The Doomsday Clock is an internationally recognized design that conveys how close we are to destroying our civilization with dangerous technologies of our own making. First and foremost among these are nuclear weapons, but the dangers include climate-changing technologies, emerging... Read More
Theodore A. PostolMarkus Schiller Robert Schmucker
Even if North Korea is now capable of fabricating a relatively light-weight, “miniaturized” atomic bomb that can survive the extreme reentry environments of long-range rocket delivery, it will, with certainty, not be able to deliver such an atomic bomb to the lower 48 states of the United States with the rocket tested on July 3 and July 28.
Yes, North Korea can probably deliver a functioning nuclear warhead to the continental United States. But the real issue is whether loose talk and a refusal to negotiate will lead to a "devastating crisis because of miscalculation [or] misperception."
Key steps need to be taken to reduce the dangers posed by spent nuclear fuel stored in cooling pools. The most important: a reduction of the density of spent fuel assemblies now stored in these pools, and an expansion of on-site storage of used fuel in hardened “dry casks.”
Military involvement in cutting-edge biotechnology is growing—but it isn’t receiving adequate attention. A field called synthetic biology can help show the way toward appropriate engagement between scientists and militaries.
The new treaty creates space and means for a creative new disarmament politics based on law and ethics and democracy that goes beyond well-trodden debates on the dangers and costs of nuclear weapons and traditional practices of arms control based on step-by-step reductions that limit only the size of arsenals.