Nuclear Weapons

Beyond Nuclear advocates for the elimination of all nuclear weapons and argues that removing them can only make us safer, not more vulnerable. The expansion of commercial nuclear power across the globe only increases the chance that more nuclear weapons will be built and is counterproductive to disarmament.



"Japan protests China paper’s map of atomic clouds"

As reported by an AP article carried by the Japan Times, a Chinese Communist Party youth newspaper's depiction of mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, alongside headlines readings “Japan wants a war again,” and “Have we been too friendly to Japan in the past?”, has prompted protests by the Japanese national government.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government has expressed concern over recent changes to the interpretation by Japan's ruling party of its peace constitution, which would apparently allow the Japanese military to come to the aid of allies for the first time since World War II.

As the article concludes:

"In the closing days of World War II, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, ultimately killing 140,000 people, and a second one on Nagasaki three days later, killing another 90,000, prompting Japan’s surrender."


88 pounds of nuclear material seized by ISIS in Iraq

As reported by Reuters, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants have seized 88 pounds of nuclear material from a university in Mosul, Iraq. The Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations has reported the theft to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and called on the UN for assistance in the nuclear material's recovery.

Reuters reports that Iraq's U.N. Ambassador, Mohamed Ali Alhakim, wrote in his July 8 letter:

"Terrorist groups have seized control of nuclear material at the sites that came out of the control of the state," Alhakim wrote, adding that such materials "can be used in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction."

"These nuclear materials, despite the limited amounts mentioned, can enable terrorist groups, with the availability of the required expertise, to use it separate or in combination with other materials in its terrorist acts," said Alhakim.

He warned that they could also be smuggled out of Iraq.

"The Republic of Iraq is notifying the international community of these dangerous developments and asking for help and the needed support to stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad," Alhakim wrote.

The incident is reminiscent of the immediate aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, when unguarded nuclear facilities were systematically looted.


"GAO: N-weapons sites need a ‘clear vision’ on security"

As reported at Frank Munger's Atomic City Underground blog at the Knoxville News:

"Efforts to reform security activities and cut costs at the nuclear weapons sites in the 2009-2012 timeframe have been among the things blamed for the July 28, 2012 security breach at Y-12. In a new report released today, the Government Accountability Office takes a look at what the National Nuclear Security Administration has done to address security and what it should be doing.

Here’s a brief excerpt:

“After the Y-12 security breach, NNSA took a  number of actions designed to improve its security performance and oversight but did so without first developing a clear vision and path forward for its security program and an implementation strategy, including milestones and responsibilities for carrying them out . . . ”

For the purposes of this evaluation, GAO visited three NNSA sites — Lawrence Livermore, Pantex and the Nevada National Security Site – and contacted the other sites, including Y-12, by telephone, according to the report.

In a May 20 response to the 37-page report, NNSA Administrator Frank G. Klotz noted the GAO’s recommendation that NNSA develop a “road map” for security, and Klotz said such an effort is already under way, with a scheduled completion date of Dec. 31, 2014."


Markey, Burgess Release Report Showing Legal Concerns over Energy Dept.’s Deals with Uranium Enriching Company

U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)A new GAO report, requested by U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass., photo left) and U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), finds that the shuttered U.S. Enrichment Corporation (USEC) facility received hundreds of millions of dollars worth of uranium, while ignoring laws and losing taxpayer money.

The report details a pattern of actions by DOE that kept USEC’s facility in Paducah, Kentucky open and subsidized the development of questionable centrifuge technology at its Ohio facility, even as the company was rated as junk bond status, threatened with de-listing from the New York Stock Exchange, and ultimately spiraled into bankruptcy.

USEC was seeking a $2 billion federal taxpayer-backed loan guarantee for its American Centrifuge uranium enrichment plant in Portsmouth (Piketon), Ohio, but the deal fell apart amidst USEC's financial "meltdown," as well as due to technical difficulties with the technology's development.

“Our government has kept this uranium company on life support, wasting money and flouting the law, even though it was clear that it would end up in bankruptcy. This is the kind of government waste that Americans just don’t understand,” said Senator Markey, who is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “It’s time to commit this junk technology to the junk bin.”

Some of the uranium involved is associated with supplying replacement tritium for U.S. nuclear weapons.

Sen. Markey has issued a press release, including a summary, and a link to the full 112-page GAO report.


Nuclear Hotseat: Fukushima's Cover-up "Killer Points" w/ Karl Grossman

Karl GrossmanInterview, on Nuclear Hotseat, by host Libbe HaLevy, with award-winning investigative journalist Karl Grossman (photo left), on how the nuclear industry has gamed the media since before Hiroshima, why mainstream media continues to resist coverage of nuclear news, and thoughts on how to start breaking that logjam.

Karl serves as a Beyond Nuclear board member.

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