Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Thursday, March 18, 2010

US And Russia Clash Over Iran Nuclear Plant

US And Russia Clash Over Iran Nuclear Plant

MOSCOW — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and her Russian counterpart clashed openly Thursday over the planned launch this summer of Iran's first, Russian-built nuclear power plant, highlighting a split in views over how to steer Iran away from nuclear weapons.
Clinton did not criticize the long-delayed project directly but said the Obama administration is opposed to the timing of the nuclear plant's startup. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced the summer startup plans on Thursday, shortly after Clinton arrived for a two-day visit.
The nuclear plant is an example of Russian-Iranian economic ties and technical cooperation, on terms that have long made the United States uncomfortable. It was a background issue during a difficult period in U.S.-Russian relations last year and in the ongoing U.S.-led effort to bring new United Nations economic penalties against Iran over suspicions that part of its nuclear program is aimed at building a bomb.
Putin's announcement adds another complication to the already long list of issues on which Clinton and her Russian hosts don't agree. Clinton is seeing Putin on Friday.
At a news conference with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov after talks on a wide range of issues, Clinton told reporters that Iran, while entitled to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, must reassure the world that it is not trying to build a nuclear weapon.
"In the absence of those reassurances, we think it would be premature to go forward with any project at this time, because we want to send an unequivocal message to the Iranians," she said.
Lavrov forcefully asserted that, whatever the U.S. concerns, his country will finish its work on the Bushehr nuclear power plant shortly.
"The project will be completed," Lavrov said. "We are now in the final stage, and this nuclear power plant will be launched. It will be put into operation, it will be functioning, producing power." He added that the plant will operate under strict compliance with requirements of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency.
Lavrov and Clinton also asserted to reporters that U.S.-Russian negotiations on a new treaty to reduce long-range nuclear weapons are close to completion. The accord would replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, which expired in December.
Lavrov said the two sides now are discussing the time and place for President Barack Obama and President Dmitry Medvedev to sign the new deal, which also must be ratified by each country's legislature.
"We are now at the finish line," Lavrov said.
Clinton was a bit more circumspect.
"We have a saying in the United States: `Don't count your chickens before they hatch,'" she said. "And that means that we are beginning our discussions about where and when our two presidents will sign the START agreement. But we don't want to get ahead of ourselves. First, our negotiators have to sign on the dotted line, so to speak."
A Clinton spokesman, P.J. Crowley, said later that the negotiators were "down to one or two issues" before completing the deal.
Another negotiating session was to be held Friday in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Obama administration has been unsuccessful in pressing Iran to take steps to reassure the world of its nuclear intentions and has pointed to its secret construction of a uranium enrichment plant – disclosed by the West last fall – as evidence that Iran's intentions are not purely peaceful.
Clinton suggested that by endorsing Iran's startup of its Bushehr power plant, Tehran would get the mistaken impression that the rest of the world accepted its claim that it wants nuclear power only for electricity generation and not to secretly produce nuclear bombs.
Crowley said Clinton's comment was not intended as criticism of Russia's involvement in the Bushehr project, which has been decades in the making.
Russia agrees that Iran must not acquire nuclear weapons, but it has close commercial ties with Tehran and has used its position as a veto-wielding permanent U.N. Security Council member to water down Western-backed sanctions. Lavrov said he and Clinton discussed the prospect of a new U.N. sanctions resolution, but he made clear that Moscow does not see new sanctions as inevitable.
"As for sanctions that might be discussed in the United Nations Security Council, that discussion has not begun yet," Lavrov said.
Asked what Russia was doing to nudge China – which also has veto power in the Security Council – toward accepting the idea of new sanctions against Iran, Lavrov indicated that China has demonstrated that it is willing to live up to its obligations as a nuclear power.
He said China, like the U.S, Russia and other nuclear weapons states, has "a special commitment and obligation" to ensure that nuclear weapons technology does not spread around the world. "Our Chinese partners have never given us any grounds to suspect them of insufficient attention to nonproliferation issues," he said.
Clinton and Lavrov were attending a dinner Thursday with representatives of the European Union and the United Nations – together known as the Quartet – to discuss the recent setbacks in getting Israel and the Palestinians to return to peace negotiations. Clinton appeared to be seeking to calm U.S. relations with Israel, which were roiled last week after Israel announced new housing for Jews in east Jerusalem.
The announcement, made during a visit to Israel by Vice President Joe Biden, was seen by the Obama administration as an insult and a repudiation of U.S. efforts to get Israel to halt construction of additional Jewish settlements.
"Our goals remain the same," Clinton said. "It is to relaunch negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians on a path that will lead to a two-state solution. Nothing has happened that in any way affects our commitment to pursuing that."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/18/us-and-russia-clash-over_n_504818.html

France Seeks to Pull Nuclear Champions into Line

France Seeks to Pull Nuclear Champions into Line

Paul Betts, Financial Times
Some initial clues to the future of France’s nuclear industry are beginning to emerge from the government’s latest review of a sector that is at the top of its list of strategic industries.
Full Article
 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5fe8630a-320a-11df-a8d1-00144feabdc0.html

Menon Steps in to Save N-Bill

Menon Steps in to Save N-Bill

The Times of India
Seeking to remove 'misgivings' that the nuclear liability bill is soft on suppliers, national security adviser Shivshankar Menon on Tuesday briefed a group of Congress MPs claiming it would "introduce a transparent, orderly and predictable system of compensation to victims and fix responsibility for a nuclear incident."
Full Article
 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Menon-steps-in-to-save-N-bill/articleshow/5692229.cms

U.S., Japan Begin Debate on Security Issues Including Nuclear Umbrella

U.S., Japan Begin Debate on Security Issues Including Nuclear Umbrella

The Mainichi Daily News
The United States and Japan have started formal discussions on a wide range of security issues, including the U.S. nuclear umbrella and missile defense, a senior U.S. official told a congressional panel on Wednesday.
Full Article
 http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20100318p2g00m0fp024000c.html

Clinton to Discuss Nuclear Treaty on Moscow Trip

Clinton to Discuss Nuclear Treaty on Moscow Trip

Jay Solomon, The Wall Street Journal
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will seek to overcome the final obstacles impeding the completion of a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia during her two-day trip in Moscow that will include a meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev, said senior U.S. officials.
Full Article
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704059004575128321101751624.html 

Nuclear Review Nears Completion

Nuclear Review Nears Completion

Jordan Reimer, American Forces Press Service
Several conclusions drawn from a nearly complete review of the nation's nuclear posture already have been incorporated into the Defense Department’s fiscal 2011 budget request, a senior Pentagon official told Congress yesterday.
Full Article
http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=58363

NATO's Tactical Nuclear Dilemma

NATO's Tactical Nuclear Dilemma (PDF)

Malcolm Chalmers and Simon Lunn, RUSI Paper
RUSIEditor's Note: This paper, authored by Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Professorial Fellow, Malcolm Chalmers, and former Secretary General of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Simon Lunn, is an exceptionally insightful and well-researched analysis on the future of nuclear weapons in Europe. It deserves close examination.
Full Article

Clinton In Russia For Talks On Nuclear Arms Control

Clinton In Russia For Talks On Nuclear Arms Control


Clinton In Moscow For Talks On Arms Pact -- Time Magazine/AP

(MOSCOW) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday opened two days of talks with Russian leaders on nuclear arms control and other security issues, and separately with top international diplomats on the outlook for bringing Israel and the Palestinians back to peace talks.

Clinton arrived in the Russian capital after an overnight flight from Washington and was to be joined by the Obama administration's special envoy for Mideast peace, George Mitchell, to participate in talks with diplomats from Russia, the European Union and the United Nations. They were discussing the crisis in U.S.-Israeli relations and stalled efforts to restart Mideast peace negotiations.

Read more ....

More News On Secretary Of State Clinton's Trip To Moscow To Discuss Arms Control

Clinton's agenda for Russia trip reflects improving but fragile relationship -- Washington Post
US and Russia make 'good progress' on nuclear arms deal -- BBC
Clinton, Putin to meet in Russia on Friday: U.S. -- Reuters
Clinton Pushes Nuclear Pact, Mideast Peace in Moscow -- Business Week/Bloomberg
Clinton in Russia to Push Arms Talks Toward Deal -- New York Times
Clinton in Moscow for Mideast, nuclear arms talks -- AP
Clinton in Russia for nuke, Mideast talks -- CNN
Hillary Clinton in Russia for nuclear and Middle East talks -- The Guardian
New Nuclear Arms Deal Ready -- FOX News
Clinton in Russia to hasten disarmament deal -- AFP
Clinton to Discuss Nuclear Treaty on Moscow Trip -- Wall Street Journal
U.S. sees "good progress" on arms control with Russia -- Reuters

http://warnewsupdates.blogspot.com/2010/03/clinton-in-russia-for-talks-on-nuclear.html

Geopolitics of the Iranian Nuclear Energy Program: But Oil and Gas Still Matter

http://csis.informz.net/z/cjUucD9taT03MDYyNTMmcD0xJnU9MTAxOTM5NjQwNCZsaT0yNjg2NTYz/index.html

Geopolitics of the Iranian Nuclear Energy Program:
But Oil and Gas Still Matter
A new report by
Robert E. Ebel, Senior Advisor
CSIS Energy and National Security Program

To download a pdf copy of the report, please click here.
Relations between the United States and Iran in recent months have been defined by Iranian intransigence and U.S. stubbornness, all because Iran has continued to insist its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes whereas the United States and allied countries remain convinced the real purpose is to produce a nuclear weapon. This report tracks the almost daily development of this issue, thus allowing the reader to arrive at his own conclusion, which in turn may change over time.

The author poses the question: Do sanctions work? Iran has been variously sanctioned since 1987, and efforts are now underway to secure more punishing sanctions through the good offices of the UN Security Council. These new sanctions, if agreed to, would strike at Iran’s dependence on gasoline imports and at the expanding economic and nuclear influence of the Islamic Republican Guard Corps. The author in effect answers his own question by offering a quote from the Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Agency who thanked Americans for sanctions because they have united his country.

Although the report centers on the Iranian nuclear program, crude oil and natural gas still matter. Iran holds tremendous reserves of both fuels, but development sharply lags because of lack of investment. Iran exports relatively large volumes of crude oil but little natural gas. Export pipelines are lacking. Grandiose plans have been laid out for new pipelines, but the availability of natural gas to fill these proposed lines is questionable. The author concludes with an epilogue, serving to bring the reader up to date and offering a view of Iran’s future.

CSIS Energy and National Security Program
 
http://csis.org/publication/geopolitics-iranian-nuclear-energy-program

Most Swedes favor using nuclear energy

Most Swedes favor using nuclear energy
A poll of 1,500 Swedish adults found that more than half think the country should continue using nuclear energy. Opinion polls have indicated growing support for nuclear energy over the past few years. World Nuclear News

Indonesia's consideration of nuclear construction moves forward

Indonesia's consideration of nuclear construction moves forward
The Indonesian government's plan to construct nuclear power plants has secured approval from lawmakers. "Indonesia can no longer rely on nonrenewable energy sources such as gas and coal to generate electricity in [the] future," said Teuku Riefky Harsya, chairman of the parliamentary commission for energy, technology and the environment. United Press International


Official: France, India completing contracts for nuclear reactors

Official: France, India completing contracts for nuclear reactors
France's Areva and Nuclear Power Corp. of India are finalizing deals for two 1,650-megawatt European Pressurized Reactors at Jaitapur, India, said Jerome Bonnafont, the French ambassador to India. The initial plan is for two facilities, with four more to be added eventually, he said. The Hindu (India)

Westinghouse seeks to invest further in S. African reactor project

Westinghouse seeks to invest further in S. African reactor project
Westinghouse is considering further investment in a pebble-bed modular reactor company in South Africa and also plans to request outside investments in the long term, company executive Robert Pearce said. The move comes after the South African government decided to cut its spending for the PBMR project. Engineering News (South Africa)

More opposition emerges to abandoning Nevada's Yucca Mountain

More opposition emerges to abandoning Nevada's Yucca Mountain
Two more organizations have lined up to fight the proposed shelving of the Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste project in Nevada. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is the latest federal lawmaker to oppose the Obama administration's move. "With the withdrawal of the Yucca Mountain license application, we are back to square one," Murkowski said. Las Vegas Review-Journal/Stephens Washington News Bureau

Iran's Link to China Includes Nukes, Missiles - Washington Times

Iran's Link to China Includes Nukes, Missiles - Washington Times

 http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/17/irans-link-to-china-includes-nukes-missiles/

Report: Saudis may allow Israel's use of air space:

Report: Saudis may allow Israel's use of air space:

Western security sources believe Saudi Arabia will readily let Israel use the country's airspace to strike neighboring Iran if a war breaks out between the archenemies.

 http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=121027&sectionid=351020205

Iran Offers New Uranium Exchange Plan

Iran Offers New Uranium Exchange Plan
Iranians ready to deliver 1.2 tons of low enriched uranium

http://news.antiwar.com/2010/03/17/iran-offers-new-uranium-exchange-proposal/

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Regional Nuclear War Could Devastate World Population, Report Warns -- Global Security

Regional Nuclear War Could Devastate World Population, Report Warns -- Global Security

Computer modeling suggests a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan would block out the sun with large amounts of airborne debris, disrupting global agriculture and leading to the starvation of around 1 billion people, Scientific American reported in its January issue (see GSN, March 4).

The nuclear winter scenario assumes that cities and industrial zones in each nation would be hit by 50 bombs the size of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in World War II. Although some analysts have suggested a nuclear exchange would involve fewer weapons, researchers who created the computer models contended that the panic from an initial nuclear exchange could cause a conflict to quickly escalate. Pakistan, especially, might attempt to fire all of its nuclear weapons in case India's conventional forces overtake the country's military sites, according to Peter Lavoy, an analyst with the Naval Postgraduate School.

Read more ....http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20100315_4193.php

Joe Cirincione: Nuclear Pre-Game Huddle

Joe Cirincione: Nuclear Pre-Game Huddle

Get ready to dance.
If you like the excitement of March Madness, you're going to love April. It is will begin possibly the busiest four months in arms control history - packed with a new Nuclear Posture Review, START Treaty, Nuclear Security Summit, and the Review Conference to the Nonproliferation Treaty.
It is an unprecedented nuclear line-up. But before charging onto the court, let's review the game plan.

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joe-cirincione/nuclear-pre-game-huddle_b_502580.html

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: Securing The World's Nuclear Stockpiles

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: Securing The World's Nuclear Stockpiles

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: Walker's World: Obama is losing India

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: Walker's World: Obama is losing India

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: China takes over from West as Iran's main economic partner

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: China takes over from West as Iran's main economic partner

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: Official: U.S. could still secure nuclear deals with UAE

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: Official: U.S. could still secure nuclear deals with UAE

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: Regulatory group opposes federal plan to drop Yucca Mountain bid

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: Regulatory group opposes federal plan to drop Yucca Mountain bid

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: Atomic accord crucial for bilateral ties South Korea is aiming to revise nuclear deal with U.S.

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: Atomic accord crucial for bilateral ties South Korea is aiming to revise nuclear deal with U.S.

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: Final destination Iran?

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: Final destination Iran?

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: * Nuclear is vital to meet growing energy requirements

Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire: * Nuclear is vital to meet growing energy requirements

China: Iran Sanctions 'Counterproductive' from VOA News: News by Lisa Schlein

China: Iran Sanctions 'Counterproductive'
from VOA News: News by Lisa Schlein
But China's new Permanent Representative to the UN also says his country does not want Iran to join nuclear-weapons club

http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/China-Iran-Sanctions--Counterproductive--88205652.html

Brazil steps between Israel and Iran

THE ROVING EYE
Brazil steps between Israel and Iran

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva this week made the first official visit by a Brazilian president to Israel. Brazil is emerging as a potential "bridge" between Iran and those countries that seek to punish Tehran over its nuclear program. Lula stepping into this arena is a further instance of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China) acting as a new rival power to an increasingly disoriented US, as well as to Washington's ally, Israel. - Pepe Escobar (Mar 17, '10)

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LC18Ak03.html

Atomic accord crucial for bilateral ties South Korea is aiming to revise nuclear deal with U.S.

Atomic accord crucial for bilateral ties
South Korea is aiming to revise nuclear deal with U.S.
South Korea is seeking to amend a nuclear-power pact with the U.S. that would allow it to reprocess used fuel, as it is running out of space to store the material. An important point of the upcoming discussions between both countries would be whether to approve Korea's pyroprocessing technology, which does not generate plutonium, the chief component of nuclear weapons. The Korea Herald (Seoul)

http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/NEWKHSITE/data/html_dir/2010/03/17/201003170029.asp

Official: U.S. could still secure nuclear deals with UAE

Official: U.S. could still secure nuclear deals with UAE
The U.S. is hopeful its companies will be presented with more opportunities in the United Arab Emirates' upcoming nuclear programs, said Richard Olson, U.S. ambassador to the UAE. Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials are in the UAE, and there could be reports this week on a cooperation agreement between the countries on nuclear safeguards and safety, Olson said. Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/business/2010/March/business_March383.xml§ion=business&col=

Entergy asks commission to affirm support for possible new plant

Entergy asks commission to affirm support for possible new plant
Entergy Louisiana asked the state Public Service Commission to reiterate its support for the utility's possible bid for a new nuclear reactor at River Bend Station. The application remains dormant, and Entergy has not committed to a new nuclear plant but said it wants to retain the option. The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

http://www.nola.com/business/index.ssf/2010/03/entergy_asks_psc_to_affirm_sup.html

* Nuclear is vital to meet growing energy requirements

EnergySolutions: N-power revival is right policy

Nuclear needs to become a significant part of the country's transition to clean energy, or else major power shortages will result, according to this opinion article by Val Christensen, president and CEO of EnergySolutions. Only nuclear energy can handle the enormous base-load requirements currently being met by coal-fired facilities, Christensen writes. The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_14685541

Regulatory group opposes federal plan to drop Yucca Mountain bid

Utility Regulatory group opposes federal plan to drop Yucca Mountain bid
The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners is disputing the Energy Department's plan to withdraw the license application for a nuclear-waste repository at Nevada's Yucca Mountain. Utility customers have already paid $17 billion into a nuclear-waste fund, and terminating the project would put the search for a permanent storage site "back to square one," according to the group. The Wall Street Journal

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703734504575125713008934470.html?mod=dist_smartbrief

Final destination Iran?

Final destination Iran?
Exclusive: Rob Edwards
Published on 14 Mar 2010
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/world-news/final-destination-iran-1.1013151

"They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran."
- Dan Plesch, director, Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, University of London

Hundreds of powerful US "bunker-buster" bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran.
The Sunday Herald can reveal that the US government signed a contract in January to transport 10 ammunition containers to the island. According to a cargo manifest from the US navy, this included 387 "Blu" bombs used for blasting hardened or underground structures.

Experts say that they are being put in place for an assault on Iran’s controversial nuclear facilities. There has long been speculation that the US military is preparing for such an attack, should diplomacy fail to persuade Iran not to make nuclear weapons.

Although Diego Garcia is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, it is used by the US as a military base under an agreement made in 1971. The agreement led to 2,000 native islanders being forcibly evicted to the Seychelles and Mauritius.

The Sunday Herald reported in 2007 that stealth bomber hangers on the island were being equipped to take bunker-buster bombs.

Although the story was not confirmed at the time, the new evidence suggests that it was accurate.

Contract details for the shipment to Diego Garcia were posted on an international tenders’ website by the US navy.

A shipping company based in Florida, Superior Maritime Services, will be paid $699,500 to carry many thousands of military items from Concord, California, to Diego Garcia.

Crucially, the cargo includes 195 smart, guided, Blu-110 bombs and 192 massive 2000lb Blu-117 bombs.

"They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran," said Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London, co-author of a recent study on US preparations for an attack on Iran. "US bombers are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours," he added.

The preparations were being made by the US military, but it would be up to President Obama to make the final decision. He may decide that it would be better for the US to act instead of Israel, Plesch argued.

"The US is not publicising the scale of these preparations to deter Iran, tending to make confrontation more likely," he added. "The US ... is using its forces as part of an overall strategy of shaping Iran’s actions."

According to Ian Davis, director of the new independent thinktank, Nato Watch, the shipment to Diego Garcia is a major concern. "We would urge the US to clarify its intentions for these weapons, and the Foreign Office to clarify its attitude to the use of Diego Garcia for an attack on Iran," he said.

For Alan Mackinnon, chair of Scottish CND, the revelation was "extremely worrying". He stated: "It is clear that the US government continues to beat the drums of war over Iran, most recently in the statements of Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

"It is depressingly similar to the rhetoric we heard prior to the war in Iraq in 2003."

The British Ministry of Defence has said in the past that the US government would need permission to use Diego Garcia for offensive action. It has already been used for strikes against Iraq during the 1991 and 2003 Gulf wars.

About 50 British military staff are stationed on the island, with more than 3,200 US personnel. Part of the Chagos Archipelago, it lies about 1,000 miles from the southern coasts of India and Sri Lanka, well placed for missions to Iran.

The US Department of Defence did not respond to a request for a comment.

China takes over from West as Iran's main economic partner

China takes over from West as Iran's main economic partner
Tehran (AFP) March 15, 2010
China has emerged as Iran's top economic partner, investing heavily in the energy sector and filling the gaps left by Western firms forced out by international sanctions. In 2009, China became Iran's premier trade partner, with bilateral trade worth 21.2 billion dollars against 14.4 billion dollars three years earlier. The figures confirm the exponential growth in commercial ties between ... more

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/China_takes_over_from_West_as_Irans_main_economic_partner_999.html

China says 'more concerned' over Iran nuclear crisis

China says 'more concerned' over Iran nuclear crisis
Beijing (AFP) March 16, 2010
China said Tuesday it was growing more concerned over the Iran nuclear crisis but again resisted calls to back sanctions, insisting talks were the best way to resolve the impasse. Visiting British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who is seeking Beijing's support for tougher UN sanctions against Iran, voiced his increasing impatience with the Islamic republic. Chinese Foreign Minister Ya ... read more

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/China_says_more_concerned_over_Iran_nuclear_crisis_999.html

Walker's World: Obama is losing India

Walker's World: Obama is losing India
Washington (UPI) Mar 15, 2009
The Obama administration is trying to play catch-up in its relations with the country that could become its most important long-term ally. But it may be leaving it too late, after India last week agreed a $7 billion deal in arms, nuclear reactors and space technology with Russia. India's strategic importance can hardly be exaggerated. More than just the other Asian economic giant after ... more

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Walkers_World_Obama_is_losing_India_999.html

Testing the No-New-Nuclear-Weapons Pledge Hans Kristensen

Testing the No-New-Nuclear-Weapons Pledge
Hans Kristensen, Nuclear Weapons, United States
The Air Force is considering a replacement for the nuclear air-launched cruise missile. Will the NPR agree or adhere to Barack Obama’s no-new-nuclear-weapons pledge?

.
By Hans M. Kristensen

One of the important tests of Obama Administration’s nuclear nonproliferation policy will be whether the long-delayed Nuclear Posture Review will approve new nuclear weapons.

During his election campaign, Barack Obama promised not to build new nuclear weapons, a pledge that recently has been reiterated by the administration.

Yet the Air Force’s budget request for 2011 includes several projects that, if approved, would contradict the pledge.

The “No New” Pledge

During the presidential election campaign, Barack Obama pledge to “stop the development of new nuclear weapons” if elected president. The pledged lived on for the first few months after the election on the Obama administration’s White House foreign policy web page, but disappeared when the page was reorganized at the time of the Prague speech in April 2009.

Since the, the president has, to my knowledge, not repeated the pledge. But Under Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher echoed the election pledge last month when she explained that the Pentagon says it does “not need new nuclear weapons capabilities. They just want to be confident in what we have,” she said and declared: “We are not in the business of seeking new nuclear capabilities. They are not needed to preserve a strong, credible deterrent.”

New Nuclear Weapons

Yet “new” seems to be an elusive term. Even though Tauscher promised that the “RRW is dead and is not coming back,” the Air Force nuclear weapons support program includes “Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) Studies & Analysis” in both 2010 and 2011. Perhaps she meant RRW as it was known rather than ruling out future replacement warheads.
More RRW Studies?
Despite a promise that the “RRW is dead and is not coming back,” the Air Force budget request includes RRW studies and analysis in both 2010 and 2011. Click for larger version.

.
Another apparent contradictions with the administration’s no new nuclear weapons pledge is a new nuclear cruise missile to replace the current Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) that expires in 2030. The new weapon is known as the Enhanced Cruise Missile (ECM), and development of nuclear weapons requirements documents are planned for 2010 and 2011, along with a Phase 6.2 Study, also known as a Feasibility Study and Option Down Select study.
A New Nuclear Cruise Missile?
The Air Force budget request includes what appears to be a replacement for the nuclear Air Launched Cruise Missile. Will the NPR approve? Click for larger version.

.
The Enhanced Cruise Missile appears to be part of a program known as the Follow-On Long Range Stand-Off (LRSO) Vehicle to develop a replacement for the Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM).

The plan includes production of the Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) in early 2010, a Material Development Decision (MDD) in September 2010, and an Acquisition Decision in late 2011 or 2012. With that timeline, the NPR will have to make a decision.

New or Modified Warhead

One question is whether the new cruise missile will use a modified version of the existing W80-1 warhead currently deployed on the ALCM for B-52 delivery, or require development of a new warhead.
A W80-1 warhead is mated with an ALCM.

Until 2006, a life extension program (LEP) existed to extend the life of the W80-1. The LEP version was called W80-3. A parallel program to extend the W80-0 warhead would have produced the W80-2. But the Bush administration decided to “defer” the programs in pursuit of the RRW. That effort failed but the W80 LEP is still “archived,” according to the Air Force FY2011 budget request.

The remaining W80-1 warheads are scheduled to receive new neutron generators in 2015-2017, but a refurbishment of the nuclear explosive package is not planned until 2036-2039, according to the NNSA’s FY09 refurbishment planning schedule (no schedule exists yet for FY2010 or FY2011). No life-extension is planned for the W80-0, which will be retired.
Warhead Refurbishment Plan?
The National Nuclear Security Administration’s nuclear warhead refurbishment plan does not include a formal life-extension program for the W80-1 warhead. An expensive program would be added if the NPR approves the Air Force’s cruise missile plan.
Chart obtained under FOIA. Click for larger version.

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A decision to use a modified version of the existing W80-1 in the new cruise missile would involve reviving the $200 million per year W80-3 LEP program.

New or Just “New”

Nuclear weapons modernization programs risk triggering a contentious debate similar to the dispute over the RRW and whether Obama’s no-nuclear-weapons pledge can be trusted.

Does a new “weapon” refer to the warhead on the missile or the delivery vehicle itself or both? And how new must a weapon be to be considered “new” – does it require an entirely new design or can a modified design be considered a “new” weapon?

Government officials have to be crystal clear when they present the results of the NPR to make sure the administration’s nonproliferation policy doesn’t get stuck in the mud of misunderstandings and contradictions about what constitutes a “new” nuclear weapon. A lot is at stake.

Additional Information: Pentagon Eyes More Than $800 Million for New Nuclear Cruise Missile
http://www.fas.org/blog/ssp/2010/03/newnukes.php#more-2784

Budget Increases for Nuclear Weapons Production

Budget Increases for Nuclear Weapons Production at the Expense of ...

In the new budget request for 2011 the Obama Administration proposes to freeze ... increasing funding for new US nuclear weapons production facilities. ...

www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17775

Obama's Budget Revealed: Money for Wars and Weapons, While More ...

Obama's Budget Revealed: Money for Wars and Weapons, While More ...
Mar 2, 2010 ... In the 2011 budget, these categories combined are projected to receive $79 ... for 96 of its major weapons programs totaling $295 billion, ...
www.alternet.org/.../obama's_budget_revealed:_money_for_wars_and_weapons,_while_more_americans_face_joblessness_and_hunger

FY 2011 Fact Sheet

FY 2011 Fact Sheet
The 2011 Budget for DOD provides $548.9 billion for the Department of Defense ... of 2011, and takes steps to ensure that military requirements for weapons ...

www.whitehouse.gov/omb/factsheet_department_defense/ -

US Department of Energy Fact Sheet Budget 2011

US Department of Energy Fact Sheet Budget 2011
... detect and deter nuclear smuggling and the development of weapons of mass destruction programs. ... Balances of Budget Authority Fiscal Year 2011 Budget ...
www.docstoc.com/.../US-Department-of-Energy-Fact-Sheet-Budget-2011

2011 Budget: Analysis of the 10% increase in nuclear weapons ... Feb 2, 2010 ... Released yesterday, the Fiscal Year 2011 budget for the Department of

2011 Budget: Analysis of the 10% increase in nuclear weapons ...
Feb 2, 2010 ... Released yesterday, the Fiscal Year 2011 budget for the Department of Energy increases funding for nuclear weapons activities by $661 ...

blog.peaceactionwest.org/.../2011-budget-analysis-of-the-10-increase-in-nuclear-weapons-funding/

The Obama FY 2011 Budget Request for Nuclear Weapons ... Feb 19, 2010 ... Unfortunately, one looks in vain within President Obam

The Obama FY 2011 Budget Request for Nuclear Weapons ...
Feb 19, 2010 ... Unfortunately, one looks in vain within President Obama's FY 2011 nuclear weapons budget request for signs of "Change We Can Believe In."

www.connectusfund.org/.../obama-fy-2011-budget-request-nuclear-weapons-nonproliferation-and-nuclear-energy

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

S.Korea Builds Experimental Nuclear Reprocessing Plant The Chosun Ilbo

S.Korea Builds Experimental Nuclear Reprocessing Plant
The Chosun Ilbo
South Korea recently started constructing a test facility for a sodium-cooled fast reactor capable of reprocessing spent nuclear fuel without generating weapons-grade plutonium, an official at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute said Sunday.
Full Article
http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/03/15/2010031500547.html

US Cautious on Removing Nuclear Arms from Europe Robert Burns, Associated Press

US Cautious on Removing Nuclear Arms from Europe
Robert Burns, Associated Press
The U.S. is taking a go-slow approach on one of the touchiest and least discussed national security issues: whether to remove the last remaining Cold War-era U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe.
Full Article
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100314/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_nuclear_weapons_europe

Cost to Test U.S. Global-Strike Missile Could Reach $500 Million Elaine M. Grossman, Global Security Newswire

Cost to Test U.S. Global-Strike Missile Could Reach $500 Million
Elaine M. Grossman, Global Security Newswire
The U.S. Defense Department could spend as much as a half-billion dollars to flight-test a new conventionally armed ballistic missile with a sophisticated capability to destroy targets virtually anywhere around the world, Global Security Newswire has learned (see GSN, July 1, 2009).
Full Article
http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20100315_8655.php

Nuclear Liability Bill Deferred at Last Minute Aarti Dhar, The Hindu

Nuclear Liability Bill Deferred at Last Minute
Aarti Dhar, The Hindu
Amid stiff opposition from the political parties, particularly the Left, the government on Monday decided against introducing in the Lok Sabha the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010 that provides for compensation in the event of a nuclear accident.
Full Article
http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/16/stories/2010031659150100.htm

Miliband Says Security Council on Same Page on Iran

Miliband Says Security Council on Same Page on Iran
Susan Stumme, Agence France-Presse
MilibandForeign Secretary David Miliband said on a visit to China Monday that the veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council were on the same page on how to tackle Iran.

Miliband's comments came ahead of talks in Beijing with Chinese leaders which he said would focus on efforts to resolve the international standoff over Tehran's disputed nuclear drive.
Full Article
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iyEkH9S741pzniqOHCBlvMpS87pQ

Securing The World's Nuclear Stockpiles

Securing The World's Nuclear Stockpiles
Image from Atomic Archive
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/15/AR2010031502996.html

Reports Shine Light On Nuclear Weapons Vigilance -- Washington Post

While public attention is focused on a new arms-control treaty between Russia and the United States, the slow, dull work of keeping nuclear warheads and weapons-grade uranium and plutonium protected from terrorists goes on almost unnoticed.

But two new reports have shed light on the subject. A fascinating study on China's system of securing its nuclear weapons was published last week. Two days earlier, an update on the multiyear U.S. effort to secure Russian nuclear sites, and those of other countries, was presented to the House Appropriations subcommittee on energy and water, which has jurisdiction over funding for the U.S. nuclear weapons complex.

Read more ....

: It is reassuring that the large nuclear states are working to secure their nuclear stockpiles. What is not reassuring is that states like Pakistan, North Korea, Iran, and God knows who else .... it is these nuclear programs that are out in the open with safeguards that one can question and doubt. Unfortunately, I do not see countries like North Korea opening up their nuclear program to outside inspectors anytime soon.

Final Destination Iran?

Final Destination Iran?

Exclusive: Rob Edwards

Hundreds of powerful US “bunker-buster” bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran. Continue


http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24989.htm

Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran Pakistani Scientist Khan Describes Iranian Efforts to Buy Nuclear Bombs

Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran
Pakistani Scientist Khan Describes Iranian Efforts to Buy Nuclear Bombs

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Joby Warrick

The father of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program has written an official account that details an Iranian attempt to buy atomic bombs from Pakistan at the end of the 1980s.Continue
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24981.htm

US-NATO "Strategic Concept": Global Warfare - by Rick Rozoff - 2010-03-15 Missile Shield And Nuclear Weapons

US-NATO "Strategic Concept": Global Warfare
- by Rick Rozoff - 2010-03-15
Missile Shield And Nuclear Weapons

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18121

The Deadly Current Toward Nuclear Arms by James Carroll

The Deadly Current Toward Nuclear Arms

by James Carroll

Think of Niagara Falls. Think of the onrushing current as the river pours itself toward the massive cascade. Imagine a lone swimmer a hundred yards or so upstream, desperately stroking against the current to keep from being swept over the precipice. That swimmer is President Obama, the river is the world, and the falls is the threat of unchecked nuclear weapons.

Henry James used the image of Niagara to describe the rush into World War I: ". . .the tide that bore us along.'' Hannah Arendt defined the wars of the 20th century as events "cascading like a Niagara Falls of history.'' Jonathan Schell used Niagara as an organizing metaphor for his indispensable critique of war, "The Unconquerable World.''

But now the image has entered the lexicon of strategic experts who warn of a coming "cascade of proliferation,'' one nation following another into the deadly chasm of nuclear weapons unless present nuclear powers find a way to reverse the current. The main burden is on Russia and the United States, which together possess the vast majority of the world's nuclear weapons, but President Obama deliberately made himself central to the challenge when he said in Prague, "I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.''

Now the Niagara current is taking him the other way. Here are the landmarks that define the swimmer's momentum.

■The US-Russia Treaty. Negotiators in Geneva are late in reaching agreement on a nuclear arms treaty to replace START, which expired last December. Obama is threading a needle, having to meet Russian requirements (for example, on missile defense) while anticipating Republican objections in the US Senate (for example, on missile defense). Warning: Bill Clinton was humiliated when the Senate rejected the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1999. Republicans' recalcitrance on health care is peanuts compared to the damage their rejection of a new START treaty would do.

■The Nuclear Posture Review, the Congress-mandated report on how the administration defines nuclear needs today. This, too, is overdue, probably because the White House has been pushing back against the Pentagon on numerous issues. Are nukes for deterrence only? Will the United States renounce first use? Having stopped the Bush-era program to build a new nuclear weapon, will Obama allow further research and development? What nations will be named as potential nuclear threats? Warning: The 1994 Nuclear Posture Review was Clinton's Pentagon Waterloo. It affirmed the Cold War status quo, killing serious arms reduction until now.

■Although usually considered apart, the broader US defense posture has turned into a key motivator for other nations to go nuclear. The current Pentagon budget ($5 trillion for 2010-2017) is so far beyond any other country, and the conventional military capacity it buys is so dominant, as to reinforce the nuclear option abroad as the sole protection against potential US attack. This is new.

■In April, a world leaders nuclear summit will be held in Washington, but both nuclear haves and have-nots will be taking positions based on the US-Russia Treaty (and its prospects for ratification) and the Nuclear Posture Review. Warning: if China sees US missile defense as potentially aimed its way, a new nuclear arms race is on.

■In May, the signatories to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty will hold their eighth regular review session in New York. Since the nations that agreed to forego nuclear weapons did so on the condition that the nuclear nations work steadily toward abolition, the key question will be whether Obama has in fact begun to deliver on his declared intention. If not, get ready for the cascade.

In truth, the current rushing toward Niagara cannot be resisted. Not seven nuclear nations, therefore, but 17, or, ultimately, 70. But beware an analysis like this. The falls are an analogy, not a fact. Obama warned of such fatalism, calling it in Prague, "a deadly adversary, for if we believe that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable, then in some way we are admitting to ourselves that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable.'' Therefore, reject the analogy. Obama is not a lone swimmer, but a voice of all humanity. The nuclear future is not pre-determined. Human choices are being made right now to define it anew.
© 2010 The Boston Globe
James Carroll is a frequent contributor to the Globe.
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/03/15-5

Nuclear-power bill suffers setback in India

Nuclear-power bill suffers setback in India
India's ruling coalition has decided to withdraw a measure that would limit liability payouts by foreign plant operators and the Indian government in the event of a nuclear accident. This comes after the opposition asserted that the legislation was being advanced under U.S. pressure and did not protect Indians. U.S. nuclear-plant companies have viewed the bill as a prerequisite for entering the Indian market. Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-fg-india-nukes16-2010mar16,0,5900645.story

Feds say tritium cleanup dependent on a number of factors

Feds say tritium cleanup dependent on a number of factors
The potential cost to clean up tritium-contaminated groundwater at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant depends on several conditions, said Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Among the factors are the tritium's decay rate, groundwater conditions and estimations of the maximum amount of radiation exposure the public could receive, he added. "[Plant owner] Entergy is still developing that information," Sheehan said. Brattleboro Reformer (Vt.)

http://www.reformer.com/localnews/ci_14677980

High cost, waste storage are hurdles for nuclear revival The Obama administration needs to address concerns tied to the high cost of nuclear plants an

High cost, waste storage are hurdles for nuclear revival
The Obama administration needs to address concerns tied to the high cost of nuclear plants and long-term storage of spent fuel before nuclear can become a major part of U.S. energy policy, according to this editorial by the San Jose Mercury News. The U.S. needs to develop nuclear to cut dependence on foreign oil and reduce carbon emissions. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.)
http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_14680930?nclick_check=1

The Defense Strategy Review Page

http://www.comw.org/wordpress/dsr/obama-nuclear-policy-a-debate

Critical Perspectives on the Pentagon Budget and US Military Spending

An Undisciplined Defense: Understanding the $2 Trillion Surge in US Defense Spending

The President's Dilemma: Debt, Deficits, and Defense Spending

Obama Nuclear Weapons Policy – a debate

Assessing the 2010 QDR: a guide to key issues

Monday, March 15, 2010

President Obama's commitment to seek peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons

A year ago in Prague President Obama confirmed an American "commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." This statement was applauded by many in the U.S. and around the world. Since that time the administration has been working on a Nuclear Posture Review (now overdue and expected within weeks) which many hope will provide insight into the Obama plans for a pathway from the current nuclear posture, to deep reductions in nuclear armaments (through treaties and other means) and to the eventual elimination of this class of weapons.

Paul Ingram on February 15th said, "...when a President gets up and makes a speech that contains within it commitments to a world free of nuclear weapons, proposing a number of initiatives, and looking forward to concrete commitments in the near term, it pays to be hopeful, but not gullible. And we have the first test of this hope in the very near future when the President comes to publish a version of his long awaited Nuclear Posture Review."

Some evidence regarding nuclear posture planning appeared with the budget on February 1st. On February 10th Greg Mello pointed out in a commentary in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists that the budget request includes some of the largest increases in the history of warhead spending and will create new capacities that will allow production of new weapons in some years from now.

Martin Senn immediately added the concern that moves by the U.S. to connect theater missile defense systems (TMD) to advanced remote sensor capabilities will create serious strategic vulnerabilities for Russia and China when considering future reductions in numbers of strategic delivery systems.

On February 18th Todd Fine wrote, "...if the President fails to inspire others to adopt his 'vision' and work toward elimination concretely, he may miss a singular opportunity. If CTBT... is not ratified by the [NPT] conference in May, these [weapons complex] budget requests alone may devastate U.S. credibility."

The above are from just four of the ten voices (to date) in an important new debate among disarmament advocates and nuclear policy experts collected on the Defense Strategy Review web page. You can find them all at:

http://www.comw.org/wordpress/dsr/obama-nuclear-policy-a-debate

If you think this exchange is a useful contribution to making progress toward the elimination of nuclear weapons (or more simply, better national policy) please pass the link along to others who may be interested.

Sincerely yours,

Charles

Charles Knight
co-director
Project on Defense Alternatives (PDA)
Commonwealth Institute
Cambridge, MA USA
617-547-4474
www.comw.org/pda/

The deadly current toward nuclear arms By James Carroll

The deadly current toward nuclear arms
By James Carroll
March 15, 2010

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/03/15/the_deadly_current_toward_nuclear_arms/

THINK OF Niagara Falls. Think of the onrushing current as the river pours itself toward the massive cascade. Imagine a lone swimmer a hundred yards or so upstream, desperately stroking against the current to keep from being swept over the precipice. That swimmer is President Obama, the river is the world, and the falls is the threat of unchecked nuclear weapons.

Henry James used the image of Niagara to describe the rush into World War I: “. . .the tide that bore us along.’’ Hannah Arendt defined the wars of the 20th century as events “cascading like a Niagara Falls of history.’’ Jonathan Schell used Niagara as an organizing metaphor for his indispensable critique of war, “The Unconquerable World.’’

But now the image has entered the lexicon of strategic experts who warn of a coming “cascade of proliferation,’’ one nation following another into the deadly chasm of nuclear weapons unless present nuclear powers find a way to reverse the current. The main burden is on Russia and the United States, which together possess the vast majority of the world’s nuclear weapons, but President Obama deliberately made himself central to the challenge when he said in Prague, “I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.’’

Now the Niagara current is taking him the other way. Here are the landmarks that define the swimmer’s momentum.

■The US-Russia Treaty. Negotiators in Geneva are late in reaching agreement on a nuclear arms treaty to replace START, which expired last December. Obama is threading a needle, having to meet Russian requirements (for example, on missile defense) while anticipating Republican objections in the US Senate (for example, on missile defense). Warning: Bill Clinton was humiliated when the Senate rejected the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1999. Republicans’ recalcitrance on health care is peanuts compared to the damage their rejection of a new START treaty would do.

■The Nuclear Posture Review, the Congress-mandated report on how the administration defines nuclear needs today. This, too, is overdue, probably because the White House has been pushing back against the Pentagon on numerous issues. Are nukes for deterrence only? Will the United States renounce first use? Having stopped the Bush-era program to build a new nuclear weapon, will Obama allow further research and development? What nations will be named as potential nuclear threats? Warning: The 1994 Nuclear Posture Review was Clinton’s Pentagon Waterloo. It affirmed the Cold War status quo, killing serious arms reduction until now.

■Although usually considered apart, the broader US defense posture has turned into a key motivator for other nations to go nuclear. The current Pentagon budget ($5 trillion for 2010-2017) is so far beyond any other country, and the conventional military capacity it buys is so dominant, as to reinforce the nuclear option abroad as the sole protection against potential US attack. This is new.

■In April, a world leaders nuclear summit will be held in Washington, but both nuclear haves and have-nots will be taking positions based on the US-Russia Treaty (and its prospects for ratification) and the Nuclear Posture Review. Warning: if China sees US missile defense as potentially aimed its way, a new nuclear arms race is on.

■In May, the signatories to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty will hold their eighth regular review session in New York. Since the nations that agreed to forego nuclear weapons did so on the condition that the nuclear nations work steadily toward abolition, the key question will be whether Obama has in fact begun to deliver on his declared intention. If not, get ready for the cascade.

In truth, the current rushing toward Niagara cannot be resisted. Not seven nuclear nations, therefore, but 17, or, ultimately, 70. But beware an analysis like this. The falls are an analogy, not a fact. Obama warned of such fatalism, calling it in Prague, “a deadly adversary, for if we believe that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable, then in some way we are admitting to ourselves that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable.’’ Therefore, reject the analogy. Obama is not a lone swimmer, but a voice of all humanity. The nuclear future is not pre-determined. Human choices are being made right now to define it anew.

James Carroll is a frequent contributor to the Globe.

The World's Arm Trade Is Booming

The World's Arm Trade Is Booming

ARMSFLOW.org is a data visualization project that shows international arms transactions between 1950 and 2006. The site (a big ole Java applet) was created by Jeffrey Warren of Vestal Design, based on data from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Worldwide Arms Trade Flourishing Despite Recession, Report Warns -- The Guardian

Average volume of sales increased by 22%, with South America and south-east Asia seeing the biggest rises

The worldwide arms race has accelerated, most dramatically in South America and south-east Asia, despite the economic and financial slump, according to a report published today.

The average volume of arms sales increased by 22% over the past five years, compared to the previous five-year period, says the report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The last two of these years were marked by worldwide economic turbulence which has far from stabilised, yet the arms trade is booming, it finds.

Read more ....
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/15/worldwide-arms-trade-flourishing-recession

More News On The World's Growing Arms Trade

Developing world has launched 'arms race': think-tank -- AFP
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jNJOivSfBzBzab7r3YSyW7Kjxq9w

Surging global weapons transfers raise concerns -- AP
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gSw1ChS6yerw8OZTUdMdOIBp81tQD9EER4600

'Arms drive' in South East Asia -- BBC
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62D24O20100314

Big rise in arms imports threatens SE Asia: report -- Reuters
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8567750.stm

US No. 1 arms exporter, China, India top importers: SIPRI -- Economic Times of India
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/US-No-1-arms-exporter-China-India-top-importers-SIPRI/articleshow/5686779.cms

US, Russia account for half of world arms sales: report -- Sify
http://sify.com/news/us-russia-account-for-half-of-world-arms-sales-report-news-international-kdps4cbdifh.html

Russian arms transfers to North Africa: Fuelling an arms race? -- RIA Novosti
http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20100315/158200374.html

Global Arms Sales up 22% during '05-'09: Think Tank -- CriEnglish
http://english.cri.cn/6966/2010/03/15/1781s556789.htm

New SIPRI data on international arms transfers reflect arms race concerns -- Defpro
http://www.defpro.com/news/details/13767/

USA Steals 'Largest Death Seller' Title from Russia -- Pravda
http://english.pravda.ru/world/americas/15-03-2010/112583-arms_export-0

Nuclear 'roadmap' in latest Russia-India accords from World Nuclear News by Jeremy Gordon

Nuclear 'roadmap' in latest Russia-India accords
from World Nuclear News by Jeremy Gordon

Putin and Singh (Image: Prime Minister's Office)New agreements between Russia and India cover cooperation in nuclear power and a roadmap for this year's work by the two countries. Meanwhile, the Indian government has deferred a bill that could be vital to opening nuclear trade with the USA.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-Nuclear_roadmap_in_latest_Russia-India_accords-1503107.html

Russia eyes construction of nuclear fuel-production plant in India

Russia eyes construction of nuclear fuel-production plant in India
India and Russia are planning to form a partnership to build a nuclear fuel-production facility in India, said Sergei Kiriyenko, chief of Russia's state nuclear corporation, Rosatom. The possibility of such a plant was included in the nuclear-cooperation deal the two countries signed last week in New Delhi. The Hindu (India)

http://beta.thehindu.com/news/national/article244473.ece

Mass. lawmaker says new energy bill to focus on job creation

Mass. lawmaker says new energy bill to focus on job creation
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is crafting legislation focused on generating jobs and triggering energy independence. By advancing energy sources such as nuclear, solar and wind, the measure could create more than 1 million jobs while cleaning the air and curbing emissions, he said during an interview. Google/The Associated Press

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hM1DYWlWj8EbMAj-WOC1Nui69qSgD9EDB6S80

Departing NRC commissioner calls Yucca Mountain action "unfortunate"

Departing NRC commissioner calls Yucca Mountain action "unfortunate"
Departing Nuclear Regulatory Commission member Dale Klein criticized the Obama administration's handling of Nevada's Yucca Mountain. Klein made his remarks at a meeting of more than 2,700 industry officials, saying the move has injured the government's credibility on nuclear issues. Las Vegas Review-Journal/Stephens Washington News Bureau

http://www.lvrj.com/news/yucca-mountain-shutdown-criticized-87612692.html

Nuclear power revival needs state support, execs say

Nuclear power revival needs state support, execs say
Full assistance from states is essential to keep the U.S. nuclear renaissance up and running, utility executives said last week at a Houston energy conference. Though the country succeeded in awarding the first loan guarantee for nuclear power, it will not be enough to convince utilities to invest in new facilities, executives said. Some states have approved laws to back nuclear construction, but they must also support nuclear efforts over the long run, said Jeff Lyash, a Progress Energy official. Reuters

U.S. - Russian Nuclear Agreement To Be Concluded Soon

U.S. - Russian Nuclear Agreement To Be Concluded Soon


US And Russia Claim They Are On Brink Of Nuclear Deal -- The Guardian

More than three months late, Obama and Medvedev dive for the finish line in a bid to maintain momentum on disarmament.

Apologies if you have read this somewhere before many times, but Washington and Moscow are once again saying they are really, really close to a new START nuclear arms control treaty.

Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev spoke on the telephone on Saturday and agreed to give their negotiators in Geneva "new instructions" to conclude a draft treaty that would cut each sides deployed strategic arsenal from well over 2,000 warheads apiece to somewhere between 1,500 and 1,675. Launch vehicles (missiles and bombers) would be cut from 1600 to a range of 500 to 1,100.

Read more ....
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/julian-borger-global-security-blog/2010/mar/14/nuclear-weapons-obama-administration

More News On U.S. - Russia Nuclear Negotiations

Russia-US nuclear treaty ready soon: Kremlin -- AFP
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hfp1miYgr5vwBIxHmR9tJklhCYhg

Obama, Medvedev encouraged on arms talks accord -- AP
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5isOusq88XaFLQSKVrHn_wRfUSvAgD9EE50M04

Obama, Medvedev happy on arms pact, signing seen near -- Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62C1GK20100313

US and Russia 'near' new nuclear arms treaty -- BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8566579.stm

Obama and Medvedev Talk About Arms Treaty -- New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/world/europe/14start.html

Hillary Clinton upbeat on arms treaty with Russia -- The Hindu
http://beta.thehindu.com/news/international/article245778.ece

Russia, U.S. look to date for signing new arms treaty -- Xinhuanet
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-03/14/c_13209642.htm

Russia, US close to signing arms reduction pact: Kremlin -- Economic Times of India
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/Russia-US-close-to-signing-arms-reduction-pact-Kremlin/articleshow/5681737.cms

NATO Boss: Nuclear Weapons Still Needed for 'Credible Deterrence' Preemptive Nuclear War prevails

NATO Boss: Nuclear Weapons Still Needed for 'Credible Deterrence'
Preemptive Nuclear War prevails
- 2010-03-13

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18088

Joshua Frank / Jeffrey St. Clair Obama and Nuclear Power: Resurrecting a Failed Industry

Joshua Frank /
Jeffrey St. Clair
Obama and Nuclear Power: Resurrecting a Failed Industry

http://www.counterpunch.org/stclair03122010.html

SPENGLER Obama in more trouble than Netanyahu over Iran

SPENGLER
Obama in more trouble
than Netanyahu over Iran
If the Barack Obama administration attempts to punish Israel for doing what American public opinion seems to favor - striking Iran's nuclear program - then Obama is likely to pay the political price. The US administration is hamstrung by the investment it made in rapprochement with Tehran, which it hoped would become the pillar on which American regional policy would rest. (Mar 15, '10)

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LC16Ak01.html

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Nuclear Posture Review to Reduce Regional Role of Nuclear Weapons from FAS Strategic Security

Nuclear Posture Review to Reduce Regional Role of Nuclear Weapons
from FAS Strategic Security Blog by hkristensen
2 people liked this
The Quadrennial Deference Review forecasts reduction in regional role of nuclear weapons. By Hans M. Kristensen A little-noticed section of the Quadrennial Defense Review recently published by the Pentagon suggests that that the Obama administration’s forthcoming Nuclear Posture Review will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in regional scenarios.

http://www.fas.org/blog/ssp/2010/02/nukemission.php

Obama and the Nuclear War Plan from FAS Strategic Security Blog

Obama and the Nuclear War Plan
from FAS Strategic Security Blog by hkristensen

The current U.S. strategic war plan is directed against six adversaries. Guess who. . By Hans M. Kristensen While the completion of the Obama administration’s Nuclear Posture Review continues to slide, FAS today published an issue paper on how a decision to reduce the role of nuclear weapons might influence the U.S. strategic war plan. President Obama pledged in [...]

http://www.fas.org/blog/ssp/2010/02/warplan.php

Did Chomsky Say? Iran Pursuing Nuclear Weapons Out of Fear Scholar assails U.S. for hypocritical application of Non-Proliferation Treaty

Did Chomsky Say?
Iran Pursuing Nuclear Weapons Out of Fear

Scholar assails U.S. for hypocritical application of Non-Proliferation Treaty

By Matthew W. Hutchins

March 11. 2010 "Harvard Law Record" -- Even the most radical conservative can agree with Noam Chomsky on at least one thing. “No one in their right mind wants Iran to develop nuclear weapons.” But to Chomsky, nonproliferation requires reciprocal action, rather than international condemnation. Chomsky's reputation as a prolific author of books on subjects including linguistics, philosophy, cognitive science, political science, and media might lead one to believe that his views stem from esoteric theoretical arguments, but Chomsky takes a pragmatic view of international relations. His conclusion is that Iran is developing nuclear weapons out of a rational fear for its national safety because of the systematically threatening posture of the United States and Israel.

Speaking at Harvard's Memorial Church on Saturday, March 6th, Chomsky critiqued the foreign policy of President Obama '91 and explained the historical reasons that Iran would perceive a need to develop nuclear weapons. “If they're not developing a nuclear deterrent, they are crazy.” The problem, said Chomsky, is the defiant and hypocritical insistence of the United States on holding the constant threat of military action over Iran as a punishment for its noncompliance with United Nations mandates. “Hostile actions of the United States and its Israeli client are a major factor in Iran's decisions of whether or not to develop a nuclear deterrent.”

In Chomsky's eyes, Security Council Resolution 1887, which was strongly endorsed by President Obama, calls upon all nations to peacefully participate in the international regimes for nonproliferation. The resolution encourages nations to develop civilian nuclear technology, while stressing the need for conformity to the IAEA's inspection system, and Chomsky said that the inclusion of language about peaceful action was primarily directed at the United States and its veiled threats that, “We must keep all options open.” Indeed, with its nuclear missile submarines positioned within striking distance of Iran, Chomsky estimates that there is effectively no chance that Iran would ever use a future nuclear weapon for offensive purposes. But he warned, “The threats do have the effect of inducing Iran to develop a deterrent.”

The escalation of tensions between Iran and the United States is entirely absurd to Chomsky in light of the widespread acceptance of the rights of Iranians to develop civilian nuclear technology. He sees the cult of American Empire in the government's condemnations of Iran for refusing to follow the demands of the international community, because the definition of “international community” used in such rhetoric amounts to little more than the opinion in Washington, D.C. and among its allies. He cited to the hypocrisy of the U.S. position in its historical relationships with the three nations that did not ratify the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty: Israel, India, and Pakistan. These three nations, said Chomsky, have all received nuclear technology from the United States in violation of security council resolutions, but most Americans would not realize this, given the pro-government bias of the media.

Essentially, Chomsky believes that President Obama's foreign policy has embodied a continuation of the policies of George W. Bush's second term in office. But he believes we are fortunate to be living in a time when the anti-war movement is much stronger than it was during the 1960's. He recalled a demonstration he was involved in during 1965, when state police violently dispersed a crowd from Boston Common. The next day, the Boston Globe, one of the most liberal newspapers in the country, denounced the protesters. Just three years later, following the Tet Offensive, public sentiment had moved enough that protests became common, but he ascribed this to a growing sentiment on Wall Street that the country had paid too high a price in Vietnam. Looking back at the lessons of that war, Chomsky said that the United States had essentially achieved its goal of “innoculating” the region from the domino-theory chain reaction by 1970 by installing dictators in neighboring countries and helping Suharto come to power in Indonesia.

Prize-winning journalist Amy Goodman noted in her introduction of Chomsky that he had played a crucial role in bringing the attention of the world to the oppression of the people of East Timor by Indonesia. She recounted the beatings and massacres she witnessed while traveling there as a journalist, as well as the elation when the nation achieved independence. “This nation of survivors had prevailed. They had resisted, and they had won.” Chomsky, when speaking about activism and civil disobedience, stressed the need for determined persistence. “You're not going to win tomorrow. You are going to have a lot of defeats, but you have to keep at it.”
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Did Chomsky Say Iran Pursuing Nuclear Weapons Out of Fear By Matthew W. Hutchins

Did Chomsky Say
Iran Pursuing Nuclear Weapons Out of Fear

By Matthew W. Hutchins

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