nuclear security

Non-state actors & WMD: Does ISIS have a pathway to a nuclear weapon?

Nuclear Security

On March 2014, during the Nuclear Security Summit held in the Netherlands, President Obama identified his number one concern as being the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan. UK Home Secretary Theresa May pinpointed her particular fear of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) acquisition of “chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons” in the “world’s first truly terrorist state”. Fortunately, there has not yet been a nuclear or radiological terrorist attack, but the smuggling of nuclear material remains a pivotal threat to nuclear security.

The 2016 Nuclear Security Summit returns to Washington

NSS2014

 

In his 2009 speech in Prague, President Obama described the threat of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons as the “most immediate and extreme threat to global security”. Setting the bar high, he also announced the start of a global summit process that would focus on the security of nuclear materials from the threat of theft and terrorism in and work “to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years”.

Conference Videos: Impact of Emerging Technologies on the the Future of SSBN's

On 13th September 2016, BASIC, British Pugwash and the University of Leicester hosted The impact of Emerging Technologies on the Future of SSBNs in Whitehall, London. The conference welcomed contributions from 15 scientific experts and strategic thinkers on the implications of major advances in sonar, non-acoustic detection, new forms of undersea communications and autonomous maritime drones for sea-based deterrence.

Iran earthquake: a catalyst for confidence building at Bushehr?

On April 16th, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southeast Iran causing tremors that could be felt in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, and western Saudi Arabia. This is only a week after a worrying 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Kaki, a southern Iranian town located just 60 miles from Iran's Bushehr nuclear power station.

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International Cooperation in Nuclear Security

Commenting on the Nuclear Security Summit II, Paul Ingram told Uranium Investing News: “Obama’s creation of an approach that pulls states into common objectives on this agenda is no small feat given the weeks of diplomatic wrangling and finger pointing that characterizes the diplomacy around the more established nuclear non-proliferation treaty process. However, such progress was incremental, and fell way short of what would be needed to meaningfully tackle threats to nuclear security.”

U.S. Report on the CTBT

20 years CTBT Ministerial Meeting

Although all eyes are currently on the second Nuclear Security Summit happening today and tomorrow in Seoul, South Korea, a significant development on nuclear issues will also happen this Friday, when the U.S. National Academy of Sciences releases it long-awaited report on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The report, while technical, will have far-reaching political implications for nuclear arms control.

Getting to Zero Update

BASIC recently wrapped up a series of events in Cairo, including a joint press workshop with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and an off-the-record seminar on the politics of regional nuclear proliferation.  BASIC staff met with senior officials and former officials to discuss the status of the 2012 conference on a WMD-Free Zone, as a piece in the complex jigsaw of regional politics currently unfolding.

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Getting to Zero Update

NATO proceeded quietly with its Strategic Deterrence and Defense Posture Review, while U.S. and Russian disagreements over missile defense continued. The United States was also conducting a review of nuclear targeting. In the United Kingdom, the “successor” to the Vanguard-class submarine that carries Trident missiles officially entered “Initial Gate,” or the initial design phase.

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