Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama submits report on Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement to Congress

Obama submits report on Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement to Congress
President Barack Obama has transmitted to Congress a report on the civilian nuclear deal that the U.S. signed with India. The U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act requires regular confirmation from the president of the country's policy to collaborate with members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and to work on further limiting the transfer of technology and equipment used in uranium enrichment and reprocessing of used nuclear fuel. Press Trust of India

http://www.ptinews.com/news/322043_Obama-sends-report-to-Congress-on-Indo-US-nuclear-deal

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nuke Pact Deniers Face New 'Refuter' Kyodo News

Nuke Pact Deniers Face New 'Refuter'
Kyodo News
The Foreign Ministry kept a written record of a meeting with the U.S. ambassador in 1968 in which he reminded ministry officials of a secret 1960 bilateral nuclear deal, a former senior ministry official said Tuesday, further contradicting government claims that no such pact existed.
Full Article
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20091008a4.html

Egypt Opposition Wants to Make ElBaradei President Agence France-Presse

Egypt Opposition Wants to Make ElBaradei President
Agence France-Presse
Whether President Hosni Mubarak runs for re-election in 2011 or gives way to his son Gamal, an opposition party sees UN nuclear watchdog head Mohamed ElBaradei as a strong contender for Egypt's top job.
Full Article
http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=318704&version=1&template_id=37&parent_id=17

China Aims to Steady North Korea Choe Sang-Hun, The New York Times

China Aims to Steady North Korea
Choe Sang-Hun, The New York Times
North Korea's leader gave an unusually exuberant welcome this week to the prime minister of China, whose trip was intensely monitored by the rest of the world for progress on efforts to halt North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
Full Article
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/07/world/asia/07korea.html?_r=1&hpw

US 'Bunker Buster' Bomb to be Ready Soon: Pentagon Agence France-Presse

US 'Bunker Buster' Bomb to be Ready Soon: Pentagon
Agence France-Presse
The Pentagon said a giant "bunker buster" bomb will be ready within months, adding a powerful weapon to the US arsenal amid tensions over Iran's nuclear program.
Full Article
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jwIaLotSkaw29J0t9eD1EF7Ct8VQ

Struggle Looms to Build on Iranian Nuclear Deals Mark Heinrich, Reuters

Struggle Looms to Build on Iranian Nuclear Deals
Mark Heinrich, Reuters
U.N. inspectors about to descend on a hitherto secret Iranian nuclear site may score a small victory for non-proliferation, but face a long, hard struggle to achieve full transparency in Tehran's atomic ambitions.
Full Article
http://www.reuters.com/article/gc08/idUSTRE5973BV20091008

Dealing with Iran: The Power of Legitimacy George Perkovich, Policy Outlook

Dealing with Iran: The Power of Legitimacy
George Perkovich, Policy Outlook
ElBaradeiTalks last week between Iran and world powers in Geneva—and the first public, bilateral negotiations between the United States and Iran in 30 years—yielded unexpected progress. Iran has been forced onto the defensive by its loss of legitimacy, exacerbated by the gains President Obama made by demonstrating resolve to negotiate a peaceful accommodation with the Islamic Republic, contends George Perkovich.
Full Article
http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=23971&prog=zgp&proj=znpp

French nuclear company Areva has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on nuclear energy and radioactive materials cooperation with Mongolia's At

* Areva forges nuclear energy deal with Mongolia
Mongolia's Atomic Energy Department has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding involving nuclear energy and cooperation on radioactive materials with France's Areva. The signing comes a day after Areva made a deal with Kazakhstan's KazAtomProm for a joint project to produce nuclear fuel for the Asian market. World Nuclear News (10/7)

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-Areva_signs_Mongolian_memorandum-0710098.html

Senate Democrats welcome discussions on nuclear to pass climate bill

Senate Democrats welcome discussions on nuclear to pass climate bill
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said he and fellow Democratic senators are willing to discuss nuclear power with Republicans if it would help get the 60 votes needed to advance a comprehensive energy and global-warming bill. The climate legislation unveiled by Kerry and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., contains a preliminary section on nuclear energy that offers more funding to study extending the lives of commercial reactors and adds incentives for research and personnel training. "There's a nuclear title, and it invites discussion on that," he said. The New York Times (free registration)/ClimateWire

http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2009/10/07/07climatewire-senate-dems-opening-to-nuclear-as-path-to-go-28815.html

http://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=247854211242866212

Saudis consider Russian air defense system

Saudis consider Russian air defense system
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (UPI) Oct 7, 2009 - Saudi Arabia is considering buying Russia's most advanced air-defense system in a deal that Riyadh hopes may deter Moscow from selling a similar defense system to potentially nuclear Iran, experts argue. Experts cited in a string of media reports from the region said Moscow and Riyadh were close to signing a deal on the purchase of Russia's S-400 anti-missile shield. The deal is valued ... more
http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Saudis_consider_Russian_air_defense_system_999.html

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Technical flaws in the Obama missile defense plan BY DAVID WRIGHT AND LISBETH GRONLUND

Technical flaws in the Obama missile defense plan
BY DAVID WRIGHT AND LISBETH GRONLUND
In some ways, the Obama administration's plan for missile defense in Europe only exchanges one unproven weapons system for another.

http://thebulletin.org/web-edition/op-eds/technical-flaws-the-obama-missile-defense-plan

JOSHUA POLLACK Deconstructing the Iranian challenge

JOSHUA POLLACK
Deconstructing the Iranian challenge
How the international community handles Iran in the coming days far transcends Tehran's nuclear ambitions; it also directly affects the legitimacy of the U.N. Security Council and NPT.

http://thebulletin.org/web-edition/columnists/joshua-pollack/deconstructing-the-iranian-challenge

COLLECTION Of Premium Content from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

COLLECTION Of Premium Content from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Armageddon test: Preventing nuclear terrorism Premium
BY ROLF MOWATT-LARSSEN
It might not be easy for a terrorist group to obtain a nuclear weapon, but the opportunities are out there. One way to stop them--form an elite intelligence team tasked solely with preventing a nuclear terrorist attack.
http://thebulletin.metapress.com/content/f742246536817321/?p=a50531ed63ee485893e18fbd2785e377&pi=5

The ElBaradei legacy Premium
BY MARK HIBBS AND ANDREAS PERSBO
As the International Atomic Energy Agency's director-general, Mohamed ElBaradei stood up to the United States, prevented a widening Middle East conflict, and won the Nobel Peace Prize. Yet as he prepares to leave, the future of the agency is in doubt.
http://thebulletin.metapress.com/content/f15114mg646m1g81/?p=a50531ed63ee485893e18fbd2785e377&pi=1

Shifting from a nuclear triad to a nuclear dyad Premium
BY JEFF RICHARDSON
A senior scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory outlines the rationale for retiring land-based ballistic missiles and leaving a strategic dyad of submarine-launched missiles and air-delivered weapons as the backbone of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
http://thebulletin.metapress.com/content/f36h7r5624w18035/?p=afa13b46d0ce408db7a42d9543f1e80d&pi=3

Richard Rhodes' Reykjavik Premium
BY RICHARD RHODES
Would the Reykjavik summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev have rid the world of nuclear weapons if only J. Robert Oppenheimer had been present? In this dramatization, Richard Rhodes explores the "what if" of the low-profile but high-level conference.
http://thebulletin.metapress.com/content/f37178k308402468/?p=a50531ed63ee485893e18fbd2785e377&pi=6

Pakistani nuclear forces, 2009
BY ROBERT S. NORRIS AND HANS M. KRISTENSEN
Pakistan is enhancing its nuclear weapon capabilities across the board by developing and deploying new nuclear-capable missiles and expanding its capacity to produce fissile materials for use in weapons.
http://thebulletin.metapress.com/content/f828323447768858/?p=acb64a3f200e4a5bb5a76a65804b0802&pi=7

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Iran Commentary Update

Establishing the Right Precedent in Supplying Fuel to Iran
George Perkovich and Pierre Goldschmidt, Proliferation Analysis
TRRThe purported agreement to refuel the Tehran research reactor by shipping Iranian-made low enriched uranium (LEU) to other states for further enrichment and fuel fabrication could be a good precedent for meeting Iran’s future and potentially larger nuclear fuel needs. This precedent could be seen as a first step to accept at a later stage that the UN Security Council would reverse its present decision and allow Iran to continue its ongoing practice of enriching uranium to less than five percent under what should be rigorous safeguards (including having a so-called "Additional Protocol" in force).
Full Article
http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=23954&prog=zgp&proj=znpp

Iran Plans to Use New Centrifuge at Nuclear Plant
Hashem Kalantari, Reuters
Iran plans to use a new generation of faster centrifuges to enrich uranium at a newly-revealed nuclear site, its atomic energy chief said in remarks published Tuesday.
Full Article
http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE5951Z920091006?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

* Report Says Iran Has Data to Make Bomb
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/05/world/middleeast/05iran.html?_r=1&hp


Untangling Iran's Nuclear Web
Dmitri Trenin, The Moscow Times
Thursday's Geneva meeting of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany regarding Iran’s nuclear program did not lead to a breakthrough or a decisive showdown. It did, however, demonstrate more unity among the major powers vis-a-vis Tehran, and we witnessed the first meeting of President Barack Obama’s administration between U.S. and Iranian diplomats.
Full Article
http://carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=23940&prog=zgp,zru&proj=znpp

Monday, October 5, 2009

+ Nuclear deals lucrative for North Korea

+ Nuclear deals lucrative for North Korea
Seoul (UPI) Oct 5, 2009 - North Korea has won about $2.3 billion worth of aid from South Korea and other negotiating partners in return for false promises to give up its nuclear weapons drive, a report by the South Korean government said Monday. Despite the prolonged nuclear standoff, the North has received an additional $3.4 billion worth of humanitarian aid over the past decade, the report by the Foreign Minis ... more
http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Nuclear_deals_lucrative_for_North_Korea_999.html

Russia launches new Mideast arms push

Russia launches new Mideast arms push
Tripoli, Libya (UPI) Oct 5, 2009 - Russia's state arms exporter is launching a big drive at the Tripoli air show to sell combat jets, missiles and air-defense systems to Middle Eastern states, including the state-of-the-art S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile that Iran and Syria desperately want to acquire. But the Russians are likely to find considerable competition at the 4th Arab-African Aviation Exhibition and Confer ... more
http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Russia_launches_new_Mideast_arms_push_999.html

UN to inspect Iran's new nuclear plant on Oct 25

UN to inspect Iran's new nuclear plant on Oct 25
Tehran (AFP) Oct 4, 2009 - Experts will inspect Iran's new uranium enrichment plant on October 25, UN atomic watchdog head Mohamed ElBaradei said on Sunday, praising Tehran's shift "from conspiracy to cooperation" but warning that "concerns" remain over its nuclear aims. ElBaradei told a news conference in Tehran that Iran had given the assurance International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors would be given acce ... more
http://www.spacewar.com/reports/UN_to_inspect_Irans_new_nuclear_plant_on_Oct_25_999.html

New doubt on US's Iran plant claim

New doubt on US's Iran plant claim
Washington's charge that construction on Iran's second uranium-enrichment facility is part of a covert decision to violate its International Atomic Energy obligations is being questioned. Further analysis of satellite photos of the site suggests Iran is not in the wrong. - Gareth Porter (Oct 5,

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KJ06Ak02.html

Iran Tests Shahab-3 Missile Ahead of Nuclear Talks Bloomberg - September 28, 2009

Iran Tests Shahab-3 Missile Ahead of Nuclear Talks

Bloomberg - September 28, 2009
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=abF02OIbrRm4

Experts Weigh In on Obama's Explanation of Iran's Nuclear Facility The Washington Independent - September 28, 2009

Experts Weigh In on Obama's Explanation of Iran's Nuclear Facility

The Washington Independent - September 28, 2009
http://washingtonindependent.com/61063/experts-weigh-in-on-significance-of-irans-nuclear-facility

How Do We Know There Are Only 3000 Centrifuges At Qom?

How Do We Know There Are Only 3000 Centrifuges At Qom?

http://washingtonindependent.com/61285/how-do-we-know-there-are-only-3000-centrifuges-at-qom

Inspections Won't Solve Iran's Nuke Mystery

Inspections Won't Solve Iran's Nuke Mystery

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/09/inspections-wont-solve-irans-nuke-mystery/

US Sea-Based Missiles Seen as "Core" Nukes, Maybe at ICBM Expense Global Security Newswire - October 1, 2009

US Sea-Based Missiles Seen as "Core" Nukes, Maybe at ICBM Expense

Global Security Newswire - October 1, 2009
http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20091001_4226.php

The U.S.-India nuclear deal--one year later BY J. SRI RAMAN

The U.S.-India nuclear deal--one year later
BY J. SRI RAMAN

October 8 marks the one-year anniversary of former President George W. Bush signing into law the so-called U.S.-India nuclear deal. The deal proved controversial from its inception because it ended a 34-year U.S. ban on nuclear trade with India, a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). And yet despite heavy criticism of the deal--especially from arms control and disarmament advocates--one year later, it appears solidly entrenched as long-term policy.

As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the U.S.-India Business Council's Synergies Summit in June, "The first stage of Indo-U.S. relations was ushered in when President Bill Clinton opened a new chapter of engagement with India. Then President George [W.] Bush took it to the second level with the Indo-U.S. civilian nuclear agreement. The Obama administration is determined to take it to the third stage, which would allow the countries to move beyond concerns about the status of India's nuclear program to a framework of economic and technical cooperation."

At its heart, the U.S.-India deal is really about big business, which has boomed since the agreement entered into force. In fact, intensive lobbying by corporate sectors in both the United States and India helped overrule the concerns of the arms control community. For Ron Somers, the president of the U.S.-India Business Council, the calculus was simple: "[The U.S.-India nuclear deal] will present a major opportunity for U.S. and Indian companies," he promised in July 2007. He added that the deal would create...Read entire article
http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/features/the-us-india-nuclear-deal-one-year-later

Sunday, October 4, 2009

ElBaradei says nuclear Israel number one threat to Mideast: report

ElBaradei says nuclear Israel number one threat to Mideast: report

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-10/04/content_12181647.htm

New Doubt Cast on U.S. Claim Qom Plant is Illicit by Gareth Porter

New Doubt Cast on U.S. Claim Qom Plant is Illicit

by Gareth Porter / October 3rd, 2009 (1)

WASHINGTON (IPS) — An Iranian assertion that construction on its second enrichment facility began only last year and further analysis of satellite photos of the site have cast fresh doubts on the Barack Obama administration’s charge that the construction of the plant near Qom involved a covert decision to violate Iran’s obligations to report immediately to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on any decision to build a new facility.

At a Sep. 25 briefing on the site, senior administration officials refused to provide any specific information to back up the claim that construction had begun before the March 2007 Iranian …
(Full article …)


http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/10/new-doubt-cast-on-u-s-claim-qom-plant-is-illicit/

Report Says Iran Has Data to Make a Nuclear Bomb By WILLIAM J. BROAD and DAVID E. SANGER

Report Says Iran Has Data to Make a Nuclear Bomb
By WILLIAM J. BROAD and DAVID E. SANGER

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/world/middleeast/04nuke.html?hp

A U.N. analysis says Iran has “sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable” bomb, going well beyond the public position taken by Washington.

* U.N. Sets Date for Iran Inspection 6:38 AM ET
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/10/04/world/AP-ML-Iran.html?hp

U.S. Not Seeking Disclosure of Israeli Nuclear Arsenal

U.S. Not Seeking Disclosure of Israeli Nuclear Arsenal
Friday, Oct. 2, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama, left, speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside the White House in May. Obama's administration does not plan to pressure Israel to open its nuclear sites to international scrutiny, officials said (White House photo/Getty Images).

The Obama administration does not intend to press Israel to give international monitors access to its nuclear weapons, the Washington Times reported today (see GSN, Sept. 29).

Israel has never officially acknowledged possession of what is believed to be the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, which is roughly estimated at between 100 and 200 warheads.

Then-U.S. President Richard Nixon and former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meier in 1969 reportedly agreed that Washington would not challenge Jerusalem on the issue. The deal -- of which there is no official accounting -- essentially means that "the United States passively [accepts] Israel's nuclear weapons status as long as Israel does not unveil publicly its capability or test a weapon," according to expert Avner Cohen.

See Full Article...
http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/nw_20091002_7204.php

Administration Defends Changes to European Missile Shield

Administration Defends Changes to European Missile Shield
Friday, Oct. 2, 2009

By Martin Matishak

Global Security Newswire

A U.S. ground-based missile interceptor is lowered into a silo at Fort Greely, Alaska, in 2004. The arsenal of interceptors in Alaska and California would provide "full protection of the homeland" from an Iranian long-range missile threat by the end of next year, a senior Pentagon official said yesterday (U.S. Missile Defense Agency photo).

WASHINGTON -- Key officials from the U.S. Defense and State departments yesterday vigorously defended the Obama administration's decision to retool a proposed Europe-based missile defense shield (see GSN, Oct. 1).

"We are not scrapping missile defense in Europe. We are strengthening it," Defense Undersecretary Michele Flournoy told the House Armed Services Committee.

The White House announced two weeks ago that it would shelve a Bush administration plan to deploy 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar base in the Czech Republic as a hedge against a developing missile threat from Iran (see GSN, Sept. 17). The plan proved controversial in the proposed host countries and was vehemently opposed by Russia as a threat to its strategic security.

See Full Article...
http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/nw_20091002_8280.php

Iran Offers to Ship Uranium for Enrichment by Other Nations

Iran Offers to Ship Uranium for Enrichment by Other Nations
Friday, Oct. 2, 2009

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, left, and other Iranian officials speak to reporters yesterday at U.N. headquarters in New York City. Tehran yesterday indicated it was willing to send much of its uranium supply abroad for further enrichment (Mario Tama/Getty Images).

Iran yesterday signaled willingness to send much of its low-enriched uranium stockpile to France and Russia for further refinement, a move that could address concerns that the Middle Eastern state intends to use the material in a nuclear weapon, the Wall Street Journal reported (see GSN, Oct. 1).

"This limits Iran's ability to have the breakout ability needed to produce nuclear weapons," said one high-level U.S. official involved in yesterday's meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, of diplomats from Iran, the five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany. Iran is widely believed to possess enough low-enriched uranium to power a nuclear weapon if the country withdrew from international nonproliferation safeguards and continued to enrich the material.

See Full Article...
http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/nw_20091002_8995.php