Nuclear Policy News - Friday, July 30

Jul 30, 2010


Nuclear Policy News – July 30, 2010
China says it opposes EU sanctions against Iran
Iran: Talks on nuclear swap deal should be held in Turkey
Russia to increase defense spending by 60 percent
Nuclear Forensics Skill Is Declining in U.S., Report Says
NY Times by William Broad
U.S. officials to go to China to push shunning Iran
Reuters by Susan Cornwell
Senior U.S. officials said on Thursday they will travel to China in August to push Beijing to abide by international sanctions on Iran.
China says it opposes EU sanctions against Iran
China said Friday that it opposes the sanctions the European Union is imposing on Iran over its disputed nuclear program, saying it supports Iran's renewed efforts to hold talks on a possible swap of nuclear fuel.
North Korea Might Respond to Drills With Nuke Test, Experts Say
North Korea could respond to this week's large-scale U.S.-South Korean military exercises by carrying out a third nuclear weapons test, experts warned in an Associated Press article.
New details point to sinking by N. Korean torpedo
The Washington Times by Bill Gertz
An international investigative team released new details this week to bolster earlier conclusions that the South Korean warship Cheonan was sunk by a high-tech North Korean torpedo that exploded beneath the ship.
Construction of more nuclear generators kicks-off in NE China
People's Daily (China) by Xinhua
Construction of two more nuclear power generators has started at a nuclear power station in China's northeast.
Iran Could End Higher-Level Uranium Enrichment, Turkey Says
Iran indicated Sunday it would no longer enrich uranium to 20 percent if the United States and other countries agreed to a plan brokered in May for exchanging Iranian uranium, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said yesterday.
Iran: Talks on nuclear swap deal should be held in Turkey
Iran's atomic energy chief said Friday that his country preferred nuclear talks with world powers to be held in Turkey.
Canadian jailed in Iran 'nuclear export' case
A Canadian court has sentenced a Toronto resident to over four years in prison for violating a United Nations resolution by attempting to export nuclear-related goods to Iran.
Arab Atomic Energy Agency holds meeting in Tunisia
The 45th session of the Executive Council of the Arab Atomic Energy Agency (AAEA) began a four-day meeting in Tunis on Wednesday.
Israel to Dispatch Nuclear-Armed Subs, Report Says
A recent report said Israel intends to field nuclear-armed Dolphin-class submarines along the Iranian coastline, the Xinhua News Agency reported Monday.
Russia to increase defense spending by 60 percent
Russian defense spending will increase by 60 percent to more than 2 trillion rubles (about 66.3 million U.S. dollars) by 2013, Russian business daily Vedomosti reported Friday.
Former Nuclear Commanders Support New START
Seven former U.S. military commanders of Strategic Air Command and U.S. Strategic Command have announced their support for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, New START. In a July 14 letter to senators, the five Air Force Generals and two Navy Admirals wrote that they "strongly endorse [New START's] early ratification and entry into force" because "the treaty will enhance American national security."
Potential Vote Set For "New START"
U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry arranged a possible vote by the panel next week on a pact to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, but the lawmaker did not rule out delaying action, the New York Times reported.
Republican Concerns Could Stall START Treaty
ABC News by David Alexander (Reuters)
Senate Republicans voiced objections on Thursday to the new START nuclear arms treaty with Russia, raising concerns that could delay efforts to hand President Barack Obama a foreign policy victory ahead of the November elections.
Nuclear Forensics Skill Is Declining in U.S., Report Says
NY Times by William Broad
The nation’s ability to identify the source of a nuclear weapon used in a terrorist attack is fragile and eroding, according to a report released Thursday by the National Research Council.
Study: US ability to probe nuclear blasts fades
Washington Post by Lolitta C. Baldor (AP)
The U.S. government is slowly losing its ability to investigate a nuclear blast and quickly determine who was responsible and whether more bombs are out there, experts said in a report released Thursday.
The Logic of a Silo Conversion Ban
Arms Control Wonk by Joshua Pollack
By now, New START aficionados (if that’s the right word) will know all the talking points about missile defenses…Art. V, Paragraph 3, prohibits either the conversion of ICBM silos or submarine missile tubes into interceptor launchers, or conversion the other way around…why is the conversion ban in the Treaty text? What’s the point of having it there?

Iran starts feeling heat
Washington Post by Charles Krauthammer
President Ahmadinejad has a penchant for the somewhat loony…This is the kind of brinkmanship you get when leaders of a rogue regime are under growing pressure. The only hope to get them to reverse course is to relentlessly increase their feeling that, if they don't, the Arab states, Israel, the Europeans and America will, one way or another, ensure that ruin is visited upon them.
How the CIA Got It Wrong on Iran’s Nukes
WSJ by Edward Jay Epstein
In 2007, U.S. intelligence said Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program. Analyst policy bias and disinformation from Iranian double agents may explain the mistake.
New START: Too modest to merit partisan bickering
Washington Post by Robert Kagan
It's hard to believe that ratification of the New START treaty is turning into a pitched battle between some Republicans and the White House. It's even harder to believe that advocates for and against the treaty are trying to turn it into a stand-in for some imagined ideological contest over arms control and nonproliferation. It's not. This treaty is simply too unexceptional to carry such heavy freight.
'Countdown to Zero' Calls for Action on Nuclear Weapons
Voice of America by Penelope Poulou
Lucy Walker's new documentary "Countdown to Zero" reminds us that nuclear weapons are not relics of the of Cold War…And although one could argue that this well-rounded film has a political agenda, it is an agenda that cannot be ignored.

India-Russia nuclear talks hit liability snag
The Hindu by Siddharth Varadarajan
Russian firms not to have liability for any accident that may occur in reactors sold to India…[Russia] is now insisting all liability for any accident that may occur in reactors sold to India must rest solely with the Indian operator and not with Russian companies involved in supplying components and knowhow.