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
The difference between past nonproliferation failures and the current Iran agreement is made clear by the record of nuclear diplomacy involving four countries that did not sign the NPT or withdrew from it: Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea.
A typhoon was coming, the fuel pump failed, they had to switch planes, things were wired incorrectly, they missed their rendezvous, they couldn’t see the primary target, they ran out of gas on the way home, and they had to crash-land. But the worst part was when the Fat Man atomic bomb started to arm itself mid-flight.
A short delay in implementation of an agreement on Iran's nuclear program could help address the concerns of the United States, Iran, and other parties to the negotiations, and even allow for US congressional review.
Matt SmithKatharine MieszkowskiThe Center for Investigative Reporting
For decades before it was selected for closure, the Treasure Island Naval Station in San Francisco Bay overhauled military ships and housed nuclear war academies that used radium, plutonium, and cesium 137 in their training courses. The Navy knew for years that those materials were not always in safe hands. But it did not acknowledge that history publicly, and as a result, workers preparing for civilian redevelopment may have inadvertently spread radioactive material around the island, The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) has found in a yearlong investigation co-published by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
As the lame-duck Congress wraps up business, a serious debate is unfolding over the future of the US nuclear weapons complex. For the first time since the end of World War II, the long-held policy that places control of the design and production of nuclear weapons in civilian hands may be up for grabs. At issue: What is to be done with the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), now located inside the US Department of Energy?
Last month, I profiled President Barack Obama's record on nuclear threat reduction during his first term. I concluded that, while the president has taken impressive initial steps to reduce nuclear stockpiles, secure vulnerable nuclear materials, and retard the spread of nuclear weapons, key elements of his ambitious agenda remain unfinished.
On October 22, 1962, President John F. Kennedy shocked the world by announcing the discovery of Soviet missiles in Cuba and by imposing a blockade on missile-carrying ships moving toward the island. With the superpower navies about to collide, many experts feared an escalation to nuclear war. Though historians have credited American resolve for Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev's decision to stop his ships and withdraw his missiles, resolution of the crisis was actually far more complex.