Nuclear Newswire August 16, 2017

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK
Slate | August 15, 2017

Just how comfortable are  you  with nuclear weapons? Check out these statistics and some interesting commentary on the American opinion towards nuclear warfare.

NORTH KOREA
Summary:
North Korea has been in the news a lot lately due to rising tensions with the United States. Rhetoric has escalated between the two leaders and the DPRK has even threatened to attack Guam. While many experts scramble to advise what should be done, others doubt that the North Korean threat is as capable as they taunt.

US News & World Report | August 11, 2017

President Donald Trump campaigned on his prowess as the consummate deal-maker. No armchair ideologues need apply. Unfortunately, he has replaced rigid but consistent ideology with a lack of common sense. Here are 4 steps he should take...
 

Wilson Center's Robert Litwak, who worked in the Clinton administration, talks about North Korea's nuclear gains.

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists | August 11, 2017

The North Korean rocket fired twice last month-the Hwasong-14-is a "sub-level" ICBM that will not be able to deliver nuclear warheads to the continental United States.
UNITED STATES
Summary:
According to these experts, the United States is in a quandary when it comes to its own nuclear power programs and internal self-assessments. These failures may leave the US vulnerable to inside and outside threats.
Phys.org| August 9, 2017

Despite repeated promises over the past 18 years, the US Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) is unlikely to deliver on its mission to develop and demonstrate an advanced nuclear reactor by the mid-21st century.

Vanity Fair| September 2017

Does anyone in the White House really understand what the Department of Energy actually does? And what a horrible risk it would be to ignore its extraordinary, life-or-death responsibilities?

Bloomberg | August 15, 2017

The decline of the U.S. nuclear-power industry puts America's security at risk, according to a report being released Tuesday by former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz that calls for greater federal investment.
IRAN
Summary:
The United States has recently imposed new sanctions on six Iranian firms for their part in developing a ballistic missile program. This comes after Iran tested a rocket capable of placing objects in orbit. Trump says the missile tests violate the JCPOA. Rouhani has threatened to leave the JCPOA if more sanctions arise.

RUSI| August 9, 2017

For all the Sturm und Drang over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran, neither side has answered the crucial question the Trump administration faces if it abrogates the deal: 'And then what?'
 
Reuters | August 15, 2017

"If America wants to go back to the experience (of imposing sanctions), Iran would certainly return in a short time -- not a week or a month but within hours -- to conditions more advanced than before the start of negotiations," Rouhani told a session of parliament broadcast live on state television.
NUCLEAR SMUGGLING & ESPIONAGE
Defence-In-Depth | July 10, 2017

Procurement agents working on behalf of WMD programs have used illicit procurement techniques -front companies, mislabeling goods and falsifying documentation- since the earliest days of efforts to prevent proliferation.

The Telegraph | August 14, 2017

The  Ukrainian  government has denied supplying advanced missile engines to North Korea after a report said Pyongyang's latest ICBMs use motors produced in a factory in former Soviet state.

Reuters | August 10, 2017

A court in the United Arab Emirates has convicted an Iranian national for spying and aiding Tehran's nuclear program, sentencing him to 10 years in jail then deportation, local newspapers reported on Thursday.
A weekly compendium of news about nuclear issues, from deterrence to nuclear energy to the latest on the nuclear and not-so-nuclear powers