Getting to Zero Update

In this issue:


Arms control

On March 30 the Conference on Disarmament disappointingly and
dangerously delayed its decision on a proposal for work in 2007.
The proposal would initiate negotiations on a ban on the production
of fissile materials for nuclear weapons, and continue discussions
on preventing an arms race in outer space (PAROS), nuclear
disarmament, and negative security assurances (NSAs). Because some
delegations insisted they needed more time to decide on the
proposal, a special session to revisit the issue will be scheduled
for later in April. For further details see:



This March 17 Asia Times article analyzed
the draft resolution imposing new sanctions on Iran for defying
demands to suspend uranium enrichment. See text of Security Council
Resolution 1747
. The Washington Post
that the new sanctions agreed by the major powers at
the UN are unlikely to hurt Iran much. See also this UPI analysis.
The government of Iran denounced the sanctions and in retaliation
announced that it would limit cooperation with the IAEA.

On March 18 Russia informed Iran that it will withhold nuclear
fuel for Iran’s nearly completed Bushehr power plant unless Iran
suspends its uranium enrichment as demanded by the UNSC.

Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Director Gholamreza
Aqazadeh announced on April 9 that Iran has reached the stage of
producing “industrial nuclear fuel” and mass production of
centrifuge machines. But there is likely less than meets the eye in
that announcement. See Arms Control Wonk here
and Total Wonker here.


Further reading

Report: Iran’s Centrifuges: How well are they working?
, by
Jacqueline Shire and David Albright, Institute for Science and
International Security, March 15, 2007.

Hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism,
Nonproliferation, and Trade
: Iran’s Nuclear Crisis: Latest
Developments and Next Steps, Testimony by David Albright, March 15,

ISIS Imagery Brief on Iran
: Further Construction at Arak 40 MW
Heavy Water Reactor, By David Albright and Paul Brannan, March 20,

on Irans WMD Programs
, Arms Control Wonk, March 27, 2007.

Development of Nuclear Weapons Technology in Iran
, Illustrated
Lecture, Emirates Center of Strategic Studies and Research, Abu
Dhabi, 13 December 2006.

Yossi Melman and Meir Javedanfar,
The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the State of
, March 2007


North Korea

Joseph Cirincione, writing in
Foreign Policy
, discussed how the U.S. got the intelligence
wrong on the North Korean nuclear program. The result: the
administration’s decision to tear up a successful agreement-using a
dubious intelligence “finding” as an excuse-propelled the tiny,
isolated country to subsequently build and test nuclear weapons,
threatening to trigger a new wave of proliferation.


Further reading

Report on North Korea
: Phased International Cooperation with
North Korea’s Civil Nuclear Programs, By David Albright, March 19,



On March 20 Bloomberg
that Russia will let the United Nations use some of
the country’s enrichment capacity in Siberia, making it easier for
nations such as Iran to get atomic fuel and harder for them to gain
the knowledge needed to build nuclear bombs. The international
atomic fuel center in Angarsk, Siberia, about 100 kilometers east
of Lake Baikal, will be a "market- based structure” offering
enrichment to countries developing or planning to develop atomic


United Kingdom

Scotland’s Sunday Herald
the recent vote in the British House of Commons to
begin the process of replacing the Trident nuclear weapons


United States

The Washington Post
March 18 on the recommendations of a prestigious
scientific committee on U.S. plans to develop new nuclear warheads.
The committee said that before moving ahead with these plans, the
Bush administration should develop a bipartisan policy regarding
the size of the future stockpile, testing and nonproliferation. The
committee’s report, due out this month, comes at a time when the
Bush administration is asking Congress to approve $88 million for
cost and engineering plans that could lead to a decision next year
for production of a new Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) for the
nation’s current submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic

Towards the end of March Gen. James Cartwright, the head of U.S.
Strategic Command, in
to the Senate Armed Services Strategic Forces
Subcommittee gave the administration’s most explicit statement yet
that a need for explosive testing would not end U.S. plans for a
next generation of nuclear warheads, despite the self-imposed
moratorium on nuclear blasts since 1992.



Jofi Joseph, Strategic
Mistake: The neoconservative approach to nonproliferation has been
a disaster. Why Bush cant disarm Iran
, Democracy: A Journal of
Ideas, Issue #4, Spring 2007, (free registration required).

William C Bell and Cham E Dallas, Vulnerability
of populations and the urban health care systems to nuclear weapon
attack examples from four American cities
, International
Journal of Health Geographics
2007, 6:5.

on U.S. nuclear and strategic policy options
, Subcommittee on
Strategic Forces, Senate Armed Services Committee, March 21,

Nonproliferation: Progress Made in Improving Security at Russian
Nuclear Sites, but the Long-term Sustainability of U.S.-Funded
Security Upgrades Is Uncertain
, U.S. Government Accountability
Office, February 28, 2007.

Combating Nuclear
Smuggling: DNDO Has Not Yet Collected Most of the National
Laboratories’ Test Results on Radiation Portal Monitors in Support
of DNDO’s Testing and Development Program
, U.S. Government
Accountability Office, March 9, 2007.

Nonproliferation: Focusing on the Highest Priority Radiological
Sources Could Improve DOEs Efforts to Secure Sources in Foreign
, U.S. Government Accountability Office, March 13,

Nuclear Smuggling: DHSs Decision to procure and Deploy the Next
Generation of Radiation Equipment Is Not Supported by Its
Cost-Benefit Analysis
, U.S. Government Accountability Office,
March 14, 2007.

Lewis Dunn, Gregory Giles, Jeffrey Larsen, Thomas Skypek,
Foreign Perspectives on U.S Nuclear Policy and Posture: Insights,
Issues and Implications
, Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Matthew Bunn, Troubled
Disposition: Next Steps in Dealing With Excess Plutonium
Arms Control Today, April 2007.

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