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Posts Tagged ‘nuclear weapons’

UCS Webinar on Nuclear Hair-Trigger Alert and Launch-on-Warning

As the NPT Review Conference gets underway at the UN in New York, the increasingly frustrated non-nuclear weapon states will be looking for the U.S. and other nuclear weapon states to take meaningful steps to reduce nuclear risks. Read More

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Nuclear Hair-Trigger and Launch-on-Warning: The World Says “No”

Almost all the world’s nations gather today at the UN in New York City for the month-long Review Conference of the international treaty designed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and eliminate the ones that already exist.

The 1970 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, or “NPT”, divides the world into nuclear weapons haves and have-nots, with the five nuclear weapon states—the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, and France—committed to nuclear disarmament in exchange for which the other 186 parties have pledged not to acquire nuclear weapons. The treaty includes inspections to make sure that countries with nuclear power programs don’t use the technology to produce nuclear weapons materials.   Read More

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U.S. and Russian Generals Call for Reducing the Risk of Inadvertent Nuclear War

In an important New York Times op-ed, retired U.S. and Russian Generals James Cartwright and Vladimir Dvorkin call for the two countries to take steps to reduce the risk of nuclear weapons being launched by mistake, particularly during a time of crisis. Read More

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UCS Webinar on the Nuclear Deal with Iran

Last week we presented a webinar discussing key points of the recent framework agreement for a nuclear deal with Iran, which was announced on April 2. In case you missed it, you can watch a recording of it here. Read More

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An Interview with Eric Schlosser on the Risks of Hair-Trigger Alert

Eric Schlosser, author of the best-selling book Fast Food Nation, last year published a new book that details dozens of accidents that have occurred with U.S. nuclear weapons—some of which nearly led to a nuclear explosion. His book, Command and Control, makes clear that nuclear weapons systems—like all complex systems involving technology and humans—are not perfect. Things go wrong. Read More

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A First Look at the Iranian Nuclear Deal

The world got some good news yesterday. The countries involved in negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran announced they had agreed on many of the key issues they will need to formalize in a final agreement over the next three months.

So, how does that interim agreement look? So far, so good. Read More

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Nuclear War and the Science Experiment of January 25, 1995

On January 25, 1995—20 years ago Sunday—a routine scientific experiment in Norway led Russia to prepare to launch a nuclear attack on the United States.

The story of this event illustrates how coincidence, confusion, and nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert can be a deadly mix. Read More

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Then vs Now: Progress on Nuclear Weapons since the End of the Cold War

The Cold War ended 25 years ago this month, according to many historians. On Dec. 2 and 3, 1989, Presidents Bush and Gorbachev met on a ship off the island of Malta in the Mediterranean and announced an end of hostilities between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The two presidents quickly turned to addressing the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War: the bloated nuclear arsenals in both countries. Within a few years, they cut their nuclear stockpiles in half, and have continued to cut them in the decades since. With U.S.-Russian tensions high again, it’s worth remembering what progress has been made. Read More

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Taking Nuclear Missiles off Hair-Trigger Alert

A recent New York Times editorial, Wresting with an Aging Arsenal, reiterates a key point UCS has been making about U.S. nuclear weapons policy: it’s stuck in the past—a carry-over from a different era that does not address the main threats in today’s world. Read More

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New U.S. Nuclear Warheads? Politically and Technically, a Bad Idea

The New York Times recently ran an excellent story on the administration’s ambitious plan for the future of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, which includes building new generations of nuclear-armed bombers, missiles, and submarines. But I want to discuss an important issue that the article didn’t mention: The United States also intends to develop and produce new types of nuclear warheads rather than simply refurbishing existing warheads as they age. There are both technical and political reasons why this is a bad idea. Read More

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