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Space nuclear bomb attack on Britain ‘quite likely’

February 23, 2012 Comments off

theweek 

MPs warn that cities could become very difficult to live in if we are attacked with an EMP weapon

BY Tim Edwards A SPACE-BASED nuclear attack on Britain is “quite likely”, according to a Conservative MP. Such an explosion would create an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) which would knock out electrical systems and make it very difficult to live in cities.

The warning follows the publication of a report by the Defence Select Committee which urges the government to take seriously the threat to infrastructure such as the national grid, GPS satellites and communication networks from EMPs and naturally occurring solar flares. The electromagnetic radiation from such events can Read more…

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Riyadh will build nuclear weapons if Iran gets them, Saudi prince warns

June 30, 2011 1 comment

guardian

Prince Turki al-Faisal, former Saudi ambassador

Prince Turki al-Faisal: he said that if Iran came close to developing nuclear weapons Riyadh would not stand idly by. Photograph: Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images

A senior Saudi Arabian diplomat and member of the ruling royal family has raised the spectre of nuclear conflict in the Middle East if Iran comes close to developing a nuclear weapon.

Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington, warned senior Nato military officials that the existence of such a device “would compel Saudi Arabia … to pursue policies which could lead to untold and possibly dramatic consequences”.

He did not state explicitly what these policies would be, but a senior official in Riyadh who is close to the prince said yesterday his message was clear.

“We cannot live in a situation where Iran has nuclear weapons and we don’t. It’s as simple as Read more…

US not ready for WMD attack, report says

June 24, 2011 Comments off

thehill.com

The United States is unprepared for an attack involving weapons of mass destruction, according to a report by the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.

The report, and the commission’s prediction that it is “more likely than not” that a WMD will be used by terrorists by the end of 2013, were the principal topics at Thursday’s joint subcommittee hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee on the Weapons of Mass Destruction Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2011.   Lawmakers discussed the commission’s statement, made in a prior report, that “Unless the world community acts decisively and with great urgency, it is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013.”

Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), chairman of the subcommittee Read more…

Nations to Spend $1 Trillion on Nukes, Group Says

June 20, 2011 Comments off

globalsecuritynewswire

The planet’s nine nuclear weapons states are anticipated in the next 10 years to expend $1 trillion on acquiring and updating their systems, a prominent nuclear disarmament organization said (see GSN, June 7).

The group Global Zero — whose goal is total nuclear disarmament no later than 2030 — calculated the nuclear weapons expenditure figures for China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, the Financial Times reported. The organization is seeking to bring attention to the high price countries pay for their nuclear arsenals in a time of increasing government budget restraints.

Nuclear costs among the nine nations this year are estimated at $100 billion, with similar annual numbers anticipated throughout the decade, according to Global Zero.

The organization determined that nuclear arsenal expenditures take up roughly 9 percent of the countries’ total military spending; that percentage is anticipated to increase as traditional defense programs are curtailed in a number of the nations. Nuclear weapons spending encompasses research, development, weapons assessments and acquisitions.

“Spending will increase because of decisions by both nations to upgrade and replace,” Global Zero founder Bruce Blair said. “Modernization is progressing at such a pace we are seeing more spending on nuclear weapons than at any time since the Cold War.”

The group is to convene a two-day forum in London this week with participants including Russian Federation Council international affairs committee Chairman Mikhail Margelov, ex-Indian defense chief Jaswant Singh, ex-CIA intelligence agent Valerie Plame and multiple senior Chinese officials.

Global Zero wants to see other nuclear nations besides the United States and Russia take part in formal discussions on nuclear arms control.

The two former Cold War rivals together hold 95 percent of the planet’s nuclear weapons. They recently implemented a bilateral treaty that requires both sides to reduce their deployed stockpiles of strategic warheads to 1,550. U.S. President Obama has said he would like to see negotiations with Moscow for a treaty on tactical weapons begin in 2012 (see GSN, June 2; James Blitz, Financial Times, June 19).

Details Emerge on North Korean Missile Launch Site

April 14, 2011 Comments off

globalsecuritynewswire

North Korea’s second missile launch complex is five times bigger than its first site and seems to be better shielded from a potential attack, the Korea Herald reported on Monday (see GSN, Feb. 18).

In addition to being much larger than the first launch installation at Musudan-ri, the Dongchang-ri complex along the North’s west coast is also closer to China, which is likely to make any attack on the site more complicated for South Korean and U.S. forces, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported.

An underground missile fueling center has been constructed at Dongchang-ri in order to escape monitoring by U.S. spy satellites. The facility also has the ability to house liquid fuels for extended periods of time, according to the article.

Work on the facility started in 2002, 10 years after the Musudan-ri site was set up, government sources told the Chosun Ilbo. Recent reports have suggested that construction of the Dongchang-ri site has been completed.

Dongchang-ri is located just 43 miles from the Yongbyon nuclear complex where North Korea has carried out much of its nuclear weapons development efforts. The proximity to Yongbyon would lessen the time and expense of transporting nuclear warheads for attachment to missiles at the new launch site, analysts said.

Pyongyang is not believed to have yet developed the ability to miniaturize nuclear warheads for fielding on long-range ballistic missiles (Song Sang-ho, Korea Herald, April 11).

Malaysia Seen as Possible WMD Transport Hub

March 23, 2011 Comments off

globalsecuritynewswire

Malaysian Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on Monday said his country was probably used as a midshipment point for the illicit movement of WMD materials, The Star newspaper reported (see GSN, March 18).

“It is safe for me to say that Malaysia is likely being used as a transit point and not as a destination point for WMD,” Hishammuddin said.

Authorities in the Southeast Asian state last week announced they had seized two containers from a Malaysian-flagged ship that were filled with technology that could have applications in the building of nuclear weapons. Reports indicated the vessel was heading from China to Iran.

“It will take us some time to identify the equipment, what it can be used for and to Read more…

Russia, U.S. begin data exchange under New START

March 23, 2011 Comments off

en.rian.ru

The right to begin conducting on-site inspections officially begins 60 days after the treaty's entry into force, which is April 6.

The right to begin conducting on-site inspections officially begins 60 days after the treaty’s entry into force, which is April 6.

The United States and Russia have begun exchanging information on their nuclear stockpiles under a new U.S.-Russian arms reduction treaty, a senior U.S. official said.

“With entry into force of the Treaty, we have begun implementing an extensive regime of mutual monitoring and information exchange,” Rose Gottemoeller, the Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, said.

“Our Nuclear Risk Reduction Center transmitted the U.S. database to Russia over this Read more…