Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons
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Nuclear proliferation and threats to humanity from WMD
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Into thin air: The story of Plutonium Mountain

Into thin air: The story of Plutonium Mountain | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
Beginning in 1949 and spanning a period of 40 years, the Soviet Union carried out more than 450 nuclear tests in the isolated steppes of eastern Kazakhstan.
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

This amazing interview with Siegfried Hecker is a fascinating look at how scientists, working across borders, made the world safer.

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Smallpox: The long goodbye

Smallpox: The long goodbye | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
Last week, six vials of smallpox virus were discovered in a disused closet at the National Institutes of Health, where they had lain, forgotten and misplaced, for over 30 years. Some of them were found to contain live specimens, meaning that this dangerous virus—once considered to have been eradicated from the face of the planet—had the capacity to infect and spread.
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Scary. It's time to destroy the smallpox virus, once and for all.

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Meeting Iran's nuclear fuel supply needs is the only way to a deal

Meeting Iran's nuclear fuel supply needs is the only way to a deal | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
During the latest round of nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers, high-level discussion focused on Tehran’s “practical needs,” or how much fuel the country requires to keep its domestic nuclear energy program running. It’s a sticking point in talks. Iran’s negotiating partners—the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany, or P5+1—say that Iran receives all the fuel it requires for its program from foreign providers, and therefore doesn’t need to enrich uranium on its soil.
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Terrific insight

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The historic debate about Iran’s nuclear program

The historic debate about Iran’s nuclear program | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
“A relentless drumbeat of public doubt about Iranian compliance with arms control commitments could lead to missed opportunities at a time when Iran may be heading toward reform, greater openness, and a greater interest in building international confidence… American and Israeli rightists are quick to suggest the military option, and Iranians are painfully aware of how popular that option is among prominent Republicans and hardline opinion-mongers.”
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When do you think these words were written? The answer may surprise you...

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The import of the Marshall Islands nuclear lawsuit

The import of the Marshall Islands nuclear lawsuit | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
The tiny Republic of the Marshall Islands recently filed an extraordinary lawsuit at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, suing all nine nuclear weapons possessors for failing to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.
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Syria and bioweapons: The need for transparency

Syria and bioweapons: The need for transparency | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
Like most others in the biological disarmament and non-proliferation community, I have been sceptical of the handful of reports suggesting there is an active biological weapons program in Syria.
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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claims to have a weapon that can "blind in an instant"--is it a bioweapon? Filippa Lentzos explores the possibilities:

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Here's what would happen if the US listened to Sheldon Adelson and bombed the Iranian desert

Here's what would happen if the US listened to Sheldon Adelson and bombed the Iranian desert | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson wants the US to nuke the Iranian desert, saying, "That doesn’t hurt a soul." Nuclear experts weigh in on why that's crazy.
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Mathijs Booden's comment, October 25, 2013 4:01 PM
The guy is stone cold crazy.
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Global nuclear weapons inventories, 1945-2013

Global nuclear weapons inventories, 1945-2013 | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
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A comprehensive list of the nuclear-armed countries and their warheads.

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Why the United States should redesign its nuclear submarines

Why the United States should redesign its nuclear submarines | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
On August 21, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan announced that the country's navy would soon take delivery of the first boat in the Fateh class of intermediate-size, Iranian-built submarines.
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Excellent post from our latest Voices of Tomorrow essayist, Nate Sans, and undergraduate at MIddlebury College in Vermont. This past spring, Sans was one of the first Middlebury students to take advantage of the college’s Semester Away at Monterey program, participating in the Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. This past summer he interned at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, where his research focused on submarine technology proliferation and the debate over renewal of the Trident missile system in the United Kingdom.

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Contaminated forests: Management after Chernobyl and Fukushima

Contaminated forests: Management after Chernobyl and Fukushima | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
Deep in the forested mountains of Fukushima Prefecture, in the town of Kawauchi, a woman in an apron and skirt stands in front of her house, solemnly scrutinizing her property.
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:
Winifred Bird and Jane Braxton Little describe the radioactive contamination in the forests and soil around Chernobyl, and how officials at both sites are tackling decontamination.  
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Lessons unlearned

Lessons unlearned | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
When it comes to hostile states suspected of having weapons of mass destruction, examples of unwarranted and erroneous US allegations are not hard to find.
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Chemical weapons expert Charles P. Blair has an amazing post that examines carefully the "evidence" behind claims that Syria has used chemical weapons in the current conflict.

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The Nuke Factory in Your Backyard

The Nuke Factory in Your Backyard | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
An innocuous industrial site belonging to Westinghouse Electric Co. sits off a rural stretch of South Carolina Highway 48, surrounded by a t…
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Terrific read.

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The scientist and the nuclear smuggler: unexpected connection

The scientist and the nuclear smuggler: unexpected connection | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
The complicity of scientists, willing or unwitting, in the smuggling of radioactive materials has been a long-standing concern of the nonproliferation community. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the US Cooperative Threat Reduction program offered alternative livelihoods to impoverished nuclear scientists, in hopes of dissuading them from selling their knowledge to governments or terrorists seeking nuclear weapons or materials.
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WHO's Maurizio Barbeschi talks about MERS and mass events

WHO's Maurizio Barbeschi talks about MERS and mass events | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) first emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has since infected 681 people, of whom 204 have died. It has hop-scotched around the Middle East and appeared in at least eight countries farther afield, but the bulk of cases remain concentrated in the Kingdom.
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Why the US should keep cooperating with Russia on nuclear security

Why the US should keep cooperating with Russia on nuclear security | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
“You have been brainwashed,” our Russian hosts lamented during dinner at their Moscow apartment in late April. We had asked them how they reconcile biased Russian news reports with evidence of Russian Special Operations Forces in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine. “What does Washington think it is doing by sending the CIA chief to Kiev to support those fascists?” they asked in response.
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Iran and Atoms for Peace: The Origins of the Islamic Republic's Nuclear Narrative

Iran and Atoms for Peace: The Origins of the Islamic Republic's Nuclear Narrative | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
For the past 18 months, I have been slowly working my way through the Atomic Energy Commission's "Atoms for Peace" archives to piece together the differences between Turkey and Iran's nuclear decis...
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Out of sight, out of mind

Out of sight, out of mind | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it

But it’s not just waste generated when nuclear energy is produced; subterranean disposal is also the end point of other fuel cycles. Oil and gas companies put their spent fracking fluids underground—until recently, without any requirement to disclose the ingredients of these chemical cocktails.

 

BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Dawn Stover's thoughtful piece on how mistaken we are to think that burying waste (of any kind, including nuclear, petroleum, and chemical) means the waste disappears.

 

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Transparency: The beginning of the end of nuclear weapons?

Transparency: The beginning of the end of nuclear weapons? | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
The United Nations General Assembly will hold its first-ever high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament this week.The meeting is a recognition by the international community that nuclear weapons remain an existential threat to humankind.
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Incredible article: five authors (four former diplomats) come together to discuss the importance of the UN's meeting this week on nuclear disarmament.

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Why the United States should redesign its nuclear submarines

Why the United States should redesign its nuclear submarines | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
On August 21, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan announced that the country's navy would soon take delivery of the first boat in the Fateh class of intermediate-size, Iranian-built submarines.
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

By Nate Sans, our latest Voices of Tomorrow essayist!

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Don't blame Moscow

Don't blame Moscow | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
On July 12, the US State Department released a major annual report on arms control compliance that has riled up nuclear weapons hawks.
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Great analysis by Kingston Reif, columnist for the Bulletin and blogger at Nukes of Hazard.

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The beginning of the Bomb

The beginning of the Bomb | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Alex Wellerstein has another compelling slideshow at the Bulletin, this one commemorating the anniversary of the very first atomic bomb test, Trinity. It's an amazing slideshow, with terrific historical facts sprinkled throughout (for example, did you know that 2 months before the test, the sites was mistakenly bombed by pilots from nearby Alamogordo Air Base on two separate occassions?)

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Existential threats, fast and slow

Existential threats, fast and slow | Nuclear, Chemical, and Bio Weapons | Scoop.it
In the past month US President Barack Obama has focused the world’s attention on two threats that may not, at first glance, appear to have much in common.
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Kennette Benedict writes in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists about the existential threat of climate change, and how the scientists who study and write about it are similar to the early atomic scientists who created, and then worried about, the threat that nuclear weapons posed to humanity: "Just as the Manhattan Project participants could foresee the coming arms race, climate scientists today understand the consequences of deploying the technologies that defined the industrial age. They also know that action now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will mitigate the worst consequences of climate change, just as the Manhattan Project scientists knew that early action to forestall a deadly arms race could prevent nuclear catastrophe."

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