Category Archives: International Relations and Global Security

Back Into the Cold? Incoming Stratcom CinC Vows to Ditch the RD180 Rocket Engine

On September 20 North Korea, in the august presence of Kim Jong Un himself, tested a rocket engine as part of its space programme, and the test appears to be that of a new engine incorporating features that take North … Continue reading

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Nuclear Reactor Security and Nuclear Terrorism: Whither the Design Basis Threat?

It was not so long ago that much hope, especially among the nuclear industry, was invested in a new wave of nuclear reactor construction. So much so that it was often said that we were embarking upon a “nuclear renaissance” … Continue reading

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Possible New Centrifuge Plant at Kahuta and the Nuclear Suppliers Group

Public domain satellite imagery shows new construction activity at the Khan Research Laboratories, Kahuta Pakistan, consistent with development of a new uranium enrichment plant. The imagery was obtained on 28 September 2015 and 18 April 2016. According to Jane’s Intelligence … Continue reading

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Hollow North Korean Nuclear Warhead Pits?

Jeffrey Lewis has an interesting article exploring some of the possible technical advances represented by North Korea’s fifth nuclear weapons test. He reminds us of the boast earlier this year, from Kim Jong-un, that North Korea had developed a nuclear … Continue reading

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5th North Korean Nuclear Test: Sleepwalk to Catastrophe Continues.

With what can only be described as great timing 38North, on September 8, reported that the latest (August 27) public domain satellite imagery of the North Korean nuclear test site, at Punggye-ri, indicated renewed activity at the site. Notably, a … Continue reading

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Obama Reportedly Won’t Adopt No First Use of Nuclear Weapons

The New York Times has just reported that President Obama will likely not pursue a no first use pledge, despite much speculation over the past few months that this was likely. The article, by Sanger and Broad, the two big … Continue reading

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The K-N-11 and THAAD: Sleepwalking Toward Catastrophe in Korea.

North Korea recently (August 24) conducted a test of the K-N-11, solid fuelled, submarine launched ballistic missile. There are a number of issues worth reflecting upon in light of the test, but I shall restrict myself here to its possible … Continue reading

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Advice: Don’t Be Mixing Plutonium With Kitty Litter, This Be Bad.

One of the most expensive nuclear accidents in US history, at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, involved an exploding drum of Plutonium and Americium waste from the Los Alamos National Laboratory after it, reportedly, reacted with, you guessed it, kitty … Continue reading

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From “Limited” to “Robust” Ballistic Missile Defense: Star Wars and MIRV Redux.

The Washington Post recently carried an important article on Ballistic Missile Defense. Essentially, the article reports on moves in Congress to change the official legislative remit of Ballistic Missile Defense, and its potential strategic consequences. There are two that I … Continue reading

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Climate Science and Nuclear Strategy

There is a good article with much food for thought in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on the climatic impacts of nuclear exchanges by William Ossoff, a budding young scholar. The article opens by saying, Improvements in climate modeling … Continue reading

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