Category Archives: Nuclear

Inside Moscow’s Site 1 nuclear bunker designed to hold 2,700 people | Daily Mail Online

Have you ever wondered where Russians would go if we dropped nuclear bombs on them?

Thanks to eye-opening pictures provided by Moscow construction worker Mikhail Bratza, we in the West can now see the grim 650-feet underground welcome that 2,700 Russian citizens would receive if nuclear war became reality.

The only problem is that the bunker’s power and water supplies would fail after just two days, leaving refugees with no choice but to venture into the nuclear wasteland their city would have become.

Inside Moscow’s Site 1 nuclear bunker designed to hold 2,700 people | Daily Mail Online

Russia Looks to Revive Nuclear Missile Trains to Counter U.S. Attack Capability | The Moscow Times

Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces are considering bringing back iconic Soviet-era nuclear missile trains as Moscow pumps money into a complete overhaul its aging nuclear arsenal.

According to an unidentified source in the Russian military-industrial complex quoted by the TASS news agency on Thursday, the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology — makers of the Topol, Yars and Bulava missiles — is designing a next-generation missile launching train.

“While the decision to start manufacturing [missile trains] is still pending, the probability is high that it will happen,” the source was quoted as saying, explaining that technical studies and cost estimates are still being conducted.

“In the best-case scenario, they will be deployed by the end of the decade, probably somewhere around 2019,” he said.

Russia Looks to Revive Nuclear Missile Trains to Counter U.S. Attack Capability | The Moscow Times

America Musn’t Neglect Its Nukes – NYTimes.com

Earlier this month the Pentagon released a devastating assessment of its own management of the nation’s nuclear arsenal. The report, authored by two widely respected former four-star officers, judged that America’s nuclear weapons complex — particularly the personnel who operate and maintain it — is near its breaking point, worn down by years of neglect, lack of funding and unnecessarily invasive and inquisitorial screening of employees. This malaise has been exacerbated by bouts of apathy and even hostility on the part of prominent voices in and out of government: The prevalent attitude is that there are more important national security priorities and, among some, that nukes are useless and should be left to rust.

The situation is considerably worse than we thought — even worse than in 2007 when it was revealed that the Air Force had inadvertently transported six live nuclear weapons from North Dakota to Louisiana. Last week a senior Pentagon official claimed in a background briefing that unless immediate and substantial action is taken to modernize antiquated infrastructure, prioritize the issue, and relieve suffocating bureaucratic pressure, the nation’s nuclear complex risks coming apart at the seams.

America Musn’t Neglect Its Nukes – NYTimes.com

How the Middle East’s First Nuclear War Started – Mathew Burrows – POLITICO Magazine

The afternoon had been a blur, but it was now clear to him that the Saudis and Israelis were colluding to attack Iran, and that he was helping them coordinate their plans. Who should he tell? And how could he prove what was happening?

He thought about taking the thumb drive right to the American embassy, but he didn’t want to put his family in the states in jeopardy. He was afraid Bill would use them as leverage against him.

That’s when his phone rang. The voice on the other told him where to deliver the Paris package.

Jamil got out of bed and did what he was told. And then he called his assistant and told her to book him a ticket to New York.

It was too late anyway.

The Saudis launched a missile attack against Iran on Christmas Day. Days later the Israelis followed with an air attack on various Iranian military and civilian installations. The attacks devastated Iran. Initial casualties reached 40,000 as a direct result of exposure to chemically toxic substances. This did not include the destruction from the radioactive fallout that contaminated an important supply of water, condemning millions of Iranians to an increased rate of bone cancer as well as a significant rise in birth defects for decades, if not centuries to come.

The Saudis had counted on their missile defense shield, but with the withdrawal of U.S. technicians, who had helped run it, Iran succeeded in overwhelming the system with a nuclear missile—the Iranians actually had an advanced weapons program all along.

Israel’s defense shield largely protected the country against incoming Iranian missiles, although Hezbollah and Hamas succeeded in perpetrating several devastating terrorist attacks in Haifa and Tel Aviv.

Fired nuke commander now linked to counterfeit poker chips | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour

The admiral fired last year as No. 2 commander of U.S. nuclear forces may have made his own counterfeit $500 poker chips with paint and stickers to feed a gambling habit that eventually saw him banned from an entire network of casinos, according to a criminal investigative report obtained by The Associated Press.

Although Rear Adm. Timothy M. Giardina’s removal as deputy head of U.S. Strategic Command was announced last year, evidence of his possible role in manufacturing the counterfeit chips has not previously been revealed. Investigators said they found his DNA on the underside of an adhesive sticker used to alter genuine $1 poker chips to make them look like $500 chips.

Nor had the Navy disclosed how extensively he gambled.

Fired nuke commander now linked to counterfeit poker chips | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour

This doesn’t exactly give one confidence in the Navy’s ability to run its nuclear forces. Whoever gave him that job (No. 2 commander of US nuclear forces) should be fired too.

The nuclear gun is back on the table – FT.com

“Both in private and in public, Russia is making explicit references to its nuclear arsenal”

“Thirty years on and the nuclear peace is still holding. But I am becoming a little less secure in my belief that nukes will never be used.”

“My third reason for worry is more immediate: a significant increase in threatening nuclear talk from Russia.”

There are three reasons for my anxiety. First, the spread of nuclear weapons to unstable countries such as Pakistan and North Korea. Second, the growing body of evidence about how close the world has come, at various times, to nuclear conflict. My third reason for worry is more immediate: a significant increase in threatening nuclear talk from Russia.

Both in private and in public, the Russians are now making increasingly explicit references to their country’s nuclear arsenal. A couple of weeks ago, I witnessed a prominent Russian warn an audience, at a private seminar in Washington, that “President [Vladimir] Putin has put the nuclear gun on the table.” The Russian president has indeed told an audience at home that outsiders should not “mess with us”, because “Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers”.

Last week, Pravda – the Soviet mouthpiece during the cold war – ran an article headlined, “Russia Prepares Nuclear Surprise for Nato”. It crowed that Russia has parity with the US in strategic nuclear weapons and boasted: “As for tactical nuclear weapons, the superiority of modern-day Russia over Nato is even stronger. The Americans are well aware of this. They were convinced before that Russia would never rise again. Now it is too late.”

My only hesitation in writing about this is that I have little doubt that one aim of all this nuclear posturing from Moscow is precisely to get western commentators talking about a Russian nuclear threat. Russia is desperate to stop the west supplying military aid to Ukraine. So, they want to get across the message that any such escalation would provoke a ferocious reaction from Moscow and – who knows – perhaps even the use of nuclear weapons.

… Sadly, we may now be returning to an era in which the threat of nuclear warfare can no longer be treated as the stuff of science fiction.

The nuclear gun is back on the table – FT.com

We’ve gone almost 70 years since the introduction of nuclear weapons without a nuclear war. Why should we be worried now? Why is this time different?

You should be worried because the vast majority of people in the US, Russia and China who actually experienced the horrors of war are dead. The new generations that are alive now don’t fear nuclear war, and that is a game-changer. The US has gutted its nuclear arsenal and what remains is rotting – because of no fear. Russia and China have no fear of nuclear war and are actively getting ready for it. They sure as hell aren’t acting like the US. I think that’s a big problem.

Russian Media: Moscow Has Nuclear Surprise – Business Insider

The Russian Pravda has published an article titled “Russia Prepares Nuclear Surprise For NATO,” citing a Sept. 1 US State Department report that signaled US and Russia had reached parity in terms of deployed strategic nuclear weapons. 

Although the article does not explicitly contain threats against NATO or the US, the message of the article is clear: The readily deployable Russian nuclear arsenal is growing and now matches that of the US.

Russian Media: Moscow Has Nuclear Surprise – Business Insider

Iran Possesses All the Technology for a Nuclear Weapon | Algemeiner.com

Four technological achievements are key to completing Tehran’s nuclear weapon:

  • The accretion of enough nuclear materials, highly enriched to weapons-grade or 90 percent;
  • Machining that material into metal for a spheroid warhead so it can fit into a missile nosecone;
  • Developing a trigger mechanism to initiate the atomic explosion at a precise moment during missile re-entry;
  • And, of course, a reliable delivery system.

Start with the nuclear material. Experts estimate that a single bomb would require approximately 25 kilograms of Highly Enriched Uranium, or HEU, with a U-235 concentration of at least 90 percent. Much of Iran’s nuclear enrichment remains at 3.5 and 20 percent levels. But the numbers are deceiving. Enriching to 3.5 percent is 75 percent of the task of reaching weapons-grade. Once Iran has reached 20 percent, it has gone 90 percent of the distance. Today, Iran possesses enough nuclear material for a fast “break-out” that would finish the job, creating enough for five or ten bombs in about six weeks.

Second, that HEU must be metalized and shaped into a dense spheroid compact enough to fit into a missile nosecone. Iran has mastered the metallurgical techniques using other high-density metals such as tungsten, which have been test-detonated in a special chamber to measure their explosive character.

Iran Possesses All the Technology for a Nuclear Weapon | Algemeiner.com

Report: Iran Nuclear Program More Advanced than Previously Believed | Washington Free Beacon

Iran is said to have built and still be in possession of two explosive chambers that have allowed the regime to conduct advanced testing of nuclear weapons, according to new information published by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an Iranian opposition group that has exposed Iran’s clandestine nuclear activities in the past.

While the existence of one explosive chamber has been known for some time, the NCRI claims a second device could be hidden at Iran’s Parchin military complex, or at another site somewhere in Iran.

The claims raise new questions about the status and extent of Iran’s nuclear progress as negotiations between Tehran and the West approach their Nov. 24 deadline.

Report: Iran Nuclear Program More Advanced than Previously Believed | Washington Free Beacon

Foundation of US nuclear system showing cracks

The foundation of America’s nuclear arsenal is fractured, and the government has no clear plan to repair it.

The cracks appear not just in the military forces equipped with nuclear weapons but also in the civilian bureaucracy that controls them, justifies their cost, plans their future and is responsible for explaining a defense policy that says nuclear weapons are at once essential and excessive.

Rather, this [issue] is about a broader problem: The erosion of the government’s ability to manage and sustain its nuclear “enterprise,” the intricate network of machines, brains and organizations that enables America to call itself a nuclear superpower.

What have been slipping are certain key building blocks — technical expertise, modern facilities and executive oversight on the civilian side, and discipline, morale and accountability on the military side.

But the problem goes beyond the military and Hagel’s responsibility for nuclear weapons. It extends to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). …

Foundation of US nuclear system showing cracks

If you have been following me for awhile, then you know that the entire foundation of the US is cracked. There is really no surprise in this article. Both 9/11 and the financial crash of 2008 indicate that problems have spread far and wide into all corners of American society. Certainly, national security is not immune. And that means American nuclear forces too. In short, America is unable to properly protect itself.