When my Stanford University colleagues and I were taken to the construction site of a small, experimental light water reactor (LWR) and to a new centrifuge facility in North Korea on November 12, it marked my seventh visit to North Korea and my fourth to the Yongbyon nuclear complex.
Month: December 2010
A major outcome of the April 2010 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC, was the commitment by 47 nations to collaborate in developing new technologies that require neither highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuels for reactor operation nor HEU targets for producing medical or other isotopes. This principle of HEU minimization also was included in the final document of the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, which was adopted by consensus.
The highly sophisticated Stuxnet computer worm suspected of sending Iran’s nuclear centrifuges into self-destruction mode forces a difficult debate on whether longstanding firewalls in our country’s democracy should be breached for the sake of national security.
When President Barack Obama visited India in November, there was no shortage of media attention. What did receive less than due notice during the visit, however, was a US-India nuclear initiative that promoted nuclear diplomacy between the two countries. The question now is whether this is a relationship to foster nuclear disarmament — or whether this is simply the beginning of India’s membership into the nuclear club.
With President Obama determined to bring New START to the Senate floor before the end of the year, the national security establishment is virtually unanimous in its support of the treaty.
Discussions of the technical flaws of strategic missile defense are nearly as old as the idea itself. Considerably less attention, however, has been paid to examining whether such a system — even if technically feasible — should be a desirable goal. The plan to move forward with a NATO-wide missile defense system demands we now take a closer look at whether the conceptual basis of strategic missile defense is sensible.
In his keynote address delivered at the International Conference on Science and International Security: Addressing the Challenges of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism in Madrid on November 9, Sen. Richard Lugar, Republican of Indiana, stressed the need to expand the 20-year-old Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program, which he and former Sen. Sam Nunn, Democrat of Georgia, developed in 1991 to secure and destroy nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in the former Soviet Union.