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 US Energy Secretary takes a little time this week to provide Bulletin readers with a quick update on the administration's efforts to convince Congress and the American people to support the Iran nuclear agreement
Superintelligence is propounding a solution that will not work to a problem that probably does not exist, but now is the time to take the ethical and policy implications of artificial intelligence seriously
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.
Over the last two years, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the University of Chicago have created an online tool that will help countries understand the true cost of choosing the reprocessing route—and perhaps help limit the spread of nuclear reprocessing. Here's how.
Who can be mobilized as a counterweight to the perpetuation of the nuclear arsenal?Workers in the nuclear weapons complex, doctors, independent scientists, and journalists all have direct interests in nuclear disarmament.
In the classic film Dr. Strangelove, Brig. Gen. Jack D. Ripper was the ultimate insider threat. As the nuclear-armed B-52s that Ripper unilaterally dispatched proceeded toward their Soviet targets, the American president confronted Air Force Gen. Buck Turgidson in exasperation: "When you instituted the human reliability tests, you assured me there was no possibility of such a thing ever occurring." To which Turgidson replied, "Well, I don't think it's quite fair to condemn a whole program because of a single slip-up, sir."
"The Russian Government informs you of its intention to terminate the provisional application of the agreement on the International Science and Technology Center and withdraw from the associated protocol." So read a diplomatic note to the United States, the European Union, Japan, and other interested parties in July 2011.
In a September 1967 speech, V.C. Trivedi, the Indian Ambassador to an early UN arms control effort known as the Eighteen Nations Committee on Disarmament, said that developing countries could tolerate nuclear weapons apartheid, but not an atomic apartheid that prevented them from attaining the economic progress that civilian nuclear power can bring. Regrettably, today's global nonproliferation architecture is being applied with such selectivity that it can truly be called the neo-nuclear apartheid.
Shortly after its failed April 13 rocket launch, North Korea was widely expected to conduct its third underground nuclear test. Such a test would have fit the pattern of the first two nuclear tests, both of which followed failed rocket launches and international condemnation. And Pyongyang has compelling technical, military, and political reasons to conduct a third nuclear test that would demonstrate it can miniaturize nuclear warheads to fit on a missile, making its nuclear arsenal more threatening.
In July, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) held its final hearing to license the world's first facility to enrich uranium on a commercial scale using lasers. For years, experts have warned that laser enrichment, known as SILEX (separation of isotopes by laser excitation), would be particularly good at making highly enriched uranium -- the ingredient needed to make nuclear weapons -- and that a commercial venture could stimulate proliferation.
When survivors of the 2002 theater siege in Moscow -- in which Russian police used a gas widely believed to be a fentanyl derivative to flush out terrorists -- brought claims before the European Court of Human Rights, the ruling came down with mixed results.
The Chicago NATO Summit accomplished its main goal of finalizing plans to turn over control of the security situation in Afghanistan to the Afghan security forces by the middle of next year. But in fact that goal had already been accomplished well before the meeting.
On February 16, the strategic forces subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee held a hearing on the oversight of the nuclear weapons laboratories. The nine out of 16 committee members who skipped the hearing -- including the congressman who represents the district encompassing the Livermore Laboratory -- missed a fine show.