Nuclear Policy News – May 9, 2019

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North Korea fires two short-range missiles, South says
BBC News

B-52s Land in Middle East as CENTCOM Boss Warns Iran
Air Force Magazine

Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant to Close, Latest Symbol of Struggling Industry

East Asia

North Korea fires two short-range missiles, South says
BBC News5/9/2019
North Korea has fired two short-range missiles in its second weapons test in less than a week, the South Korean military says.

With this new missile, China could join the ranks of world’s most dangerous nuclear arsenals
Business Insider5/9/2019
China appears to be close to completing its triad, meaning it will have the ability to launch nukes from land, air, and sea. A developmental air-launched ballistic missile could complete the triangle, the Department of Defense reports.


Russia is planning to build its first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier after breaking its only flattop
Business Insider5/9/2019
Russia wants to build its first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Russian state media reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources in the shipbuilding industry.

U.S. Nuclear Policy

B-52s Land in Middle East as CENTCOM Boss Warns Iran
Air Force Magazine5/8/2019
The first B-52s comprising the Bomber Task Force landed in the Middle East on Wednesday, part of a “direct response” to a number of “troubling indicators” from Iran prompting the US to change its military posture, the head of US Central Command said Wednesday.

Multilateral Arms Control

EU rejects Iran’s two-month ultimatum on nuclear deal
The Guardian5/9/2019
The EU and the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Britain have said they will not accept ultimatums from Iran over the nuclear deal signed in 2015, but admitted to sharp differences with the US over how to change Tehran’s behaviour.

President Donald Trump hopes to ‘sit down’ with Iran over nuclear deal
USA Today5/8/2019
Speaking during a campaign rally in Florida, President Donald Trump raised the prospect of holding talks with Iran over the nuclear deal he withdrew the U.S. from.


Trump wants to negotiate nuclear deals. He should start with the one he already has
The Washington Post – Editorial Board5/8/2019
Before Mr. Trump reaches for the moon, he should tackle extension of the 2010 New START accord with Russia limiting strategic nuclear weapons, which expires in February 2021. This treaty has proved successful and worthwhile, limiting both sides to 1,550 deployed warheads and 700 delivery vehicles; it’s a cap on the most threatening nuclear weapons, those that can span the globe in tens of minutes. If Mr. Trump really wants to avert nuclear dangers, this is the place to begin.

A Stealth F-35 with Laser Weapons: The Ultimate Nuclear Missile Killer?
The National Interest – Kris Osborn5/8/2019
The Pentagon is working with industry to explore the possibility that bomb, missile or laser-armed F-35s could destroy an attacking nuclear-armed Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) targeting the US, potentially bringing a new dimension to existing defenses.

Why Russia is the big winner of the Iran deal fallout
The Washington Post – Emily Tamkin5/8/2019
It isn’t that Russia is particularly pleased about the latest developments — “Russia does not particularly want to see the agreement fall apart, not least because it has a stake in the diplomatic achievement of which it was part,” Matthew Rojansky, director of the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute, wrote in an email — but rather that, of all parties involved, Russia has benefited the most from the sequence of events that began a year ago, when Trump announced that the United States was leaving the deal.

Could unmanned underwater vehicles undermine nuclear deterrence?
Australian Strategic Policy Institute – Sylvia Mishra5/8/2019
Nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNs) are considered to be the most survivable of all nuclear platforms due to their stealth capabilities, mobility and discretion. Placing nuclear assets underwater puts them at a safer distance from a crippling first strike. But as technology improves and the ocean battlefield becomes more complex, these advances could undermine the survivability of strategic forces around the world and make them far more vulnerable.

Special Interest

Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant to Close, Latest Symbol of Struggling Industry
40 years after the nation’s worst commercial nuclear accident, the remaining reactor still operating at Three Mile Island in South-central Pennsylvania is closing.

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