Nuclear Policy News – June 15, 2020

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ANALYSIS: America shouldn’t restart production of weapons-grade uranium
War on the Rocks

SIPRI Yearbook 2020
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

Russian nuclear-powered sub enters service amid arms control fears

United States

ANALYSIS: America shouldn’t restart production of weapons-grade uranium
War on the RocksAlan J. Kuperman
The Department of Energy has announced a plan to restart production of nuclear weapons-grade, highly enriched uranium (HEU) for the first time since 1992.


Putin says Russia will be able to counter hypersonic weapons
Russia will soon be in a position to counter hypersonic arms deployed by other countries, President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday, adding that Moscow was ahead of the United States in developing new types of weapons.

Fire breaks out on French submarine during renovations
Associated Press6/12/20
The submarine’s nuclear reactor, nuclear fuel and weapons were removed five months ago to prepare for the renovations, so are not at risk from the blaze, according to an official with the regional maritime authority. The authority tweeted that the smoke spewing from the site is not radioactive.

Russian nuclear-powered sub enters service amid arms control fears
Russia’s most-advanced new nuclear-powered submarine entered service on Friday, the defense ministry said, at a time of growing arms control tensions between Moscow and the West.

ANALYSIS: NATO needs a coherent approach to defending its eastern flank
War on the RocksLt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Janusz Begajski, Ray Wojcik, and Carsten Schmiedl
NATO’s asymmetrical eastern flank deterrence—enhanced Forward Presence versus tailored Forward Presence—has created gaps and seams in both the Baltic and the Black Sea regions that Moscow could potentially exploit.

Middle East

Iran edging closer to nuclear bomb, Israeli defense officials assess – report
Times of Israel6/14/20
Israeli defense officials believe Iran hasn’t increased the pace of its nuclear enrichment in recent months, but nevertheless could be just two years from producing an atomic weapon, a report said Sunday.

Trump rushes to kill off Iran nuclear deal before election
Foreign Policy6/12/20
The battle between the United States and the remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal is heating up, with huge stakes not just for the survival of the near-moribund accord but for the entire future of the U.N. Security Council and its ability to rein in bad actors.

East Asia

Japan halts deployment of U.S.-made missile defense system
Kyodo News6/15/20
Japan has decided to suspend a plan to deploy the U.S-developed Aegis Ashore missile defense system, designed to counter the threat of North Korean ballistic missiles, due to technical problems and ballooning costs, Defense Minister Taro Kono said Monday.

World Nuclear Forces

SIPRI Yearbook 2020
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute6/15/20
A key finding is that despite an overall decrease in the number of nuclear warheads in 2019, all nuclear weapon-possessing states continue to modernize their nuclear arsenals.

International Safeguards

Despite lockdown, IAEA continues nuclear verification and supports countries fighting COVID-19 in largest ever operation, Director General tells agency’s board
IAEA Office of Public Information and CommunicationElodie Broussard
The IAEA has carried out its largest ever operation by delivering 319 consignments of equipment for COVID-19 detection and diagnosis, personal protective equipment and other supplies to 88 countries, while continuing its normal operations during the coronavirus pandemic, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said today.

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