As South Korea prepares for the second Nuclear Security Summit, scheduled to take place in Seoul next March, the momentum for collective international action on nuclear terrorism must be sustained. In the months before the 2012 talks, states will have to work together to retain focus on the summit’s ultimate goal — securing vulnerable nuclear material worldwide — or else risk taking a step backward in the fight against the menace of nuclear terrorism.
Month: June 2011
The International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM) is in the process of finalizing an analysis of the policy and technical challenges faced internationally over the past five decades by efforts at long-term storage and disposal of spent fuel from nuclear power reactors. These challenges have so far prevented the licensing of a geological spent fuel repository anywhere in the world.
All of our planet’s problems began 10,000 to 15,000 years ago with the domestication of livestock and crops, and it went downhill from there. While agriculture provided a stable food supply, it also required the destruction of pristine land. Surplus food enabled the growth of cities; cities led to civilizations; and civilizations eventually discovered the science and technology that allowed our numbers to grow. And, while these advances have been great for us humans, they haven’t been so great for the natural world.
Every evening, my father climbs the levee along the Missouri River in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and peers down into the black water that swallows the road. The water is rising, and the Army Corps of Engineers says the levee has never faced such a test. Dad, a retired professor, is packing his books and papers. If the levee doesn’t hold, his one-story house could be underwater for months.
Shahrzad Mohtadi, a rising sophomore at Columbia University in New York City, has been selected for the Bulletin‘s 2011 Leonard M. Rieser Fellowship to pursue a study of “Climate-induced migration and its responses.” Her project will focus on southeastern Turkey, which has been affected by severe drought since 2006.
In addition to receiving funding for her travel and research, Mohtadi will be invited to participate in the organization’s November 2011 Doomsday Clock Symposium and to submit her report for possible publication in the Bulletin.
Since the attacks of 9/11, the United States has overthrown regimes in two Muslim countries at a cost of trillions of dollars, nearly doubled baseline defense expenditures, run up a massive federal debt, curbed civil liberties at home, violated international law, set up a new cabinet department, and alienated many of our traditional allies. All of this was justified in the name of dealing with what was perceived as the existential threat posed by Al Qaeda.
Cathryn Cronin Cranston, past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, died on May 31. While serving as chair from 2005-2009, she helped lead the Bulletin through a major transformation, reconnecting the publication to its roots in the science, technology, and security policy community, and moving it to all-digital publishing.