Nuclear Policy News - January 29, 2013

Jan 29, 2013
TOP NEWS
 
Israel: Iran slowing nuclear program, won’t have bomb before 2015
 
India to launch sub-sonic missile next month
 
India Presses Israel on Joint Missile Project
 
Bulgarian vote for nuclear plant challenges government
 
Raytheon Warhead Completes Test Flight, Pentagon Says
 
EAST ASIA
 
China successfully carries out interceptor missile test
 
China on Sunday successfully carried out its second interceptor missile test as part of its efforts to build a missile shield to intercept incoming warheads.
 
UN Atomic Monitor Ready for North Korea Nuclear-Bomb Test
 
The United Nations agency that detects and reports on nuclear-weapon explosions is ready to respond to North Korea’s planned testing of an atomic bomb.
 
MIDDLE EAST
 
Egypt’s (missed) chance in nuclear diplomacy
 
Egypt is about to miss a golden opportunity to enhance its stature in global diplomacy, which has presented itself in the form of Iran's suggestion of Cairo as the venue for the next round of multilateral nuclear negotiations. Despite unconfirmed reports that Cairo has turned a cold shoulder to this idea, it is still not too late for the embattled government of Mohammed Morsi to embrace it, thus gaining diplomatic and political capital.
 
Israel: Iran slowing nuclear program, won’t have bomb before 2015
 
Israeli intelligence officials now estimate that Iran won’t be able to build a nuclear weapon before 2015 or 2016, pushing back by several years previous assessments of Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
 
Conflicting reports surround explosion at Iran’s Fordo nuclear plant
 
An explosion has rocked Iran’s Fordo Nuclear plant, according to Israeli and Western media reports, but Tehran’s Fars news agency quoted the deputy chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces denying the reports as propaganda.
 
Hezbollah threat: Missile attacks on navy bases, gas rigs
 
While Israel fears that Syrian WMDs may end up in Hezbollah's hands, Bashar Assad is continuing to acquire lethal conventional weapons despite the civil war raging in his country.
 
Israel Angered by Bomb Probe
 
Israel summoned the Argentine ambassador on Tuesday in protest over an agreement between Iran and Argentina to jointly investigate the terror bombing 19 years ago of a Jewish center that killed 85 people in Buenos Aires and that was widely blamed on Tehran.
 
SOUTH ASIA
 
India to launch sub-sonic missile next month
 
India would flight test sub-sonic, medium range cruise missile Nirbhay, next month, a key defence official said on Friday.
 
RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE
 
Bulgarian vote for nuclear plant challenges government
 
Bulgarians backed the building of a nuclear power plant in a referendum on Sunday, a blow to Prime Minister Boiko Borisov who had abandoned the multi-billion-dollar project, but turnout was not enough to overturn the government's decision.
 
MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION
 
India Presses Israel on Joint Missile Project
 
The Indian government has asked Israel to speed up development of its joint medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) project, which has faced technical snags since its inception in 2009.
 
Differences Over Venue Delay Iran Plus Six Meeting – Lavrov
 
Iran and Western powers should stop behaving “like little children” and agree on a venue for future nuclear talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.
 
U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY
 
Raytheon Warhead Completes Test Flight, Pentagon Says
 
Raytheon Co. (RTN)’s latest interceptor warhead intended to protect the U.S. from intercontinental ballistic missiles successfully completed an initial flight test to determine whether a guidance flaw has been fixed, according to the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer.
 
Missile launcher shows up at Seattle gun buyback
 
Seattle police worked with the Army on Monday to track down the history of a nonfunctional missile launcher that showed up at a weapons buyback program, trying to determine whether it was legal or possibly stolen from the military.
 
Faulty manufacturing seen behind F-35B grounding
 
Pentagon and industry investigators have identified a manufacturing problem as the most likely cause of an engine failure that led to the grounding of the Marine Corps version of the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet, a spokesman for engine maker Pratt & Whitney said on Monday.
 
U.S. To Bury Almost All Existing Nuclear Waste; Recycling Deferred At Least 20 Years
 
There’s little hope that the 70,000 metric tons of used nuclear fuel dispersed across the United States will ever be recycled, according to a recent study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory—so nearly all existing waste will go into the earth.
 
Pentagon Cyber Force Turns To Hackers To Meet Growing Demand
 
Faced with growing fears of potentially crippling cyber attacks and not enough skilled technicians to combat the threat, the Defense Department has launched a massive recruitment drive that's tapping an unlikely group: computer hackers.
 
DoD: No formal decision on expanding cyber command, yet
 
The Defense Department has not yet formally decided to expand U.S. Cyber Command, according to a senior Pentagon official. "That decision has not been made yet. I'm not saying it won't be made. It hasn't been made," the official said.
 
OPINIONS
 
Solving the Navy’s carrier shortage
Washington Times, by Admiral James A. Lyons
 
The U.S. Navy, operating with too few carriers, now has a forward-deployment dilemma. Keeping two carriers deployed to the Middle East with only nine deployable strike carriers is not sustainable, even with their deployment time increasing by 50 percent. This is having debilitating consequences for fleet readiness. An immediate relaxation from the two-carrier commitment would provide much-needed forward deployment flexibility. This can be accomplished by utilizing operational alternatives, including modified U.S. Air Force Air Expeditionary Forces, along with U.S. Marine Corps Air Wing, to provide the required close air support mission in Afghanistan.