Nuclear Policy News – October 4, 2019

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Trump’s top sanctions official will depart
New York Times

Nuclear watchdog reports improved cooperation with Iran
The Hill

Russia is helping China build a missile defense system, Putin says
The Guardian

United States

Trump’s top sanctions official will depart
New York Times10/2/19
The Trump administration’s top sanctions official will depart the Treasury Department this month, leaving a void in President Trump’s national security team as he ramps up a maximum pressure campaign to bring Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program.

Middle East

Nuclear watchdog reports improved cooperation with Iran
The Hill10/4/19
The International Atomic Energy Agency on Friday said that Iranian officials have increased their cooperation with the United Nations agency after the organization raised questions reportedly related to traces of uranium found at an undeclared site.

France gives one month to get Iran-U.S. to negotiating table
Iran and the United States have one month to get to the negotiating table, France’s foreign minister warned, suggesting that Tehran’s plan to increase its nuclear activities in November would spark renewed tension in the region.

Iran nuclear deal can be saved by goodwill not sanctions: Slovakia’s IAEA hopeful says
The 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the remaining signatories can still be saved after the U.S. withdrawal but Iran must return to the full implementation of its commitments and in return be offered some goodwill instead of sanctions, the Slovak candidate to head the United Nation’s nuclear agency said on Thursday.

East Asia

North Korea, US envoys to resume nuclear talks in Stockholm
Al Jazeera10/4/19
Negotiators from the United States and North Korea are due to resume talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear program this weekend in Stockholm, but it is far from clear if the two sides will find common ground after months of deadlock and increased tensions.


Russia is helping China build a missile defense system, Putin says
The Guardian10/3/19
Russian president Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow is helping China build a system to warn of ballistic missile launches.


Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei is one despot Trump might not win over
TIMEKarim Sadjadpour
Khamenei, who has confounded every U.S. President he has faced since coming to power 30 years ago, harbors a particular animus for Trump.

How Japan could go nuclear
Foreign AffairsMark Fitzpatrick
Japan has long had the means to go nuclear, thanks to its sophisticated nuclear power industry.

Why nuclear weapons are rather overrated
National InterestRobert Farley
Because of the deep political complexity associated with their employment, the weapons simply have too little battlefield and strategic impact for the US to seriously entertain their use.

The big and urgent task of revitalizing nuclear command, control, and communications
War on the RocksAdam Lowther
Technological advancements in conventional and nuclear forces are reducing the time available for senior decision-makers to progress through the nuclear command and control process (detect, decide, and direct) prior to the striking of American military and civilian targets by a peer adversary.

Special Report

Innovation and adaptive control in America’s electric infrastructure: Parallels to NC3
Nautilus InstituteMason Willrich
There are important lessons for NC3 operators in how electric power utilities control their grids, and especially, how they ensure that interconnections with adjacent grids are maintained continuously in spite of the potentially catastrophic risks of grid failure arising from instability originating outside a utility system.

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