National security findings you may have missed

By The Center for Public Integrity

Investigations into nuclear proliferation, the war against terror and the conduct of U.S. officials.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… tured by at least 21 different countries, including China, Russia, and the United States. This is just the latest finding to document the missteps and unintended c …"

The 47-year-old nuclear elephant in the room

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

A growing number of U.S. experts say that feigning ignorance about Israel’s nuclear arsenal creates more trouble than it averts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "White House":

"… a made clear that this 4-decade-old U.S. policy would persist at his first White House press conference in 2009, when journalist Helen Thomas asked if he knew of …"

"… neighbors, this perception is more important than reality.” While former White House or cabinet-level officers — such as Gates — have gotten away with more …"

Briefing the president but keeping the public in the dark

By James Arkin

Washington kept grim early estimates of the death and destruction from a nuclear war with Russia secret for more than half a century.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… sp; This was the official, predicted outcome of a nuclear war between the United States and Soviet Union in the late 1950s, at a time when the U.S. military alrea …"

"… said.  A majority of the group's reports expressed optimism that the United States would essentially "win" a nuclear war with the Soviets because fewer U.S. …"

"… de, suggesting that “the balance of strength would be on the side of the United States” after the nuclear war, and that “the survival of the United States as …"

"… he United States” after the nuclear war, and that “the survival of the United States as a nation appears highly probable.” “The idea is who dies a little …"

Obama curbs nuclear security goals as bomb-building budget grows

By Douglas Birch

The White House rejected a confidential proposal to accelerate work on nuclear security problems despite a missed 2013 deadline.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… for just 105 buildings where dirty bomb materials are stored — 53 in the United States and 52 abroad — by September 2015, the end of the fiscal year, according …"

"… He also said they may wind up being “funded by countries other than the United States or through international organizations,” such as the International Atomi …"

"… on will spend at least $179 billion from 2010 through 2018 to maintain the United States’ nuclear stockpile. Because of plans to replace the “triad” of land …"

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.

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 "Japan":

"… Erika Kubo contributed to this article from Tokyo.  …"

"… urn hundreds of pounds of plutonium to the United States for disposal, the Japanese government on April 11 formally endorsed the completion of a …"

"… f the March 2011 Fukushima disaster.  The move is generally viewed in Japan as unpopular with the public but has been welcomed by Japan’s utilities, …"

"… ally viewed in Japan as unpopular with the public but has been welcomed by Japan’s utilities, which are struggling with massive debts. The mammoth plant …"

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 "Obama":

"… uclear programs. The joint U.S.-Japanese statement, released by President Obama and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, said: “This effort involves the …"

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 "Montana":

"… he Strategic Command headquarters in Nebraska, a Minuteman missile base in Montana, and a Trident submarine base outside Seattle — to remind them of the ro …"

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 "Harvard University":

"… outh Korea and elsewhere. Matt Bunn, a former White House official now at Harvard University, said it’s unrealistic to believe that a terror attack in Japan is impro …"

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 "Japan":

"… ut other informed sources in both countries said the deal was done. …"

"… uranium, the principal building blocks of nuclear arms, to design fuel for Japan’s future breeder reactors, a key to the country’s ambition to increase …"

"… ase its energy independence. But their work will soon be altered, because Japan — after years of resistance — has finally agreed to return its stock o …"

"… . Some nonproliferation experts say the withdrawal of the explosives from Japan, while a step in the right direction, represents little more than window d …"

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 "Japan":

"… control and proliferation experts — is a seemingly puzzling decision by Japan to ready a new $22 billion plutonium production plant for operation as ear …"

"… tors resembling those canceled in America a generation ago. Critics of the Japanese project worry that its completion in just a few months will create a cr …"

"… ly one in a country without nuclear weapons. The metal is to be burned by Japanese utilities in dozens of fast breeder reactors, so named because they hav …"

"… capability to both consume and produce plutonium. The ambition is to make Japan, a craggy, energy-starved island, nearly self-sufficient in generating ele …"

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 "National Nuclear Security Administration":

"… ions about it to the Energy Department. Keri Fulton, a spokeswoman for the National Nuclear Security Administration, the arm of the department responsible for the MOX project, said the agenc …"

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 "United States":

"… om 32 to 25, the report said, largely because of a concerted effort by the United States to collect the materials or to assist in their protection or destruction. …"

"… Congress’s failure to do so, said the report’s authors, prevented the United States from receiving a better score. The group, which is headed by former Sen. …"

"… dangers posed by nuclear explosive or “fissile” materials, listed the United States as one of four countries out of 25 with stocks where security had lagged. …"

"… enter for Science and International Affairs. The report was issued as the United States and others prepare for the third international nuclear security summit in …"

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 "White House":

"… specific projects are to be agreed in talks between labs as well as in the White House’s U.S.-Russia Joint Working Group on Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Security …"

"… es are considered decades away from being ready for use. But in April, the White House budget asked Congress to approve $105 million in seed money for a robotic …"

"… ademic and industry experts who make science policy recommendations to the White House, said that if the U.S. and other nations work hard to identify all the lar …"

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 "Japan":

"… efused to approve any U.S. funding for the Russian reactor and fuel plant. Japan and the other Western countries that pledged money to the original effort …"

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 "White House":

"… oved. The secret directive he signed has been sitting in draft form at the White House since last winter. The president was reluctant to sign it before the 2012 …"

"… and his aides provided only a vague account of what the directive says. A White House fact sheet summarizing the document states that Obama told the Pentagon an …"

"… objectives and effects could be achieved” with this approach. While the White House directive calls for retaining a “launch under attack” capability, it o …"

"… already in place — remains uncertain. Congressional Republicans want the White House to pursue a treaty, which they would have a say in approving or rejecting. …"

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 "White House":

"… iam E. Overacker told Air Man. The impetus for the exercise came from the White House, “where they wanted to stare down the Soviet bear,” said Jones. Tensi …"

Nuclear security bill clears House but Senate prospects unclear

By Global Security Newswire

Nuclear security bill clears House but Senate prospects unclear

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

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 "White House":

"… oscow this month with acting undersecretary of state Rose Gottemoeller and White House national security adviser Thomas Donilon. Obama “believes that there’s …"

"… h Russia,” deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said on Jan. 31. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor declined comment on Feb. 6 on the draft directive. …"

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.

Hospitals failing to secure dirty bomb materials

By Aaron Mehta

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

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 "Russia":

"… arrying missiles that must reach “any place else in the world” besides Russia — such as North Korea, a perennial favorite in lists of U.S. enemies — …"

"… rea, a perennial favorite in lists of U.S. enemies — must first fly over Russia.“That means that any time you contemplate using the ICBM [inter-continen …"

"… sile] system” located at existing U.S. bases, “you run the risk of the Russians misinterpreting and retaliating,” Cartwright told a Sen. Appropriation …"

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

By Zach Toombs

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

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 "spokesman":

"… campaign receipts, for the current cycle and over her career.Feinstein’s spokesman Brian Weiss did not respond to a request for comment. The report noted tha …"

"… according to data on the Center for Responsive Politics website.McKeon’s spokesman Alissa McCurley told the Center for Public Integrity in April that “fund …"

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.

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 "Israel":

"… to conduct a hidden nuclear blast is not as far-fetched as it might seem. Israel and South Africa collaborated on such a blast, over a remote portion of th …"

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 "Campaign Legal Center":

"… mployers in key districts” says Meredith McGee, policy director with the Campaign Legal Center. “Money follows the money, and wherever the government is in the busines …"

"… as been conducted on the new strategic bomber.According to McGehee, of the Campaign Legal Center, “On the Armed Services Committee there is a tacit understanding between …"