Nuclear Policy News - May 16, 2012

May 16, 2012
TOP NEWS
 
Former Commander of U.S. Nuclear Forces Calls for Large Cut in Warheads
 
Nuclear watchdog and Iran agree to more talks
 
'India can respond to any misadventure by Pak'
 
EAST ASIA
 
US denies tactical nuke redeployment in Korea
 
The U.S. government confirmed Monday that it has no plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea. It is the first official denial from the Obama administration concerning the issue after Republicans from the House of Representatives called for “redeploying tactical nuclear weapons to the Western Pacific region.”
 
MIDDLE EAST
 
Nuclear watchdog and Iran agree to more talks
 
The UN’s nuclear watchdog and Iran will meet again next week after a “good exchange of views” during two days of talks on the Islamic republic’s atomic programme, a senior UN official said on Tuesday.
The head of the Iranian delegation said progress was made at the meeting in Vienna which dealt with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s mounting concerns that Tehran may be seeking to develop the capability to develop nuclear weapons.
 
Iran hangs 'Mossad agent' for nuclear scientist killing
 
Iran has hanged a man who was sentenced to death for the 2010 killing of a nuclear physicist, state media reported yesterday.
Majid Jamali Fashi, 24, who had been accused of being an agent of the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, was tried and convicted last August.
 
SOUTH ASIA
 
NATO invites Pakistan to summit in Chicago
 
NATO on Tuesday invited Pakistan's president to the upcoming Chicago summit on Afghanistan, the strongest sign yet that Islamabad is ready to reopen its western border to U.S. and NATO military supplies heading to the war in the neighboring country.
 
'India can respond to any misadventure by Pak'
 
Pune: India is fully capable of responding to any misadventure by Pakistan despite the west-side neighbour acquiring nuclear weapons, a top Indian Army commander said here Tuesday.
 
RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE
 
AWE Aldermaston £5bn Trident 'maintenance' funding criticized
 
The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Berkshire has denied claims from anti-nuclear campaigners that a £5bn government investment is related to "a new weapons system".
Defence minister Peter Luff said the money would help "maintain" the Aldermaston site and its 4,500 jobs.
 
MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION
 
Controlling Proliferation: An Interview With Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman
 
Arms Control Today spoke with Countryman in his office on April 10. The interview focused on a recent event—the nuclear security summit that took place in Seoul March 26-27—and two upcoming events: the May summit of the Group of Eight (G-8), where the countries are expected to endorse plans for the second decade of the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, and the July conference at which countries will undertake negotiations on an arms trade treaty (ATT).
 
U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY
 
Kodak confirms it had weapons-grade uranium in underground lab
 
Kodak -- the company known for decades for its cameras and film -- this week confirmed it used weapons-grade uranium in an underground lab in upstate New York for upwards of 30 years.
A company spokesman and a former scientist for the firm say there was not enough material to sustain a nuclear chain reaction.
 
US and Russia urged to slash nuclear arms
 
Washington and Moscow should agree to an 80 per cent cut in nuclear arsenals over the next decade to help encourage smaller atomic powers to engage in multilateral arms control negotiations, says a former senior US general.

Former Commander of U.S. Nuclear Forces Calls for Large Cut in Warheads
 
Gen. James E. Cartwright, the retired vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former commander of the United States’ nuclear forces, is adding his voice to those who are calling for a drastic reduction in the number of nuclear warheads below the levels set by agreements with Russia.
 
OPINIONS
 
Banning Long-Range Missiles in the Middle East: A First Step for Regional Arms Control
Michael Elleman
 
Although the goal of ridding the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is receiving increased attention, it remains a distant prospect. Achieving such an ambitious goal will require a series of incremental steps even to begin the process. An agreement that bans the development and possession of ballistic missiles capable of flying more than 3,000 kilometers and includes members of the Arab League, Iran, Israel, and Turkey is a reasonable first step toward a WMD-free Middle East.
 
Osirak and Its Lessons for Iran Policy
Bennett Ramberg
 

As the international community seeks to stave off an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear program, policymakers would do well to draw lessons from the first attack to destroy a nuclear facility, Israel’s bombing of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor on June 7, 1981. At the time, the attack drew near-universal condemnation, but it soon came to be seen as a milestone in nonproliferation, demonstrating that force could be a practical option to halt a suspected nuclear weapons program without harmful repercussions for the attacker.