Top News: OPINION: How President Biden can reduce nuclear dangers without congress Breaking DefenseTom Z. Collina and Doreen Horschig National Ignition Facility experiment puts researchers at threshold of fusion ignition Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Iran accelerates enrichment of uranium to near weapons-grade, IAEA says Reuters United States National Ignition Facility experiment puts researchers at threshold of fusion ignition Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory8/18/2021 On Aug. 8, 2021, an experiment at the National Ignition Facility put researchers at the threshold of fusion ignition, achieving a yield of more than 1.3 megajoules — an 8X improvement over experiments conducted in spring 2021 and a 25X increase over NIF’s 2018 record yield. OPINION: How President Biden can reduce nuclear dangers without congress Breaking DefenseTom Z. Collina and Doreen Horschig 8/18/2021 With razor-thin majorities in Congress, it is no surprise that the Biden administration has had to set strict priorities for its legislative agenda. The good news is there’s one top-tier issue on which President Biden can make significant progress without arm-twisting legislators: reducing the risk of nuclear war. OPINION: How to build a better policy for countering WMD threats Breaking DefenseAl Mauroni 8/16/2021 Existing strategies for countering the use of weapons of mass destruction are outdated for an era of Great Power Competition – and the US needs to work quickly to fix the issue, writes expert Al Mauroni. East Asia S. Korea to begin mass production of surface-to-air interceptor missile The Korea Times8/18/2021 South Korea will begin mass production of a newly upgraded interceptor missile, often dubbed the Korean equivalent of the U.S.-made Patriot missile defense system, after successfully completing a number of quality tests, officials said Wednesday. U.S. Vice President’s visit set to improve ties in crucial, yet wary, Southeast Asia Voice of America8/18/2021 U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris’s planned visit next week to Southeast Asia, following other diplomatic overtures from Washington, will help President Joe Biden compete with China for influence in a crucial yet wary region of 660 million people, experts say. PODCAST: Japan’s nuclear principles Ploughshares Fund8/18/2021 On this week’s episode of Press the Button, we sit down with Gregory Kulacki, China project manager at Union of Concerned Scientists, and Miyako Kurosaki, research coordinator at the Hiroshima Organization for Global Peace. We talk about their new report that shows how Japan is not an obstacle to a U.S. No First Use policy. Middle East Iran producing more uranium metal that can be used to make a nuclear bomb, U.N. watchdog says CBS News8/17/2021 Iran continues to produce uranium metal, which can be used in the production of a nuclear bomb, the United Nation’s atomic watchdog confirmed Tuesday, in a move that further complicates the possibility of reviving a landmark 2015 deal with world powers on the Iranian nuclear program. Iran accelerates enrichment of uranium to near weapons-grade, IAEA says Reuters8/17/2021 Iran has accelerated its enrichment of uranium to near weapons-grade, the U.N. atomic watchdog said in a report on Tuesday seen by Reuters, a move raising tensions with the West as both sides seek to resume talks on reviving Tehran’s nuclear deal. Former British Commander cautions Taliban may get control of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons Devdiscourse8/16/2021 Contending that the Taliban could not have sustained its campaign or secured victory in Afghanistan without the active support of Islamabad, a former Commander of the British Army on Monday raised concerns over jihadist elements getting control of nuclear material in Pakistan to weaponise themselves. ANALYSIS: Ex-IAEA official: Iranian nuclear violations escalate crisis The Jerusalem PostYonah Jeremy Bob 8/18/2021 Olli Heinonen: “What is in [at] stake is also the credibility of the IAEA verification regime and the role of the IAEA Board as its guardian.” Space OPINION: Can the U.S. and China cooperate in space? Space.comLeonard David 8/17/2021 Will collaboration or competition define international space science and exploration in the 21st century? The answer could come down to how two spaceflight superpowers, the U.S. and China, choose to engage with each other in the next few years.