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"[Arms Control Today is] Absolutely essential reading for the upcoming Congressional budget debate on the 2018 #NPR and its specific recommendations ... well-informed, insightful, balanced, and filled with common sense."

– Frank Klotz
former Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration
March 7, 2018
Nuclear Testing

Week Ahead Feb. 3-7: Attention Turns to Next Round of Talks with Iran

This bulletin highlights significant events in the world of arms control in the coming days, as compiled by staff and friends of the Arms Control Association. For more news and analysis on these and other weapons-related security issues, consider subscribing to ACA's monthly journal Arms Control Today . Available in print/digital and digital-only subscriptions. - the Editors at Arms Control Today Feb. 4: Senate Hearing on "Negotiations on Iran's Nuclear Program" With the formal implementation of the "first phase" agreement on Iran's nuclear program underway, attention is now turning to the...

Blame the Mission, Not the Missileers

By Tom Z. Collina In the wake of alarming reports that some Air Force nuclear-armed missile operators have been cheating on performance tests, using drugs, napping on duty, failing to follow safety rules, and more , the Pentagon announced Jan. 23 it is setting up an independent review of all U.S. nuclear forces, to be completed in 90 days. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says he is "deeply concerned" about "the overall health, and the professionalism, and discipline of our strategic forces." But the scope of this review—limited to personnel issues—must be expanded. At its core, the problems...

The Week Ahead, Jan 27-Feb. 2: State of the Union

This bulletin highlights significant events in the world of arms control in the coming days, as compiled by staff and friends of the Arms Control Association. For more news and analysis on these and other weapons-related security issues, consider subscribing to ACA's monthly journal Arms Control Today . The entire January/February 2014 issue is now available online for all ACA members and digital subscribers. – the Editors at Arms Control Today IAEA Goes Underground Nuclear inspectors will visit Iran's Gchine uranium mine in coming days, according to Yukiya Amano, director general of the...

IAEA Confirms Iran Is Complying with First Phase of Nuclear Deal with World Powers

By Daryl G. Kimball Today, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that the Islamic Republic of Iran has begun to implement measures that will reduce its potential to produce material for nuclear weapons in accordance with the Nov. 24 "Joint Plan of Action" negotiated with the P5+1 states (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States). In a short report issued today, the IAEA also noted that it has begun daily inspections at the Natanz and Fordow enrichment facilities. Similar reports will be issued approximately once a month to monitor Iran's...

The Week Ahead Jan 13-20: Iran Nuke Deal Implementation; Iran Sanctions Controversy; Arms Control Person of the Year

This bulletin highlights significant events in the world of arms control in the coming days, as compiled by staff and friends of the Arms Control Association. For more news and analysis on these and other weapons-related security issues, consider subscribing to ACA's monthly journal Arms Control Today . The entire January/February 2014 issue is now available online for all ACA members and digital subscribers. – the Editors at Arms Control Today P5+1 and Iran Resolve Issues on Implementation of Nov. 24 First Phase Deal Earlier today in Geneva, negotiators announced they had resolved the...

Who Will Be the 2013 Arms Control Person of the Year? Vote Now.

Okay folks. It is that time of the year. The sun is low in the northern hemisphere; holiday-driven shopping is in full swing; Congress has finally left Washington DC at peace; you are drinking more eggnog than you should; NORAD is working to put a shine on its image by tracking Santa (while still looking out for Russian nuclear-armed ICBMs); the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded; holiday cards are arriving; and ... the Arms Control Association's Arms Control Person of the Year balloting is open ! Every year since 2007, ACA's staff has nominated several individuals and institutions that best...

What the UN Security Council Resolutions Say (and Don't Say) About Iran's Nuclear Program

By Kelsey Davenport Mohamed ElBaradei speaks at a press conference during his tenure as Director-General of the IAEA. The United Nations Security Council has adopted six resolutions as part of the international community's efforts to address Iran's controversial nuclear program. Collectively, these resolutions require that Iran suspend its most-proliferation sensitive activities and encourage Tehran to work with the international community on a negotiated solution that ensures that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful. The Security Council took up consideration of Iran's nuclear program in...

CTBTO Announces Pledges to Limit Xenon

Tom Z. Collina

The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) announced Nov. 13 that four medical isotope makers have pledged to reduce radioxenon emissions, a step that the organization said would help it in its mission of identifying nuclear test explosions.

The producers also have agreed to share information on emission levels, the CTBTO said in the announcement.

The increasing global production of medical isotopes has led to higher emissions of the radioactive noble gas xenon, the CTBTO said, and could affect one of the CTBTO’s key verification technologies by masking a potential xenon release from an underground nuclear test. CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo said the cooperation with the medical isotope producers “helps us to provide confidence to our member states that, now and in the future, no radioactive release from a nuclear test will go unnoticed.”

The four companies that signed the pledge are the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Coquí RadioPharmaceuticals Corp. in the United States, the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, and PT Batan Teknologi Company Indonesia. The CTBTO will assist producers in clarifying any concerns due to elevated xenon levels.

The Belgian-based Institute for Radio Elements signed the pledge in June.

The agreement was signed during a workshop at the CTBTO’s Vienna headquarters on the radioactive signatures of medical and industrial isotope production. The permanent representatives to the UN office in Vienna of Belgium, Indonesia, South Korea, and the United States attended the ceremony, along with 70 representatives from established and prospective producers of medical isotopes from 24 countries and representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans all nuclear explosions in the atmosphere, in outer space, underwater, and underground. The CTBTO’s global verification regime, which is to have 337 facilities when it is fully operational, monitors the globe for nuclear explosions. Once the CTBT has entered into force, on-site inspections can also be used to search for evidence of a nuclear explosion.

The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) announced Nov. 13 that four medical isotope makers have pledged to reduce radioxenon emissions, a step that the organization said would help it in its mission of identifying nuclear test explosions.

The Week Ahead Nov. 18-22: Iran talks resume; Lugar honored; Syria CW Challenges

This bulletin highlights significant events in the world of arms control in the coming week, as compiled by staff and friends of the Arms Control Association. (Send your suggestions for events to be covered here. ) - the Editors at Arms Control Today Iran Talks to Resume in Geneva Negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States, and Germany) resume in Geneva on Nov. 20. The two sides appear to be very close to a "first phase" agreement that would pause Iran's nuclear progress and address the most urgent activities of proliferation concern in...

Going Nowhere Fast: Iran's Arak Reactor

By Kelsey Davenport Iran is continuing to make progress on the Arak heavy water reactor. As the most recent round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) wound down on November 10, an unlikely player emerged center-stage in the press coverage of the negotiations: the Arak heavy water reactor. The Arak reactor represents a potential second pathway for Iran to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons. Heavy water reactors are particularly well-suited for plutonium production, which must be separated from the...

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