nuclear weapons

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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 »

Iran to Reveal Work on Nuclear Detonator

Includes new inspections and addresses detonator concerns

(Newser) - Iran has agreed to boost the transparency of its nuclear program following talks with the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency. The country will provide information on its nuclear work in seven new steps to be taken by May 15, CNN reports; the agreement follows a six-step deal in November.... More »

Nuclear Launch Officers Tied to Narcotics Probe

In the latest in a string of embarrassments for Air Force unit

(Newser) - America got yet another reason to worry about the men who have their fingers on the nuclear button yesterday, when two Air Force ICBM launch officers were suspended and named as targets of an illegal narcotics investigation. The two men, part of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force... More »

Air Force Nuke Chief Fired for Being Drunken 'Boor'

Michael Carey insulted hosts, cozied up to 'suspicious women' in Russia

(Newser) - When the Air Force fired Maj. Gen. Michael Carey in October, it said only that it was for "personal misbehavior." Now we know what that means. Carey essentially appears to have made a drunken spectacle of himself during a three-day official trip to Moscow in July, insulting his... More »

US Knows Russia Violated Nuke Treaty: Report

Kerry was briefed as senator before becoming secretary of state, says Daily Beast

(Newser) - Russia has not only violated a major nuclear arms treaty, but the US knows about it and doesn't seem willing to confront Moscow, according to a report in the Daily Beast . The story by Josh Rogin says two top White House officials told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee behind... More »

Iran Could Have Bomb in a Month: Report

But negotiators point to progress in talks

(Newser) - In just a month, Iran could have enough weapons-grade uranium to build a nuclear bomb, a US expert says. "Breakout times"—a reference to the period needed to get weapons-grade uranium from low-enriched uranium—"are currently too short and shortening further." The findings, from the Institute... More »

Nuke Honcho Who Signed Hiroshima Bomb, Filmed Blast, Dies

Los Alamos director Harold Agnew helped build 75% of US' nuclear stockpile

(Newser) - Harold Agnew, a physicist who helped build the first atomic bomb and served as a director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, died yesterday at his home in Solana Beach, Calif. He was 92. Agnew, who was suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukemia, died while watching football on TV, the AP... More »

No. 2 US Nuke Chief Suspended

Amid probe for gambling issues: sources

(Newser) - The No. 2 officer at the military command in charge of all US nuclear war-fighting forces has been suspended and is under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigation Command for issues related to gambling, officials said today. The deputy commander at US Strategic Command, Navy Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, was... More »

N. Korea Can Make Nuke Parts at Home: Experts

No more need for imports that can be monitored: report

(Newser) - International authorities have for years used export and trade sanctions to keep North Korea from building a nuclear weapon; just today, Chinese officials posted 236 pages of materials barred from export to the North. But such methods might be pointless: Pyongyang appears capable of making important centrifuge parts on its... More »

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