By Ian Anthony and Lina Grip* | IDN-InDepth NewsEssay
Making nuclear weapons requires access to materials – highly enriched uranium or plutonium – that do not exist in nature in a weapons-usable form. To constitute a threat, natural uranium needs to go through a challenging and time-consuming process of transformation as it moves through the nuclear fuel cycle.
STOCKHOLM (IDN) - The effort to cap the number of nuclear armed states in the world has largely focused on limiting the spread of the industrial items and processes needed for the stages of the fuel cycle that can turn uranium or plutonium into forms that could be used to make a nuclear weapon: enrichment or reprocessing.
By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
TORONTO (IDN) - Russia is in the midst of a comprehensive modernization of its nuclear forces that began more than a decade ago. The upgrade, which involves replacing all Soviet-era ballistic missiles with fewer improved missiles, is now approaching a point at which the number of modern weapons will shortly exceed the number of old ones, In a decade, virtually all of the Soviet-era weapons will be gone. This will leave in place a significantly smaller but effective force that will be more mobile than the one it replaces, according to a new study.
By Baher Kamal* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
CAIRO (IDN) - Not that nuclear issues are an actual source of concern to Egyptian citizens. They are deeply worried about their present and immediate future now that inter-religious violence is on the rise, triggering a dangerous, growing insecurity amidst an overwhelming popular discontent with President Mohamed Morsi's regime. Simply put, there is too much frustration and deception here to think of nukes.
Nevertheless, it is also a fact that the governments of Arabs countries in general, and in the Gulf region in particular – following reported U.S. political pressures – have lately been expressing increasing fear of Iran's nuclear programme and therefore focusing, again, on nukes.
By Ramesh Jaura* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN | GENEVA (IDN) - If it were up to the youth, all nuclear weapons in global arsenals would be declared inhumane and a comprehensive treaty banning these would be put in place. This is the upshot of an international survey released at the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) during a milestone conference.
The survey, carried out by youth members of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), shows that 91.2% of respondents aged between 15 and 45 are of the view that nukes are inhumane and 80.6% favour a comprehensive global treaty banning all these weapons of mass annihilation.
By Hirotsugu Terasaki* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
TOKYO (IDN) - It is a cause of grave concern that there are an increasing number of regions under tension and exposed to the threat of nuclear weapons; namely, the Middle East, South Asia and Northeast Asia. Today, there are more countries that seem to be adhering to the doctrine of nuclear deterrence and/or extended deterrence than during the Cold War era.
This reminds me of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s warning to the world, “Unfortunately, the doctrine of nuclear deterrence has proven to be contagious. This has made non-proliferation more difficult, which in turn raises new risks that nuclear weapons will be used.” It is critical that all of us share an awareness that humanity is standing at an important tipping point today.
By Tim Wright* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
MELBOURNE (IDN) - At the beginning of March, the Norwegian government hosted a landmark conference in Oslo on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and the inability of relief agencies to respond effectively in the event of a nuclear attack. More than 120 governments, the Red Cross and several UN agencies participated. Their message came through loud and clear: the only way to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again is to outlaw and eliminate them without further delay.
By Frederick N. Mattis | IDN-InDepth NewsEssay
ANNAPOLIS, USA (IDN) - Soka Gakkai International (SGI) President Daisaku Ikeda’s Peace Proposal for 2013 notes that worldwide abolition of nuclear weapons will require the legal framework of a treaty banning the weapons (variously called a nuclear abolition treaty, nuclear ban treaty, or Nuclear Weapons Convention – NWC). The SGI president proposes the goal of substantial completion in 2015 of the NWC text. Upon its finalization, then, of course, time will be needed for states to evaluate, sign, ratify, and formally accede to the NWC.
By Bennett Ramberg* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
LOS ANGELES (IDN | Yale Global) - Following North Korea’s February 12 nuclear weapons test, the UN Security Council adopted tough penalties on Pyongyang. Along with a new round of financial sanctions, the council beefed up inspections of suspect cargo to and from the country and took steps to halt illegal activities by Pyongyang diplomats – all intended to squeeze North’s nuclear and missile programs.
But the sanctions do not address the more serious questions raised by North Korea’s doubling down challenge threatening pre-emptive nuclear strikes on the United States as well as threats against South Korea and Japan:
By Sharon Dolev* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
BINYAMINA-GIV'AT ADA (IDN) - Around the world, when it comes to nuclear weapons, it is a well know “secret” that Israel is a Nuclear Armed State. Just like India and Pakistan, Israel has developed a nuclear arsenal, but unlike the two, Israel’s arsenal remains a secret. Israel doesn’t talk about its arsenal and usually, doesn’t take part in any international or regional discourse about it.