Nuclear Weapons

Jul 092014

Shorter version (14 minutes).  Compelling video from the Nobel Prize winning  International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) explaining why 1-2 billion people will die from a limited local nuclear war between India and Pakistan.

This 28 minute video from the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War shows why nuclear weapons must be eliminated.  Good for any class.

Thorium reactors are usually considered not to be weapons proliferation risks, but this article from the Nuclear Threat Intitiative’s Global Security Newsletter suggests otherwise.  They report on an article appearing in Nature pointing out weapons proliferation risks connected to Thorium.

Aug 242012

From the Belfer Center at Harvard, August 2012, comes a very informative document clarifying the complex terminology used in discussing the nuclear situation in Iran.  This fascinating document also contains a condensed history and a wonderful map.  Read it all at:

Aug 162012


This article, by Michael Richardson, on August 8, 2012, in Japan Times, questions whether the US should approve a new laser enrichment plant.  The argument is that laser enrichment could more easily be done secretly compared to centrifuge enrichment which requires large, industrial, not easily hidden, facilities.  The ability to secretly enrich uranium could enable secret production of highly enriched uranium for weapons.

Read more:

by Nathan Donohue    Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

Aug 10, 2012

This week marks the 67th anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On August 6, 1945, U.S. President Harry Truman informed the world that an atomic weapon had been detonated on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Nicknamed Little Boy, the bomb with a power of over 20,000 tons of TNT destroyed most of Hiroshima, killing an estimated 130,000 people. Three days later on August 9, a second bomb nicknamed Fat Man was dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki destroying most of Nagasaki and killing roughly between 60,000 – 70,000 people. Six days after the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan surrendered, marking the end of World War II.  The destructive power of these nuclear weapons and the subsequent casualties of the Japanese have continued to prompt questions over whether the U.S. should have decided to use these weapons against Japan during World War II. Even 67 years after the event, the decision to drop the first atomic bomb continues to be widely debated.
Read a concise presentation of the arguments for and against:

Jul 192012

July 17, 2012

Eli Jacobs

An interesting and informative opinion piece:

Jul 192012

This week, Hans M. Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project, and Dr. Robert S. Norris, senior fellow for Nuclear Policy, published the new installment of the Nuclear Notebook in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists regarding India’s nuclear forces.

India is estimated to have produced approximately 520 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium, sufficient for 100 to 130 nuclear warheads; however, not all of the material has been converted into warheads. Based on available information, Kristensen and Norris estimate that India currently has 80 to 100 nuclear warheads for its emerging Triad of air-, land-, and sea-based nuclear-capable delivery vehicles.

On April 19, 2012, India successfully launched their Agni V ballistic missile, which has a range of greater than 5,000 kilometers and is capable of reaching any location in China. However, there is additional testing needed and it is a few years away from operational deployment.

Kristensen and Norris state that India will need more warheads to arm the new missiles they are currently developing. Other signs that India is growing its arsenal include the construction of a second plutonium production reactor on the east coast and the development of an unsafeguarded prototype fast-breeder reactor at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, which once operational, will increase India’s plutonium processing capabilities.

To read the Nuclear Notebook click here.

For more information on India and their nuclear arsenal, check out these FAS resources and much more on our website.

Jul 022012

July 2, 2012

The Federation of American Scientists in their FAS roundup today highlighted Dr. Martin Hellman, Professor Emeritus at Stanford and a member of the FAS Advisory Board for Nuclear Security, in an article titled “How Logical is Nuclear Deterrence?”  Read the blog at or read Professor Hellman’s earlier article “How Risky is Nuclear Optimism” at

Animated Map of Nuclear Tests

Posted by Ben at 10:39 am
Jun 182012

1945-1998 by Isao Hashimoto Artist Isao Hashimoto created this video, 1945-1998, as part of a series on “The Fear the Folly of Nuclear Weapons.”

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