The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is the Council’s affiliated 501(c)(3) research organization.
IN UKRAINE, RUSSIA USES NUCLEAR PLANT AS SHIELD Russia continues to escalate the situation in Ukraine as it is now using the Zaporizhia nuclear plant as a shield for its soldiers, housing them in a spot no one would dare shell.
Senior Policy Director John Erath told POLITICO that this is a way for Russia to “raise the stakes to increase [domestic] concerns…to highlight the importance of continuing the military operation.” He told NBC NOW and Newsweek that Vladimir Putin might seek to “weaponize winter.”
There is finally reason for optimism about the future of the Iran nuclear deal. We are starting to see signals that both the United States and Iran are preparing their domestic audiences for a resumption of the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, that would deny Iran the materials for a nuclear weapon.
The consequence of 16 months of hard-nosed diplomacy with Iran may be the end of the nuclear crisis in the Middle East. Iran’s use of thousands of advanced centrifuges and accumulation of highly enriched uranium (although not weapons-grade) coupled with the removal of the extra monitoring equipment installed under the 2015 deal created the potential for Iran to sprint undetected to weapons-grade fissile material.
Finalizing the nuclear deal in 2015 took a herculean effort from all those allies that sought to prevent a nuclear arms race and simultaneously avoid another endless war in the Middle East. Given the resistance to this deal among some Members of Congress, we anticipate another fight this time around.
In an interview with Newsweek, Senior Policy Director John Erath said, “It is clearly in the best interests of all sides to resume the JCPOA and not allow other political considerations to stand in the way.”
NEW PODCAST EPISODES OUT ON NUCLEAR INHERITANCE
What happens when a new country is born with nuclear weapons already within its borders? What happens when the legacy of nuclear testing takes place almost entirely within communities of color? And how do the answers to these questions get knit together to form a national identity that refuses nuclear weapons? That’s the story of Kazakhstan’s nuclear inheritance.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought us closer to nuclear escalation than ever in a post Cold War world. One major question hangs overhead: what if Ukraine had kept its nuclear arsenal after the USSR’s dissolution?
Host Geoff Wilson talks with Togzhan Kassenova, Center board member and author of Atomic Steppe: How Kazakhstan Gave Up the Bomb, about Kazakhstan; and Mariana Budjeryn, author of Inheriting the Bomb: The Collapse of the USSR and the Nuclear Disarmament of Ukraine about Ukraine.
With President Joe Biden’s historically low approval ratings and widespread concern over inflation, the forecasts for election day 2022 have looked grim. In addition, there is a history of the incumbent President’s party losing congressional seats in the first midterms after taking the White House. It now appears the tide may be turning. Better economic news and the passage of popular legislation have altered the equation.
Here’s a great Twitter thread from our friend Alex Wellerstein, a nuclear historian and author of Restricted Data: The History of Nuclear Secrecy in the USA, onnuclear secrecy, various classification levels andwhat could be in those so-called “nuclear documents.”
The bottom line? We deserve to live in a world in which we aren’t held hostage by nuclear weapons, and until then, we deserve to live in a country that isn’t at risk of putting the sole authority to launch nuclear weapons in the hands of one person — especially one who callously joked about the size of his “button,” threatened “fire and fury” and tried to overturn a democratic election.
STUDY: NUCLEAR WAR COULD SPARK GLOBAL FAMINE
A new study published in Nature Food finds that the atmospheric soot caused by exploding a nuclear weapon would cause climate disruptions leading to reduced crop, marine fishery and livestock productions. A nuclear war between India and Pakistan could lead to the deaths of 2 billion people, while a nuclear war between the United States and Russia could lead to the deaths of 5 billion people. The study features breathtaking graphs showing the impacts on the climate each year following a nuclear detonation and maps of how food intake could change post-detonation.
A new whitepaper by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War examines years of studies on the relationship between a so-called “limited” or regional nuclear war and the environment, exploring not only the findings of the Nature Food study but also studies on the Ozone layer, nuclear winter and global famine.
“A limited nuclear war would not lead to human extinction,” the physicians’ group concludes. “But it would almost certainly be the end of modern civilization. A series of ‘years without summers’, with crop
failures, food hoarding and mass starvation, would disrupt everything from international trade to public order. No civilization has ever withstood a shock of such magnitude. There is every reason to expect that the economic, political and technical systems we take for granted would collapse… In the case of a nuclear war, there is no possible treatment after the fact. We must focus on prevention. And the only way to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used is to eliminate them completely.”
These studies serve as further proof that our work has never mattered more.
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS COMMEMORATE 77TH ANNIVERSARIES OF NUCLEAR BOMBINGS
The Council partnered with our friends at the Nuclear Threat Initiative and groups of survivors in Japan to commemorate the 77th anniversaries of the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki through a social media campaign marked by folding paper cranes and sharing wishes for a world free from nuclear threats. Our goal was to get Members of Congress to join in the campaign, and many did, including Rep. John Garamendi, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and others.