Category Archives: Nuclear

Where Will the Next President Stand on Nuclear Weapons?

An in-depth analysis in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (3 MAY 2016) by Rachel Whitlark compares the 2016 presidential candidates’positions on nuclear weapons.

It is recommend reading for those interested in nuclear strategy, defense policy and national security.

Here is the link:

http://thebulletin.org/where-will-next-president-stand-nuclear-weapons9391

NK Talks Peace While Building Nukes and Missiles

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer North Korea's Foreign Minister, Ri Su Yong, speaking before the UN General Assembly, has advocated a peace treaty with the United States according to UPI. "With the current armistice, peace on the Korean peninsula can no longer be maintained," Ri said on Thursday, according to South Korean media source , Yonhap. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2015/10/02/North-Korea-calls-for-peace-treaty-with-the-United-States/2021443793126/ Meanwhile, back in the DPRK, a freight train is currently confirmed moving towards North Korea's Sohae Satellite Launching Station in Tongchang-ri, North Pyongan province. It is suspected of carrying materials for a possible missile launch on or about October 10, according to South Korean, Japanese and US intelligence sources. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2015/10/01/North-Korea-freight-train-en-route-to-launch-pad/9091443749385/?st_rec=2021443793126 Read more

North Korea Could Have Plutonium for up to 10 Nuclear Bombs

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer An 9/17/2015 article, outlining current and historical developments at the DPRK’s Yongbuong reactor site, in the Hankoreh by staff reporter, Kim Ji-hoon stated that North Korea could possess enough Plutonium to build from 7-10 nuclear weapons. According to a 2014 South Korean Defense Ministry white paper, “North Korea is estimated to possess around 40 kilograms of weapons-grade Plutonium, and it is thought to be running a program to produce highly enriched uranium (HEU)”. Lee Chun-geun, senior analyst at the Science and Technology Policy Institute, said that “ This would be enough to make between seven and ten nuclear weapons”. Further information is available at: http://www.nti.org/country-profiles/north-korea/ [ including a nuclear map] https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/northkoreaprofile and http://csis.org/publication/south-korea-2014-defense-white-paper-highlights-dprk-nuclear-threats Read more

DE Congressman Carney’s Statement in Support of Iran Nuclear Deal

By: Delaware Congressman, John Carney Congressman Carney Statement in Support of Iran Nuclear Deal In 2010, before I was elected as your congressman, I visited the state of Israel with several other Delawareans. The trip was a transformational experience. As a lifelong Catholic, visiting the Holy Land had a deep spiritual impact on me. And it also seared in my mind the vulnerability of the state of Israel. We met with several representatives of the Israeli government, one of whom was the country’s expert on Iran. The picture he painted of Iran’s nuclear program, and its potential impact on the region, convinced me of one thing I have never forgotten: a nuclear-armed Iran is an existential threat to the state of Israel. Coming home on the plane, I resolved that preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon would be one of my highest priorities if elected. That’s why I believe Read more

DCIA Expresses Concern Over Possible Iranian-North Korean Nuclear Cooperation

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer CIA Director, Robert Brennan, has warned of possible Iranian outsourcing of Plutonium production and other forms of nuclear cooperation with North Korea. Read the entire story here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/15/brennan-us-watching-nukes-cooperation-iran-n-korea/. Given North Korea’s determination to produce Plutonium from its Yongbyong reactor site, despite an international agreement to the contrary and Iran’s ambitious nuclear program , coupled with its geopolitics and economic need to have UN sanctions lifted in order to free billions of dollars, currently frozen when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is implemented and its nuclear expertise (relative to the DPRK); this is a very possible scenario. Various sources have speculated that that increased cooperation between Iran and the DPRK may be an attempt by Iran Read more

DPRK Announcement: Restart of Yongbyong Reactor

REPRINT The orginal news release from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) is given below: Source: http://kcna.kp/kcna.user.article.retrieveNewsViewInfoList.kcmsf Director of Atomic Energy Institute of DPRK on Its Nuclear Activities Pyongyang, September 15 (KCNA) -- The director of the Atomic Energy Institute of the DPRK gave the following answer to question put by KCNA Tuesday as regards the public opinion being built up over the DPRK's nuclear activities: Of late, institutions specializing in nuclear activities and media of the Western world including the U.S. have become vociferous about nuclear activities in the DPRK, saying satellite data made them capture fresh activity in a nuclear establishment in Nyongbyon and they are concerned about it. As known by the world, the DPRK's access to the nuclear weapons is an outcome of the U.S. hostile policy towards it. Read more

North Korea Restarts Main Reactor

*** BREAKING NEWS*** By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer The head of North Korea’s Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed that the DPRK has restarted its main research light water Reactor #1 at Yongbyong. The graphite-moderated reactor (model IRT-2000) was originally imported in 1963 from a Soviet-era design, and was subsequently upgraded from 4 to 8 MWth. Read more here. A detailed account is available at: http://www.nknews.org/2015/09/n-korea-upgrading-nuclear-facilities-in-nyongbyon-kcna/. Further technical information is available at: http://www.nti.org/facilities/767/ To compare the IRT – 2000 design with the RMBK design (of Chernobyl fame) visit: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle/Power-Reactors/Appendices/RBMK-Reactors/ The original Korean Central News Agency report is available at: http://kcna.kp/kcna.user.article.retrieveNewsViewInfoList.kcmsf This Read more

Iran Announces Discovery of Major Uranium Reserves

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer A Potential Gamechanger? Iran’s announcement of discovery of major Uranium reserves in the central province of Yazd has surprised western experts and could be a nuclear gamechanger. According to Reuters, Ali Akbar Salehi, Director of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) was quoted as saying, "I cannot announce ( the level of ) Iran's uranium mine reserves. The important thing is that before aerial prospecting for uranium ores we were not too optimistic, but the new discoveries have made us confident about our reserves." Salehi went on to say that uranium exploration had covered almost two-thirds of Iran and would be complete in the next four years, according to a September 12, 2015 posting by Iran’s state news agency, IRNA. Read more

Iran Again Demands Secrecy in IAEA Meeting

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Speaking before the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna on Thursday , September 10, 2015; Iranian Ambassador to the IAEA, Reza Najafi again delivered an official warning to the UN international inspection agency not to disclose Iran’s classified information related to its nuclear sites, regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), according to a 9/10/2015 IRNA report. “Iran will not accept any heedlessness that would lead to the revelation of classified information. The demand by certain Board of Governors members to receive such information runs counter to the Agency's standard procedures”, he declared. Najafi underlined Iran’s necessity for the IAEA to redouble efforts to keep the information of Iran's nuclear program “confidential and hidden to the foreign spy agencies that attempt Read more

Is North Korea Increasing Plutonium Production?

By Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer According to an analysis [1] by William Mugford and Jack Liu, posted on 38north.org, interpretation of Aug 22 commercial satellite imagery may suggest that recent increased activity at North Korea's key nuclear R&D facility is a preliminary indication that the DPRK may be producing or preparing to produce weapons grade plutonium. [ Photo: (c) 2015 Wolf von Baumgart ] The site’s main reactor, located approximately 60 miles North of Pyongyang, was previously mothballed and disabled under an agreement reached at the six-party talks in October, 2007. According to the report, “Developments at Yongbyon are cause for concern and should be monitored closely by the international community to determine their purpose.” [2] The Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center consists of a 5-MWe graphite-moderated reactor (with annex), Read more

Iran Says NO to Unrestricted International Nuclear Inspection

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer As the US Senate debates acceptance of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) the Iranian Defense Minister, Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan, has stated flatly that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will not be allowed access to every site that it wishes. Citing that unlimited inspections would be a violation of the IAEA and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) rules, he said that "Iran does not plan to issue permission for the IAEA to inspect every site.” , in an interview with al-Mayadeen News Network on Wednesday, September 2. Iranian Defense Minister, Hossein Deqan [FARS Photo] He reiterated that Iran would not allow any foreigner to discover Iran's defensive and missile capabilities by inspecting the country's military sites. "Missile-related issues have never been on agenda of the nuclear talks and the Islamic system Read more

Find Out Where US Senators Stand on Iran Nuclear Deal

By Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Secureamericanow.org has furnished a link enabling people to determine where their US Senators stand on the Iran Nuclear Deal. http://www.stopthebadirandeal.com/scorecard/?e=c4ed964552f9f0b560c2a2d326600f88&utm_source=san&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fwd_america&n=4http://www.stopthebadirandeal.com/scorecard/?e=c4ed964552f9f0b560c2a2d326600f88&utm_source=san&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fwd_america&n=4 People are encouraged to contact their Senators to express their opinions. Delaware US Senators, Tom Carper(D) and Chris Coons(D) have expressed their support for the proposed Joint Plan of Action (JPOA). Read more

Debate on Iran Nuclear Deal Intensifies

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Powers, in a recent editorial in Politico has stated that the United States could find itself isolated from the international community if it rejects the proposed Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) with Iran, according to a L’Agence France-Presse (AFP) report. "If the United States rejects this deal, we would instantly isolate ourselves from countries that spent nearly two years working with American negotiators to hammer out its toughest provisions," Powers wrote in an opinion posted late Wednesday. "We would go from a situation in which Iran is isolated to one in which the United States is isolated.”, she continued. According to an article by Deb Reichmann, carried in the Huffington Post, President Obama has adequate authority to lift most sanctions against Iran by executive order, despite a override Read more

Iran to Build a Nationwide Nuclear Science and Technology School System

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

The Director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi, announced last Tuesday that the agency plans to build special nuclear science and technology training schools across Iran.

Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony of the new Nuclear High School in Mashad, he said, “The country’s second nuclear energy school will be constructed in Mashhad and a memorandum of understanding has also been signed among the AEOI, Khorassan Governor General Razavi ‘s Office and the Khorassan Education Department in this regard.”

The AEOI also has plans to construct a hospital with advanced nuclear medicine diagnostic and treatment facilities in Tehran, according to Salehi.

Fallout From Iran Nuclear Deal (2)

A Russian-Iranian Alliance? By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Recent developments in Russo-Iranian relations have some Western observers increasingly focused. • On Wednesday August 19, 2015 Russian Deputy Foreign Minister , Mikhail Bogdanov announced that Russia and Iran have finalized an arms agreement over purchase and delivery of four advanced long-range S-300 VM (Antey-2500) mobile surface-to-air anti-ballistic missile systems by the end of 2015. [ This is presumably an Iranian effort to counter anticipated Israeli missile strikes of its nuclear R&D facilities. ] • In the wake of lifting of UN sanctions as a result of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, this is actually a new revision of an earlier Russian/Iranian contract for deliveries of (now discontinued) S-300 PMU ABM systems, interrupted in 2007 by the UN Arms Embargo. • Russia and Iran Read more

Fallout From IRAN Nuclear Deal (1)

IAEA Withholds Information From US Senate and Obama Administration By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer An official spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) claims that International Atomic Energy (IAEA) Director, Yukiya Amano, in response to direct Iranian pressure, has withheld secrets of the “Roadmap of Cooperation Between Iran and the IAEA” [an apparent separate agreement with Iran] from the U.S. Congress and Obama Administration. Behrouz Kamalvandi, speaking in a meeting with Iranian lawmakers in Tehran on Monday August 17 declared that “If secrets of the agreement are revealed, we will lose our trust in the Agency.”, according to the FARS News Agency The announcement as it stands can have serious implications for US Senate ratification of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed in Vienna on 14 July 2015 (commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Read more

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Rejects Iran Nuclear Deal

By Wolf von Baumgart,Staff Writer

U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, has announced he will reject the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran, despite major White House efforts aimed at securing Senate ratification.

Read more here:

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2015/08/18/Sen-Bob-Corker-rejects-nuclear-deal-with-Iran/6731439894543/?nll=1 .

Experts File Amicus Brief in Marshall Islands Nuclear Non-Proliferation Case Against the U.S.

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer On 4/24/2014, the Republic of the Marshall Islands filed an Application Instituting Proceedings Against the United States before the International Court of Justice in the Hauge. Four recognized American nuclear experts have filed a judicus amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in support of the Marshall Islands effort to compel the United States to meet its requirements under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), ratified by the US Senate in 1970. Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists; Dr. James Doyle, a nuclear nonproliferation expert fired by the Los Alamos national lab after publishing a study arguing for nuclear weapons abolition; Robert Alvarez, a former Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of Energy, now at the Institute for Policy Studies; and Jay Coghlan, director Read more

Senator Tom Carper Comments on the Iran Nuclear Deal

Posted by: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer In response to a Midlantic Dispatch inquiry, Delaware U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D) has issued the following statement: August 4, 2015 Dear Mr. von Baumgart, Thank you for contacting me about the recent announcement of an international agreement to address Iran's nuclear weapons program. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue. As you know, U.S. relations with Iran have been heavily strained in recent years due to Iran's growing nuclear program. As a signatory of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Iran is permitted to maintain a peaceful nuclear energy program in exchange for its commitment not to develop a nuclear weapons program and allow periodic inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency – an independent nuclear watchdog organization that reports to the United Nations on the safety and security of Read more

Delaware Congressman John Carney Comments on Iran Nuclear Agreement

Delaware's sole U.S. Representative, John Carney, has issued the following statement on the nuclear agreement with Iran: Congressman Carney Statement on Nuclear Agreement with Iran WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman John Carney (D-DE) today released the following statement on the nuclear agreement with Iran: “I'm pleased to hear that an agreement has been reached -- I look forward to studying the details of it with skeptical and clear eyes. The central question is whether we are indeed better off with the deal than without it. “As I've said all along, a good deal must curtail Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapons program and put in place a tough regime of inspections that will ensure that Iran is playing by the rules. International inspectors need complete access to Iran's known nuclear facilities and to other secret facilities that might be used to get around the terms of the Read more

Senator Chris Coons Comments on Iran Nuclear Deal

Posted by: Wolf von Baumgart Delaware U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has released the following statement regarding the multinational nuclear deal with Iran: “The United States must not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapons capability.  A nuclear-armed Iran would threaten our national security, the security of Israel, and the stability of the entire Middle East. “I will review the details of this agreement promptly, and I will only support it if this deal prevents every Iranian pathway to develop a nuclear weapons capability.  In conversations with senior Administration officials, I have been clear about the specifics of what I want to see from this nuclear agreement.  The inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) must have timely and effective access to military and sensitive facilities in Iran, and Read more

President Will Veto Any Congressional Opposition to Iran Nuclear Proliferation Agreement

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer President Obama has vowed that he will veto any congressional legislation that would run contrary to the nuclear accord reached with Iran. He flatly stated that he was confident that the deal will meet the national security interests of the United States and its allies. He also advised members of Congress to tone down their rhetoric regarding Iran. Under the terms of the agreement reached earlier Tuesday morning in Vienna between the US, Russia, Germany, China, France, UK and the Islamic Republic of Iran, most UN-imposed economic sanctions against Iran will be lifted under the following terms: ⁰ A 15-year delay on advanced nuclear research and production. ⁰ Lengthening of nuclear device breakout time from 2-3 month to 1 year. ⁰ Elimination of 2/3 of Iranian centrifuges. ⁰ IAEA inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities. ⁰ Prevention Read more

Putin Announces That Russia Will Add 40 New ICBMs to its Strategic Nuclear Force in 2015

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Speaking at the Tuesday, June 16 opening of the International Military-Technical Forum ARMY-2015 in the newly-created military-patriotic recreation park in Kubinka, Moscow Region, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that forty new advanced ICBMs will be added to Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal in 2015.“This year, our nuclear forces are going to get more than 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of penetrating all existing, even the most advanced missile defenses.", he said. He further elaborated that “The state would persist in paying specific attention to realization of a massive military rearmament program and modernization of the defense industry”. Vladimir Putin opening the IMTF ARMY-2015 Exposition [Photo:RIA Novosti/Alexander Vilf] This announcement comes in the context of significant Russian weapons systems development Read more

Russia’s Geopolitical Posture May Be Inconsistent With Its START Strategy.

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Russia's nuclear strategy appears to be inconsistent with recent Russian geopolitical posture, including recent nuclear treats to Denmark, a Russian general’s call for preemptive nuclear strikes against NATO, etc. in the face of its actual strategic nuclear weapons reduction according to the latest Nuclear Notebook, written by Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris of the Federation of American Scientists. According to their analysis, Russia is continues to modernize its nuclear arsenal while reducing strategic nuclear launchers well below the limit set by the New START Treaty. The overall Russian force appears to be leveling off at nearly below 500 strategic launchers over the next decade, as older Soviet-era ICBMs are scheduled to be retired. Russia currently has 4,500 nuclear warheads. 1,780 are deployed on missiles and bomber bases with 700 Read more