nuclear weapons

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North Korea Moves Up Dates for Rocket Launch

Many believe the rocket is a ballistic missile test

(Newser) - North Korea has moved up the window of its planned long-range rocket launch to Feb. 7-14, South Korea's Defense Ministry said Saturday. The AP reports he launch, which the North says is an effort to send a satellite into orbit, would be in defiance of repeated warnings by outside... More »

Airmen Damage Nuclear Missile During 'Mishap'

The Air Force is refusing to release the report from the 2014 incident

(Newser) - Errors by three airmen troubleshooting a nuclear missile in its launch silo in 2014 triggered a "mishap" that damaged the missile, prompting the Air Force to strip the airmen of their nuclear certification and quietly launch an accident investigation, officials revealed Friday. In a statement released to the AP,... More »

White House: We Don't Think That Was an H-Bomb

Early analysis suggests North Korea is exaggerating, says US

(Newser) - A sentence sure to please anyone worried about the idea of Kim Jong Un having an H-bomb in his arsenal: White House spokesman Josh Earnest says initial analysis results are "not consistent with North Korean claims of a successful hydrogen bomb test,” reports the Washington Post . It could... More »

China Fuming Over N. Korea 'H-Bomb Test'

Beijing plans to lodge strong protest with ally

(Newser) - North Korea's main ally says it "firmly opposes" Pyongyang's purported hydrogen bomb test and is monitoring the environment along its border with the North near the test site. China plans to summon North Korea's ambassador in Beijing to the Foreign Ministry to lodge a strong protest,... More »

The Science Behind North Korea's H-Bomb Claim

At the very least, it could have been a 'boosted' atomic blast

(Newser) - Did North Korea really join the H-bomb club ? It will take weeks for the rest of the world to confirm the exact nature of Pyongyang's latest test. In the meantime, here's a look at the science involved in the process:
  • Fission vs. fusion: The Atlantic explains the
... More »

US Releases 'Grim' List of Nuclear Targets

US would have targeted population centers in war with Soviet Union

(Newser) - "Grim and frankly appalling." That's how one expert describes a recently declassified list of potential US targets in a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, the New York Times reports. The list titled “Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959" was written by the Air Force in... More »

Russian TV 'Accidentally' Leaks Nuclear Torpedo Plan

The new weapon would make sure "everything living will be killed'

(Newser) - Plans for a new Russian nuclear torpedo system that could hypothetically wipe out every living thing along a wide swath of US coastline were accidentally leaked on state-controlled television, the BBC reports. Or at least, the Kremlin claims it was an accident. According to the Independent , a document titled "... More »

This Dome Holds Tons of Nuclear Waste —or Tries To

Experts fear the Runit Dome is a ticking time bomb

(Newser) - The US hasn’t conducted nuclear testing in more than 20 years , but the Runit Dome persists as a reminder of our controversial past. The dome, built in the late 1970s on Runit Island in the Pacific, holds more than 110,000 cubic yards of radioactive topsoil and debris left... More »

After US Move, Putin Vows to Ramp Up Nukes

NATO slams him for 'nuclear sabre-rattling'

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin is being accused of "sabre-rattling," which isn't all that unusual, except in this case it involves nuclear weapons. The Russian leader said today that Moscow would add at least 40 ICBMs to its nuclear arsenal this year, reports Reuters . The announcement comes after the US... More »

N. Korea Claims It Can Make Mini Nukes

Not so fast, says US Joint Chiefs vice chair

(Newser) - China warned us . Less than a month after North Korea says it fired a missile off a submarine, the country's National Defense Commission is now claiming it can craft mini nuclear weapons that fit on the tips of such missiles, Yonhap reports. "We have had the capability... More »

China Warns US on North Korea's Nukes

Arsenal bigger than US thinks, Beijing's experts say

(Newser) - Even North Korea's closest ally is getting very worried about the country's nuclear arsenal—which may be a lot bigger than we thought. China has warned American nuclear experts that Pyongyang now has around 20 nuclear warheads, and the country has become so good at enriching uranium that... More »

Russia Picks a New Fight—With Tiny Denmark

'Danish warships will be' nuclear targets if country joins NATO shield: ambassador

(Newser) - Denmark is poised to play a role in NATO's missile defense system, and Russia isn't happy about it. In August, Denmark said it would use its warships' radar to contribute to the shield, Reuters reports; now Russia has issued a threat over the decision. "If that happens,... More »

Among Our Big Nuclear Problems: a Single Wrench

Billions may be required to fix the decaying weapons stockpile

(Newser) - Just 10 days before the deadline to wrap up nuclear negotiations with Iran, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to announce today that there are "systemic problems across the nuclear enterprise," at least according to two Pentagon studies. Senior defense officials tell the New York Times that academic... More »

Air Force Fires 2 More Nuke Commanders

Fresh problems for troubled missile corps

(Newser) - The Air Force fired two more nuclear commanders yesterday and disciplined a third—fresh evidence of leadership lapses in a nuclear missile corps that has suffered a rash of recent setbacks, including the firing last year of its top commander for being a "drunken boor." The most senior... More »

Obama Could Ease Iran Sanctions— Without Congress

White House points to president's power to 'suspend' them in event of a deal

(Newser) - Iran may be open to a nuclear deal in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions, and President Obama, the Treasury Department says, has the power to take action himself. According to a White House study, Obama doesn't need congressional approval to "suspend" most of the sanctions on... More »

US Keeping Nukes in Case of ... Asteroids?

Threat cited as reason to keep old warheads

(Newser) - Somebody's been watching Armageddon: American nuclear authorities say they have delayed getting rid of old warhead components because they could help protect the world from killer asteroids. Authorities say the warheads are being kept "pending a senior-level government evaluation of their use in planetary defense against earthbound asteroids,... More »

Obama's Going Wrong Way With America's Nukes

US could spend $1T on modernization in 30 years: NY Times

(Newser) - President Obama has been a voice for nuclear disarmament, and his administration has taken steps toward that goal—but the White House's latest move takes the US in the opposite direction, a New York Times editorial observes. Obama is undertaking major improvements to US nuclear weapons and facilities, spending... More »

Iraq to UN: ISIS Swiped Chemical and Nuke Materials

Militants grabbed 88 pounds of uranium from Mosul University

(Newser) - On Tuesday, Iraq confirmed to the UN that ISIS militants had control of Saddam Hussein’s former chemical-weapons stronghold. Now Iraq is saying that the Sunni insurgents also overran the University of Mosul last month on their way to Baghdad and pilfered nuclear materials used for scientific research, Reuters reports.... More »

A Tiny David Sues the World's Nuclear Goliaths

Marshall Islands call for justice in non-proliferation treaty

(Newser) - The world's nuclear powers are getting hauled into international court by a tiny challenger. The Marshall Islands are suing the nine nuke-equipped countries in nine cases in the Hague—though the case against the US was also filed in a San Francisco federal court, Reuters reports. The Islands hold... More »

US Troops Carried 'Backpack Nukes' for 25 Years

Elite units were trained to use these weapons on battlefields

(Newser) - The US kept quite an arsenal of nuclear bombs and missiles during the Cold War, but not everyone knows about its plans to use "backpack nukes," reports the Smithsonian via Foreign Policy . Elite troops learned to use the bombs—called B54 Special Atomic Demolition Munitions (SADMs)—in case... More »

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