Nuclear Weapons

What’s the role of nuclear weapons in today’s changing security landscape—and how can we reduce their risks?


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Latest Nuclear Weapons Posts

Obama to Hiroshima: Actions, Not Words

, physicist & co-director, Global Security

In Prague in 2009, President Obama committed the United States to reducing the role of nuclear weapons and putting an end to Cold War thinking. It’s time to walk the talk, Mr. President. Read more >

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Science, Religion, and Obama’s Mixed Legacy on Nuclear Weapons

, physicist & co-director, Global Security

Giving another speech on nuclear weapons is not enough. Read more >

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Hair-Trigger Alert Doesn’t Make Sense. Here’s Why

, physicist & co-director, Global Security

In talking with a young colleague recently, I realized he had no idea the U.S. and Russia keep thousands of nuclear weapons on alert, poised to launch 24 hours a day, every day. Luckily we have a video just for him… Read more >

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mox-plant

The Obama Administration Decides to Terminate MOX Project—Finally!

, physicist & co-director, Global Security

The United States has around 50 metric tons of plutonium from nuclear weapons programs it wants to dispose of. Until last week, it was pursuing a plan to do so by using most of this excess plutonium to produce mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel for power reactors. Enough plutonium for thousands of nuclear weapons would be used to generate electricity. Sounds like a win-win situation, right?

Wrong. Read more >

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The Case for Ending Hair-Trigger Alert: New UCS Report

, physicist & co-director, Global Security

Twenty-five years after the end of the Cold War, the United States and Russia continue to keep nearly 2,000 nuclear weapons constantly on high alert, ready to be launched in minutes. This is commonly called “hair-trigger alert.”

I’ve written several blog posts highlighting false alarms in the past decades that brought us uncomfortably close to a nuclear launch. These were due to technical glitches and human errors, but it was hair-trigger alert that set up the conditions for those glitches and errors to lead to disaster. Read more >

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