Federal auditors say Obama administration underestimates nuclear weapons costs

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Analysts again say the Defense and Energy Departments have wrongly omitted billions of dollars from their forecasts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pentagon":

"… une 10, did not estimate the exact size of the undercount. But it said the Pentagon had wrongly omitted from its formal estimate of nuclear-related work the p …"

Japan reaffirms its plan to produce plutonium

By Douglas Birch and Jake Adelstein

The Abe government’s new energy plan calls for completing the Rokkasho plutonium fuel factory despite U.S. concern it poses terrorism risks

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama":

"… te…the completion of Rokkasho,” the energy plan states. Publicly, the Obama administration has said little about Rokkasho, located on the Pacific Coas …"

"… n to proceed follows a joint announcement on March 24 by Abe and President Obama and Abe, at the Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands, that Japan wou …"

Japan confirms it will return some nuclear explosive materials to U.S.

By Douglas Birch

The amount of plutonium is a small fraction of what the country could soon begin making annually.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Atomic Energy Commission":

"… secretary general for disarmament who was recently named to the nation’s Atomic Energy Commission, said March 15 at a Brookings Institution symposium about Rokkasho that on …"

Improving security for nuclear explosives remains a diplomatic struggle

By Douglas Birch

A two-day international summit attended by President Obama next week is unlikely to move beyond stopgap measures and vague promises.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pakistan":

"… produced plutonium under contract for other countries. Separately, India, Pakistan and Israel produce plutonium for weapons, according to a 2013 report by th …"

"… Russia, but large stocks also exist in the United Kingdom, France, India, Pakistan, China and Japan. A five-pound bag of flour filled with bomb-grade uraniu …"

Plutonium fever blossoms in Japan

Cronyism, influence-buying and a stifling of dissenting voices have kept the Japanese nuclear industry going strong after Fukushima.

Excerpts from this story referencing "director":

"… lutonium,” a material initially created for use in nuclear weapons. Its director Satoshi Morimoto, who was briefly the country’s defense minister in 2012 …"

"… ured, carefully and secretly, by Washington. A 1954 cable to the director of the CIA — declassified only eight years ago — called for an “atom …"

"… executives, $3,300 for executive vice presidents, and $1,700 for managing directors, the newspaper said. Kono alleged contributions such as these had purchas …"

"… s hung over the program from the start. Kumao Kaneko, a 76-year-old former director of the Nuclear Energy Division of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, t …"

Japan could be building an irresistible terrorist target, experts say

Japan has balked at U.S. security advice for its nuclear plants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… grew by 60 percent, to about 9,000 officers, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. Washington also pressed others, including France, Britain, Russ …"

"… ch. But in Japan, at least, there was resistance. Paul Dickman, a former Energy Department official and chief of staff to the chairman of the Nuclear Regu …"

"… Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a delegation from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2008 the government worried that “if, for example, the information sh …"

"… equipment is replaced. That’s why experts say the International Atomic Energy Agency will be able to track only 99 percent of the plutonium as it moves …"

Japan agrees to return some plutonium

By Douglas Birch

After years of resistance, Japan agrees to return a portion of plutonium to the U.S.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… ar Control Institute of Washington. As a result, the International Atomic Energy Agency asked Tokai’s operators to shut down the fuel plant, cut up the e …"

A world awash in a nuclear explosive?

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

Japan is leading a global move towards dangerous reactors fueled by a nuclear explosive, Thomas Cochran and other experts say.

Excerpts from this story referencing "correspondent":

"… ove it was radioactive. Six years later, after the 9/11 attacks, ABC News correspondent Brian Ross asked Cochran to borrow his Coke can, and wound up smuggling it …"

Nuclear Waste: Cost of South Carolina fuel plant goes up by billions of dollars — again

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Douglas Birch

The MOX plant may cost another $30 billion to complete and operate, and federal officials are newly wary.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Lindsey Graham":

"… ine what all of our options are.” Kevin L. Bishop, a spokesman for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — the principal champion of keeping the MOX project alive, said …"

Global progress seen in securing nuclear materials

By Douglas Birch

Ranking given to the United States for its security of nuclear materials slips over the past two years.

Excerpts from this story referencing "South Carolina":

"… Cold War-era factory for producing bomb fuel at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, on a list of sites of sites open to inspection by the International Atomi …"

Obama administration understated nuclear weapons costs

By R. Jeffrey Smith

An independent report projects a much higher bill for the administration’s weapons programs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… which also are slated for an upgrade, will cost $40 billion. Keeping the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons-related laboratories humming over this peri …"

A new use for nuclear weapons: hunting rogue asteroids

By Douglas Birch

A persistent campaign by weapons designers to develop a nuclear defense against extraterrestrial rocks slowly wins government support.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. government":

"… port. In all, according to the 2010 National Research Council report, the U.S. government long spent less than $5 million a year on asteroid defense programs, a rou …"

Nuclear Waste: How a huge U.S. nonproliferation program became a major proliferation concern

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

PART ONE OF A SERIES: More than a decade of negotiations with Russia produced a clear winner, and it was not the United States.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Enterprise Institute":

"… nuclear security in Washington. Former vice president Dick Cheney told the American Enterprise Institute the following year that a terrorist with nuclear materials and know-how wa …"

Obama’s nuclear targeting revisions create a path to smaller arsenals

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Obama's plan embraces cuts that Moscow remains reticent to endorse.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama":

"… another U.S.-Russian summit is scheduled, this time for Moscow. …"

"… rope; and the large U.S. inventory of bombs and warheads held in reserve. Obama signed the classified directive to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Jun …"

"… on June 18, a senior administration official said. That was one day after Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin had what several officials describe a …"

"… licy, the conflagration in Syria, and other thorny foreign policy issues. Obama’s speech thus signaled his determination to press for deeper bilateral a …"

Practice attack on Moscow was anything but routine

By Douglas Birch

Did 1983 U.S.-NATO war game bring the world to the brink of Armageddon?

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… in three installments beginning May 16 and ending Thursday. Ranging from presidential note cards to previously secret CIA reports, the documents describing A …"

Nuclear security bill clears House but Senate prospects unclear

By Global Security Newswire

Nuclear security bill clears House but Senate prospects unclear

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iowa":

"… ements, but, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said he wanted them included, and an anonymous hold prevented a Senate vo …"

Obama proposes shifting funds from nuclear nonproliferation to nuclear weapons

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Douglas Birch

Hundreds of millions of dollars proposed in spending on warheads

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pentagon":

"… officials said, the Energy Department determined in consultation with the Pentagon that it would likely need $10 billion in new funds to fulfill all of its p …"

"… ork from management accounts and other internal savings. It then asked the Pentagon to provide the additional $7 billion. But then-Secretary of Defense …"

"… g to two government officials privy to the deliberations. In the end, the Pentagon was cajoled into contributing $3 billion more. But that still left a $4 bi …"

"… h said he could not respond until the budget has been formally released. A Pentagon spokeswoman, Jennifer D. Elzea, declined to address the issue in detail bu …"

Obama administration embraces major new nuclear weapons cut

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Officials back a new targeting plan and a one-third reduction in the U.S. arsenal.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pentagon":

"… d he has not signed the document. The document directs the first detailed Pentagon revisions in U.S. targeting since 2009, when the military’s nuclear war …"

"… officials and independent experts. Already, to comply with New Start, the Pentagon has been pulling warheads from land-based missiles and making plans to dec …"

"… to build a costly, larger missile, capable of carrying multiple warheads. Pentagon officials are not alarmed by that possibility, but say that a new arms dea …"

Nukes likely to decline in Obama’s second term

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Talk of an informal agreement with Russia becomes public now that the election is past.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pentagon":

"… Senate approval. No vote had occurred as of the time this was written. …"

"… ir unilateral pledges,” the report acknowledged.The report said that the Pentagon and State Department officials consulted by the group, including deputy as …"

Hospitals failing to secure dirty bomb materials

By Aaron Mehta

Hospitals are failing to secure potential dirty bomb materials, says GAO

Excerpts from this story referencing "Nuclear Regulatory Commission":

"… nistration (NNSA), which shares purview over nuclear technologies with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  NNSA has spent $105 million to upgrade security at 321 hospitals, b …"

"… ining course.   In a response included with the report, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission agreed that expanding outreach to more hospitals would be a good idea. But …"

U.S. nuclear targeting unaltered since 2008

By R. Jeffrey Smith

The more things change, the more they stay the same in U.S. planning for nuclear war.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Eastern Europe":

"… ocess over the past two decades — a period in which the political map of Eastern Europe was redrawn, NATO was expanded and wars erupted in the Balkans, the Persia …"

U.S. arms control official: Test ban treaty faces 'uphill' fight in Senate

By Zach Toombs

U.S. arms control official predicts 'uphill' fight.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… ociation that her office faces a complicated challenge in working with the Senate to ratify the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The agreement would permanently ban …"

"… ment on nuclear test bans requires a two-thirds majority approval from the Senate for U.S. ratification. In September 1996, it was signed by two-thirds of t …"

"… tration still has no specific timetable for pushing the treaty through the Senate.“We understand that people want to get their heads around this and under …"

"… re going to be patient and we’ll be ready to bring the treaty before the Senate for a vote when the time is right.”Both as a candidate and as president, …"

Are nuclear weapons contractors’ millions in campaign contributions buying favors?

By R. Jeffrey Smith

A sizable flow of cash and well-connected lobbyists bolster congressional support for the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Air Force Association":

"… of 5,000 companies; the 60,000-member Navy League; and the 100,000-member Air Force Association.Of the top twenty Senate recipients of nuclear weapons contractor donation …"

Former U.S. nuclear commander startles with proposal to cut weapons arsenal by 80%

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Squabbling in Washington intensifies as a former nuclear force commander urges 80% reduction in the arsenal.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… f staff, Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, told a Brookings Institution audience in Washington on Wednesday — when asked about the new report — that Cartwright “ce …"

"… ny to be dead and forgotten, but it is once again a major question in Washington, especially on Capitol Hill, and could very well become a key foreign poli …"

Nuclear testers can run but not hide

By R. Jeffrey Smith

An expert scientific panel says that signficant, clandestine explosions are just about impossible.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… n of a nuclear explosion, and according to a scientific report released in Washington on March 30, they can now do it very well.The sensors, deployed at more th …"

"… 2002, and its presentation at the National Academy of Sciences offices in Washington was uniformly upbeat. Among the authors is a former head of one of the U.S …"

"… sive Test Ban Treaty Organization, gets a hefty portion of it funding from Washington, even though the United States is not a treaty partner. But it runs on a t …"

Possible nuclear weapons cuts worry Republican lawmakers

By Aaron Mehta and R. Jeffrey Smith

Future arms agreements threaten profitable line of work for defense contracting giants

Excerpts from this story referencing "John Kerry":

"… in October of 1992 by a 93-6 margin. Alluding to the change in tone, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., noted after the more recent vote that “in today's Washington, …"

FACT CHECK: GOP candidates throw out false facts on Iran

By FactCheck.Org

Paul undermines nuclear threat, Santorum stretches legitimacy of Iranian election

Excerpts from this story referencing "ambassadors":

"… on of the State of Israel.” The news report quoted three unnamed Israeli ambassadors who had been among those briefed in secret by the Mossad chief.And former …"

Lone wolves and home-grown terrorists: Experts warn of a growing threat from unusual sources

By Malik Siraj Akbar

In guarding against terrorism, extremists can’t be overlooked

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federation of American Scientists":

"… ists, according to a little-noticed report from the Washington, D.C.-based Federation of American Scientists.Acknowledging the threatU.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, …"

"… he said.Charles Blair, director of the Terrorism Analysis Project at the Federation of American Scientists, said that, for example, the public often confuses a radiological dev …"

U.S. may be providing nuclear assistance to nations with terror links

By Laurel Adams

The United States provides $20 million a year to help finance the International Atomic Energy Agency, which promotes peaceful use of nuclear

U.S. may not reach 2013 deadline for securing nuclear materials

By Laurel Adams

A nuclear nonproliferation initiative set by President Obama in 2009 is far behind its goal of securing vulnerable nuclear material by 2013.