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USA rejects North Korea’s ‘hostile’ deadline over nuclear talks

December 17, 2019 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Turkey may shut US nuclear weapons base over sanctions threat

December 17, 2019 Posted by | politics international, Turkey, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The world is headed for climate crisis and nuclear destruction

December 16, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea conducts second test at satellite site, to ‘bolster nuclear deterrent’

San Francisco Chronicle, Simon Denyer, The Washington Post Dec. 14, 2019  TOKYO – North Korea announced on Saturday it had conducted another test at a satellite launch station near the Chinese border, saying the unspecified test would help bolster the country’s nuclear deterrent.The test was conducted Friday evening, and was the second in less than a week at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in Tongchang-ri, a site near the Chinese border that has been used to test rocket engines and launch satellites into space in the past…… (subscribers only) https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/North-Korea-conducts-second-test-at-satellite-14906516.php

December 16, 2019 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

United States and Russia are on the verge of a new arms race

Can Russia And The U.S. Agree To Keep A Lid On Their Nuclear Arsenals?  Radio Free Europe, December 15, 2019 By Mike Eckel 

  One major Cold War-era weapons treaty has collapsed. Another, aimed at building trust among the United States, Russia, and other countries, is under severe strain. Washington and Moscow are modernizing their arsenals, building new, more advanced weapons.

By most accounts, the United States and Russia are on the verge of a new arms race, if not already in one.

But last month, something unusual happened: U.S. inspectors traveled to Russia to examine a new missile that Moscow says is super-fast. The demonstration was “aimed at facilitating efforts to ensure the viability and efficiency of New START,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The move has arms control observers wondering whether, despite poisoned relations, Moscow and Washington may in fact find a way to agree to extend the biggest — and last — major weapons treaty restraining the holders of the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals.

Dmitry Stefanovich, a researcher with the Russian International Affairs Council, said the inspection of the weapon — called Avangard by Russian military designers — was a demonstration that Moscow was eager to extend New START.

“It is more like an offer: See, we will [give] you transparency on some new weapons and probably some more in the future, but we have to extend the treaty for it to work,” he told RFE/RL. “And we expect the same from you, when your modernization of strategic weapons reaches fruition.”

Large Arsenals

Signed in 2010 by Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev, New START limited the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals by capping the numbers of delivery systems — long-range bombers, silo-based land missiles, and submarine-launched missiles — and deployed warheads.

As of September 1, Russia had 513 deployed strategic launchers with 1,426 warheads, according to State Department figures. The United States deploys 668 strategic launchers with 1,376 warheads, according to the data……

The treaty expires in February 2021, although provisions allow for it to be prolonged by five years if both sides agree. ….. https://www.rferl.org/a/new-hope-for-new-start-can-russia-and-the-u-s-agree-to-keep-a-lid-on-their-nuclear-arsenals-/30326546.html

December 16, 2019 Posted by | Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear War Simulator shows the devastation that nukes could cause

Nuclear War Simulator shows the devastation that nukes could cause , MIC, By AJ Dellinger, Dec 14, 2019

,  The fallout of nuclear war is the premise for all sorts of films and video games. There is a sort of morbid curiosity to imagining what life would be like in a post-apocalyptic world caused by this type of warfare, but the threat of such an occurrence is anything but science fiction. To better understand exactly how devastating to the planet and the population that a global nuclear could cause, there’s Nuclear War Simulator.

One way to imagine Nuclear War Simulator is like a version of Google Earth with a nuclear option. With a couple clicks, you can find out what the fallout of a conflict between two nuclear superpowers would be, from casualties caused to the long-term effects that follow, including nuclear fallout and radiation levels.
The simulator puts you in full control of the experience, allowing you to design your own nuclear forces, establish attack plans and explore potential conflict scenarios and even push to see just how many weapons a nation could produce if they decided to put the full force of their military and economy behind it. Along the way of seeing how these scenarios play out, the Nuclear War Simulator also lets you determine what your chance of survival would be in a nuclear holocaust, based on your location and how the attacks would play out.  …… https://www.mic.com/p/nuclear-war-simulator-shows-the-devastation-that-nukes-could-cause-19447517

December 16, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Docking problems for Russia’s nuclear ships

Nuclear-powered container ship sailed 3,000 nm to change propellers in lack of floating dock up north

After the floating dock SD-50 sank at Roslyakovo yard north of Murmansk last fall “Sevmorput” now had to sail all around Scandinavia to St. Petersburg to find a dock large enough.   Barents Observer, By  Thomas Nilsen, December 15, 2019

Sevmorput” left her homeport in Murmansk on December 5th and arrived in St. Petersburg on the 12th after sailing a distance of nearly 3,000 nautical miles, information from MarineTraffic tells.

The 260 meters long container ship is currently moored at the Admiralteyskiye yard in the Neva River, but will later be taken to the nearby dry dock at Kanonerskiy yard, SeaNews agency reports.

It was late October last year the floating dock sank at shipyard No. 82 in Roslyakovo between Murmansk and Severomorsk in the Kola Bay. The dock was then holding “Admiral Kuznetsov”, Russia’s only aircraft carrier.

The sunken dock was the only one on the Kola Peninsula large enough to accommodate “Sevmorput” and navy ships like the nuclear-powered battle cruiser “Pyotr Velikiy” and ballistic missile submarines of the Delta-IV-, Oscar, II- and Borei-classes.

An older land-dock at naval yard No. 35, Sevmorput, in Murmansk will be expanded to facilitate larger military vessels, like the submarines. The dock is said to be ready by 2021. Meanwhile, navy ships will have to sail to Severodvinsk for simple docking operations……..https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/industry-and-energy/2019/12/nuclear-powered-container-ship-sailed-3000-nm-change-propellers-lack

December 16, 2019 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

U.S. Democrats cave in to a weak compromise National Defense Authorization Act

December 14, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Sound the alarm on deadly US-Russia nuclear threat

Sound the alarm on deadly US-Russia nuclear threat, by Jill Dougherty December 12, 2019  CNN, As I looked around the large square conference table, I watched the faces settle into worried frowns. Russians and Americans, several of whom once had responsibility for their nations’ nuclear weapons, all members of the Dartmouth Conference, the oldest continual bi-lateral dialogue between Americans and Russians, founded almost 60 years ago during one of the darkest periods of the Cold War.

For a long minute, no one spoke. Then, one of them broke the silence: “Someone needs to sound the alarm.”
Now, profoundly concerned that the United States and Russia are on the verge of a new arms race, they are speaking out, issuing an urgent appeal to keep arms control alive:
“… for the first time in our history we are compelled by the urgency of the situation to issue this public appeal to our governments, founded on our view that the clear threat of an uncontrolled nuclear arms race has re-emerged with the collapse in recent years of key elements of the post-Cold War arms control architecture.”
Members of the Dartmouth Conference meet twice a year to discuss ways of improving — and, at this point, salvaging — the US/Russia relationship. Several are former top-level military and diplomatic officials. Some are religious leaders or physicians. All are concerned citizens.
They’ve watched as the arms control agreements, which helped prevent nuclear war between our countries, were dismantled — the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty signed by former President Richard Nixon and Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, and the Intermediate Nuclear Forces agreement signed by former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.
Now, the New START agreement — the last remaining arms control agreement between the US and Russia — hangs in the balance. …….
It could get worse, both I and other Dartmouth Conference members believe. Neither country wants to start a nuclear war, which would imperil the entire planet, but it could start by mistake, by misunderstanding, by escalation of tensions, as it almost did during the Cold War……..
In their appeal, Dartmouth members say the dialogue on strategic stability should be broadened to include other nuclear powers. But that doesn’t mean that, in the interim, New START can’t be extended for another five years, as the treaty provides. Extending it beyond 2021 would provide some breathing space to work on future global security agreements. We can do both.
New START not only led to steep reductions of nuclear arsenals on both sides but it strengthened confidence and trust between our countries and our militaries by providing for inspections and data exchanges that verify compliance. Transparency is key; Not knowing what weapons the other side might have can ignite suspicion.
At this very moment both countries are developing new, highly advanced conventional arms and delivery systems.
A cyberattack could knock out early warning systems. Both countries keep most of their nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert, ready to be fired within minutes. Our presidents have only a few minutes to decide whether to respond. A missile launched in Russia can hit an American city in less than 30 minutes — and vice versa. A single warhead can kill millions of people.
……… together, we had just written: “The immediate imperative is extension of the New START Treaty … We see this as a paramount moral obligation of both our governments before our own peoples, and the world at large. We respectfully urge our governments to begin discussions immediately to this end.” https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/12/opinions/new-start-treaty-dougherty/index.html

December 14, 2019 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Devastating array of craters on the ocean floor, from nuclear tests

 

Enormous Craters Blasted in Seafloor by Nuclear Bombs Mapped for the First Time, Live Science, By Mindy Weisberger – Senior Writer 11 Dec FRANCISCO — Today, all seems quiet in the remote Bikini Atoll, a chain of coral reef islands in the central Pacific. But more than 70 years ago, this region’s seafloor was rocked by powerful atomic bombs detonated by the U.S. Army.

For the first time, scientists have released remarkably detailed maps of this pockmarked seabed, revealing two truly massive craters. This new map shows that the seabed is still scarred by the 22 bombs detonated at Bikini Atoll between 1946 and 1958.

The map was presented yesterday (Dec. 9) at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

During the 1946 nuclear weapons test known as “Operation Crossroads,” the U.S. wanted to test the impact of nuclear bombs on warships. To that end, the Army assembled more than 240 ships — some of which were German and Japanese — that held different amounts of fuel and munitions, then deployed two nuclear weapons to destroy them, researcher Arthur Trembanis, an associate professor with the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment at the University of Delaware, said in the presentation.

At the time of the tests, Trembanis said, comedian Bob Hope joked grimly:

“As soon as the war ended, we found the one spot on Earth that had been untouched by war and blew it to hell.”……….

But as powerful as the early atomic tests were, they were dwarfed by the later blasts caused by hydrogen and fusion bomb tests in the 1950s. The researchers investigated a crater that was 184 feet (56 m) deep and had an unusual oblong shape; they determined that it was a composite crater from multiple blasts: “Castle Bravo,” a 15-megaton bomb that was the largest ever detonated by the U.S., and “Castle Romeo,” the first deployed thermonuclear bomb.

These tests left behind a uniquely devastating array of shipwrecks and craters, and the first detailed map of their aftermath will help scientists to tell this untold story and connect to “a moment at the dawn of the nuclear age,” Trembanis said. “Our new findings provide insights into previously unknown conditions at Bikini and allow us to reflect on the lasting consequences from these and other tests.” https://www.livescience.com/mapping-reveals-bikini-atoll-nuclear-craters.html

December 12, 2019 Posted by | OCEANIA, oceans, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz suggests bombing Iran to stop its nuclear program

December 10, 2019 Posted by | Iran, Israel, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pentagon to get more control over the news? Is this a GOOD idea?

December 8, 2019 Posted by | media, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Putin offers US to extend key nuclear pact

Putin offers US to extend key nuclear pact   https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/putin-offers-us-to-extend-key-nuclear-pact/news-story/e88b576c31aaa9f2e81843b5f306dfc7. Associated Press, December 6, 2019 Russian President Vladimir Putin claims Moscow is prepared to immediately extend a pivotal nuclear arms reduction pact with the United States.

Speaking at Thursday’s meeting with military officials, Putin said that Russia has repeatedly offered the US to extend the New START treaty that expires in 2021 but as yet he hasn’t heard back.

“Russia is ready to extend the New START treaty immediately, before the year’s end and without any preconditions,” Putin said.

The pact, which was signed in 2010 by former President Barack Obama and then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers.

Putin and other Russian officials have repeatedly voiced concern about Washington’s reluctance to discuss the treaty’s extension.

December 7, 2019 Posted by | politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Chaos ahead in international relations due to Trump’s chaotic nuclear weapons policies

December 5, 2019 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

U.S. election – views of Presidential candidates about nuclear weapons

Nuclear weapons — they’re still out there. Presidential candidates have ideas on them,  San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko Dec. 1, 2019 ,  One topic that’s gotten little attention during the presidential campaign is the high-stakes issue of nuclear weapons. That’s partly because campaigns tend to focus on bread-and-butter issues, like health care and taxes. They largely steer clear of foreign policy, especially an aspect that’s downright terrifying.

But it’s an issue that matters, to the nation and the world. And the candidates’ public statements, and responses to Chronicle queries, reveal divergent views.

One question that has surfaced is whether the United States, the only nation that has ever used atomic weapons, should reverse its policy and declare it would not strike the first nuclear blow in a future war.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has introduced legislation that would establish “no first use” of nuclear weapons as binding law. Sen. Bernie Sanders, independent-Vt., is a co-sponsor. Former Vice President Joe Biden told a public gathering in June that “I supported it 20 years before she introduced it.” Several other presidential hopefuls — Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii; entrepreneur Andrew Yang; spirituality author Marianne Williamson; billionaire Tom Steyer — have endorsed the concept.

The only Democratic candidate with a contrary view is Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who said in the second presidential debate in July that “I wouldn’t want to take that (first use) off the table.”

But others — Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and former U.S. Housing Secretary Julián Castro — have told interviewers in recent months that they hadn’t reviewed Warren’s proposal and weren’t ready to take a position on it.

The interviewers were from the Union of Concerned Scientists, which favors nuclear de-escalation and sent young people to campaign events to question the candidates.

One prominent candidate, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, appears to have come down on both sides…….

Besides no first use, The Chronicle asked candidates about the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, signed by the United States in 1963 but never ratified by the Senate; the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a disarmament pact endorsed by the U.N. General Assembly and ratified by 33 nations so far, but not by the United States or any other nuclear powers; and the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a 1988 agreement between the Soviet Union and the United States under President Ronald Reagan that banned land-based ballistic missiles with a range of up to 3,400 miles. The Trump administration withdrew from that treaty in February.

Some candidates did not respond, including Warren, Harris and Booker. Among those who did, Sanders, Williamson and Steyer took the firmest positions in support of the weapons treaties……..

While Warren’s campaign did not reply to questions about the treaties, the senator has publicly opposed the nuclear buildup proposed by Obama and endorsed by Trump.

“No new nuclear weapons,” Warren said in a November 2018 speech on foreign policy. “We should not spend over a trillion dollars to modernize our nuclear arsenal, at a time when the president is doing everything he can to undermine generations of verified arms-control agreements.”

Perhaps some of those discussions will reach a public forum as the campaign continues.  Bob Egelko is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: begelko@sfchronicle.com Twitter:@BobEgelko  https://www.sfchronicle.com/nation/article/Nuclear-weapons-they-re-still-out-there-14873992.php

December 3, 2019 Posted by | politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment