(24 Total References)
NRDC takes its Nuclear Nonproliferation campaign to Moscow | Jonathan McLaughlin's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC
Last month, Christopher Paine, the NRDC Nuclear Program Director, and Thomas Cochran, the Program's Senior Scientist, travelled to Moscow, where they participated in the "2010 Moscow Nonproliferation Conference: Nuclear Energy, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation.
delivered a presentation on one of the most important elements in the fight against nuclear proliferation: U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
noted that the record shows that "Russia has a clear understanding of its basic obligation under the CTBT that matches the U.S. understanding" of "zero yield" -- the fissile material in any test or experiment must remain subcritical.
went on to explain that the main diplomatic challenge presented by the treaty is not a conflicting interpretation of the basic obligation, but verification that each side is observing it in the course of conducting experiments with fissile materials and chemical explosives.
To minimize the potential for misidentification of small nearby earthquakes as prohibited nuclear test explosions (an error that the U.S. intelligence community has committed repeatedly since the treaty was concluded in 1996) Mr. Paine
recommended installing high performance seismic monitoring stations at the Novaya Zemlya test site in Russia and the Nevada test site in the U.S.
also recommended increased cooperation between U.S. and Russian weapons scientists, and gave examples of cooperative verification measures that would increase confidence that each sides nuclear experiments are indeed remaining "subcritical," i.e. with no nuclear yield produced by means of a self-sustaining chain reaction with fast neutrons.
Such efforts, he
concluded, "will build the mutual confidence in compliance needed to achieve U.S. ratification of the CTBT.
PDFs of Chris'
and Tom's presentations are available on the NRDC
Nuclear Program website.
Special thanks to Chris
, who provided me with some historical and technical clarification as I prepared this posting.
Iraq's calutrons: 1991 - 2001
- Dr. Christopher C. Paine, NRDC, Washington
[CPEO-MEF] Court: DOE Stacked NIF Reviews
"All of these committees have suffered from a lack of independence, a lack of balance and an intense pressure to come up with the 'correct' findings, namely that the project should go forward," said Christopher Paine, a senior nuclear-weapons policy analyst at the NRDC."It certainly will add to Congress' skepticism about NIF."
In 1999, Livermore lab and DOE officials admitted construction of the giant laser-fusion project was at least $1 billion over its original $1.2 billion budget and well beyond schedule.In lieu of canceling the NIF's funding, Congress called for a series of reviews to be certain Livermore lab's revised NIF budget and schedule were credible.Ever since, Sullivan found, energy officials repeatedly relied on the disputed panels and their reports to reassure Congress of "high confidence that the project can be successfully completed" and that NIF should proceed.
said the ruling will make it more difficult for the Energy Department to "stack the deck" on reviews of major science projects.
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ENN Affiliate News - Bush Administration Wasting Billions on Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Research and Production, Report Charges
"The Energy Department is asking Congress for $6.8 billion for nuclear weapons projects for next year's budget -- double what we spent a decade ago," said Christopher Paine, a senior policy analyst at NRDC's Nuclear Program and author of the report.
"DOE has pursued these projects over the past decade with little accountability or oversight, consuming vast sums of money along the way," said Paine
"In a real world sense, however, this hardly matters," Paine
pointed out, "because if the United States adopted a sensible nuclear arms reduction policy, the facility would not be needed for decades."
At $6.5 billion, the current level of annual U.S. spending on nuclear weapons greatly exceeds the $4.2 billion (in 2004 dollars) the nation spent, on average, every year throughout the Cold War, which stretched from 1948 to 1991.Over the next five years the Bush administration plans to spend $36.6 billion to modernize the nuclear weapons stockpile and laboratory production complex, including $485 million to develop, test, and begin production of the controversial robust nuclear earth penetrating warhead.
Developing a new generation of nuclear weapons could restart an international arms race, Paine
said, making the world less secure.
Laser fusion put on slow burn
"It's not a path forward to achieving ignition, it's a path forward to continued funding," says Christopher Paine, director of the nuclear programme at the US Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington DC and a long-time opponent of the NIF.
There are formidable barriers to achieving ignition, and even if the facility did succeed, he
says, the results might not be significant.
US nuclear weapons are already reliable, he
says, and the NIF
will never be a source of electrical power.
"What this programme has been from the beginning is part of the nuclear-weapons pork barrel," says Paine