes Challenge to NY Nuclear Waste Site

Court sides with feds on environmental review for waste site
A federal court in New York ruled that the Energy Department properly assessed the environmental effects of a radioactive-waste facility in the western portion of the state. The Coalition on West Valley Nuclear Wastes and a resident filed a lawsuit claiming that the agency combined plans for short-term waste management and long-term goals for the site's closure instead of studying them separately. The court, however, said both issues could be addressed in the same review. CourthouseNews.com
http://www.courthousenews.com/2009/09/02/Court_Nixes_Challenge_to_NY_Nuclear_Waste_Site.htm

PSC hears comment on Constellation nuclear deal Supporters appeared to outnumber opposition over contentious plan

First public hearing is held on proposed Constellation nuclear deal

The Maryland Public Service Commission on Wednesday held the first of three public hearings designed to evaluate Constellation Energy Group's nuclear pact with French firm EDF. Critics of the agreement said that construction costs for a reactor at Calvert Cliffs could exceed $10 billion, and that would drive up utility rates in the state. Trade unions and business groups, however, were among organizations that backed the deal, citing benefits they said the state stands to gain. The Sun (Baltimore)
http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bal-constellation0903,0,6104137.story

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

China Set To Unveil New Missiles: State Media

China Set To Unveil New Missiles: State Media
China is set to stage a huge military parade and pageant in Beijing. Photo AFP

From AFP:

BEIJING — China will unveil a range of previously unknown missiles during its October 1 National Day parade, including intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles, state media said Wednesday.

The new hardware on display also will include conventional cruise missiles and both short- and medium-range missiles, the Global Times newspaper reported, citing an unnamed People's Liberation Army source.

"These missiles are domestically designed and manufactured and have never been officially reported before," the source, who is with the PLA's strategic missile defence unit, was quoted as saying.

Read more ....
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hEdWT-s_9ofUNFT5Cj0YFcag43iA

China keen to revive Iran nuclear talks

China keen to revive Iran nuclear talks

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=105013§ionid=351020104

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu says Beijing is keen to work with other nations to revive talks on Iran's nuclear program.

"We are ready to work with the other parties to promote the early resumption of dialogue and negotiations to seek a comprehensive, enduring, and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue," AFP quoted Jiang as saying on Tuesday."

Pakistan nuclear hero ‘proliferation risk’

Pakistan nuclear hero ‘proliferation risk’

Wed, 02 Sep 2009 03:54:06 GMT

US State Department warns Pakistan over lifting restrictions on nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, saying he "remains a serious proliferation risk."

"We have made clear to the Pakistani government our concerns about Abdul Qadeer Khan," a State Department official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"We believe he remains a serious proliferation risk," the official added.

A Pakistani court declared him a free man in February.

Khan complained to a high court last week, saying his movements were still being restricted.

Justice Ejaz Ahmed, the presiding judge at Lahore High Court, said in his remarks on August that "Dr. Khan can come and go anywhere as he pleases."

The US Embassy in Islamabad has said they were following the developments.

More…
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=105034§ionid=351020401

Sources: Chinese firms to construct nuclear plant in Jiangxi province

Sources: Chinese firms to construct nuclear plant in Jiangxi province
Jiangxi Ganyue Expressway and Jiangxi Ganneng said they have signed a letter of intent with China National Nuclear to construct a nuclear facility in Jiangxi province's Wan'an County. Though share values are not set, CNNC could control a 51% stake in the project with the other firms holding the remaining 49%. China Knowledge/(subscription required)

http://www.chinaknowledge.com/Newswires/News_Detail.aspx?type=1&NewsID=26702

Imported uranium is used to generate power at Indian nuclear plant

Imported uranium is used to generate power at Indian nuclear plant
India's Rajasthan Atomic Power Station has produced energy using uranium imported from France and Russia, marking the first evident results of the Indo-U.S. civil nuclear deal. The Nuclear Power Corp. of India acquired natural uranium from Russia and France's Areva after getting approval from the Nuclear Suppliers Group last year. The plant follows safeguards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency and can use imported fuel, an official said. The Economic Times (India)/Press Trust of India

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/Politics/Nation/Nuke-deals-first-gains-for-India-power-from-imported-uranium/articleshow/4960661.cms

Pakistan in controversy over U.S. missiles

Pakistan in controversy over U.S. missiles
Washington (UPI) Sep 1, 2009 - Pakistan finds itself facing a new controversy over U.S.-provided anti-ship missiles in the midst of confronting innumerable other problems both at home and abroad, including worsening relations with neighbor India over cross-border terrorism. In a weekend report, The New York Times, quoting senior U.S. administration and congressional officials, said Pakistan had illegally modified the ... more

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Pakistan_in_controversy_over_US_missiles_999.html

Outgoing IAEA Chief ElBaradei Calls Iranian Threat 'Hyped' By Jerusalem Post Staff

Outgoing IAEA Chief ElBaradei Calls Iranian Threat 'Hyped'

By Jerusalem Post Staff

Mohamed ElBaradei, outgoing chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has called the Iranian threat "hyped," saying there is no proof the Islamic republic will soon have nuclear weapons. Continue

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article23405.htm

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pakistani Nuke Scientist Says Restrictions Lifted

Pakistani Nuke Scientist Says Restrictions Lifted
Masroor Gilani, Agence France-Presse
Disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who has admitted leaking nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya, said Tuesday restrictions on his movements had been lifted.
Full Article
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jj8Dai33DyFfV9wDN6hinBd9pJxA

NSA: India Doesn't Need Another Nuclear Test Siddharth Varadarajan, The Hindu

NSA: India Doesn't Need Another Nuclear Test
Siddharth Varadarajan, The Hindu
Describing India's commitment to its voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing as "steadfast," National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan on Saturday came down hard on those making a case for the resumption of testing by claiming the May 1998 thermonuclear device test had been a failure.
Full Article
http://www.thehindu.com/2009/08/30/stories/2009083059910800.htm

IAEA Extends Probe of Alleged Secret Syria Atom Site

IAEA Extends Probe of Alleged Secret Syria Atom Site
Mark Heinrich, Reuters
U.N. inspectors are analyzing further evidence taken from a nuclear research plant in Syria's capital Damascus where unexplained uranium traces were found, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog said on Friday.
Full Article
http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE57R4P120090828?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

* August 2009 IAEA Safeguards Report on Syria (PDF)
http://www.carnegieendowment.org/static/npp/reports/gov2009-56.pdf

* The IAEA Should Call for a Special Inspection in Syria
http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=22791&prog=zgp&proj=znpp

Nuclear Agency Says Iran Has Bolstered Ability to Make Fuel but Slowed Its Output William J. Broad and David E. Sanger, The New York Times

Nuclear Agency Says Iran Has Bolstered Ability to Make Fuel but Slowed Its Output
William J. Broad and David E. Sanger, The New York Times
International nuclear inspectors reported on Friday that Iran had significantly increased its ability to produce nuclear fuel over the summer, even while slowing the pace at which it was enriching the uranium that the West fears could one day fuel nuclear weapons.
Full Article
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/29/world/middleeast/29nuke.html?_r=1

* August 2009 IAEA Safeguards Report on Iran (PDF)
http://www.carnegieendowment.org/static/npp/reports/gov2009-55.pdf

* ISIS Analysis of the August 2009 IAEA Report on Iran (PDF)
http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iran/Analysis_IAEA_Report.pdf

* Increased Safeguards at Natanz: What Does It All Mean?
http://www.fas.org/blog/ssp/2009/08/increased-safeguards-at-natanz-what-does-it-all-mean.php

Iran 'Has New Nuclear Proposal'

Iran 'Has New Nuclear Proposal'
BBC News
JaliliIran has prepared a new nuclear proposal and is ready to resume talks on its nuclear programme, according to media reports.

The Islamic Republic's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, was quoted making the claim on Iranian television.
Full Article
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8231763.stm



* Germany, France Reinforce Iran Sanctions Threat
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gJYZ6kh-_GT32kAL6T05Xrs8DGdQD9AE1O7G0

"Detection of Nuclear Weapons and Materials: Science, Technologies, Observations," August 4, 2009.

"Detection of Nuclear Weapons and Materials: Science, Technologies, Observations," August 4, 2009.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/R40154.pdf

Nuclear talks resumption delayed: conference chair

Nuclear talks resumption delayed: conference chair
Geneva (AFP) Aug 31, 2009 - The 65 states in the Conference on Disarmament have failed to agree on how to move ahead with full nuclear arms talks, effectively delaying them until 2010, the conference president said Monday. "Time is running out for this year's session of the CD," said ambassador Christian Strohal, who also represents Austria. "The window of opportunity to achieve a consensual approach.... is closing ... more
http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Nuclear_talks_resumption_delayed_conference_chair_999.html

Indian navy chief slams Pakistan missile 'proliferation'

Indian navy chief slams Pakistan missile 'proliferation'
New Delhi (AFP) Aug 31, 2009 - India's navy chief said on Monday that Pakistan's alleged modifications of US-supplied anti-ship missiles to make them capable of striking land targets showed the danger of proliferation. The New York Times reported Saturday that US officials have complained to Pakistan about modifications of the Harpoon missiles that would make them capable of hitting land targets in neighbouring India. ... more

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Indian_navy_chief_slams_Pakistan_missile_proliferation_999.html

Monday, August 31, 2009

Turkish nuclear plant eases forward

Turkish nuclear plant eases forward
Eased regulations on cross-border customs checks followed Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's recent visit to Turkey. The implications extend beyond Turkish-Russian trade in textile and agriculture, possibly benefiting progress on Turkey's first nuclear power plant.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/KI01Ag01.html

Iran has slowed uranium output: UN agency

Iran has slowed uranium output: UN agency
Vienna (AFP) Aug 28, 2009 - Iran has slowed production of enriched uranium, which can be used to make a nuclear bomb, and agreed to tighter monitoring of its enrichment plant, the UN atomic watchdog said Friday. Tehran has also granted UN inspectors access to a research reactor long out of bounds, according to a restricted report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, a copy of which was obtained by AFP. ... more

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Iran_has_slowed_uranium_output_UN_agency_999.html

Little progress in Syrian nuclear probe: UN official

Little progress in Syrian nuclear probe: UN official
Vienna, Austria (AFP) Aug 28, 2009 - The UN atomic watchdog has been unable to make much progress in its investigation into alleged illicit nuclear activities in Syria, a senior UN official said Friday. "There's not much progress, if anything," the official said in response to a new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency on its probe into allegations that Damascus had been building a covert nuclear reactor at a remote ... more

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Little_progress_in_Syrian_nuclear_probe_UN_official_999.html

NKorean arms headed to Iran seized in UAE: diplomat

NKorean arms headed to Iran seized in UAE: diplomat
United Nations (AFP) Aug 28, 2009 - The United Arab Emirates has seized a ship carrying North Korean weapons to Iran, marking the first time a nation has acted on UN sanctions to stop the communist state's proliferation, a diplomat said Friday. The incident emerged despite a recent easing of tensions with the hardline communist nation, which has been seeking a resumption of talks with the United States three months after ... more

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/NKorean_arms_headed_to_Iran_seized_in_UAE_diplomat_999.html

Pakistan rejects US accusation on missile modification

Pakistan rejects US accusation on missile modification
Islamabad (AFP) Aug 30, 2009 - Pakistan on Sunday rejected US government claims that it illegally modified American-made missiles and said the accusations were part of a campaign to "malign it and its armed forces". Modifications to anti-ship missiles made them capable of hitting land-based targets and thus threatening India, The New York Times said Saturday. Citing unnamed senior administration and congressional ... more

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Pakistan_rejects_US_accusation_on_missile_modification_999.html

US considers alternative to Europe missile sites: report

US considers alternative to Europe missile sites: report
Washington (AFP) Aug 29, 2009 - The US government has developed possible alternative plans for a missile defense shield that could drop proposed missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, The New York Times reported Saturday. Citing unnamed administration officials, the newspaper said the change would please Russia and Germany but could sour relations with US allies in Eastern Europe. Barack Obama administration ... more

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/US_considers_alternative_to_Europe_missile_sites_report_999.html

Pentagon Vetting Could Delay Warhead Modernization Plan

Pentagon Vetting Could Delay Warhead Modernization Plan

Global Security Newswire - August 27

http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20090827_3782.php

Will the Pentagon Thwart Obama's Dream of Zero?

Will the Pentagon Thwart Obama's Dream of Zero?

Slate - August 21, 2009

http://www.slate.com/id/2225817/

U.S. Nuclear Weapons

U.S. Nuclear Policy

C-Span Video Library - August 26

http://www.c-spanarchives.org/library/index.php?main_page=product_video_info&products_id=288548-1&clipStart=0&clipStop=5100&showVid=true

Sandia unveils small-reactor project

Sandia unveils small-reactor project
Sandia National Laboratories announced that it has developed a small nuclear reactor and is seeking partners to market it domestically and internationally. The reactor, which could be built in two years, could generate about 100 to 300 megawatts, Sandia said. About 85% of the design is finished, and the cost could fall to $250 million once production begins. Greentech Media

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/sandia-joins-race-for-mini-reactors/

Playing With a Full Deck Lessons about nuclear deterrence from the poker table.

Nuclear poker with Kim Jong Il
By James McManus

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/08/13/playing_with_a_full_deck