Hell No We Could Not Survive A Nuclear Winter

Here’s the short answer: we probably could not survive a nuclear winter. But the long answer, well, it depends on which countries are going to war, how many nukes are being dropped, and where those bombs are being detonated.
Life Noggins explains that in a simulation with 100 nuclear bombs being dropped between Pakistan and India, black carbon would rise to the stratosphere and absorb sunlight which would increase the temperature up there while decreasing the temperature on the surface of the Earth and in the water of the oceans. The ozone layer would get screwed by this too which would screw over our farms (and ourselves) and could lead to famine.
After five years, the temperature on Earth would be 1 degree Celsius lower and the ozone layer would be messed up. Which doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world but remember this nuclear winter only started after a 100-bomb fake war. There are 15,000 nukes on this planet. Things would get much, much worse if all of them were used.

US Leaders Reject Nuclear Winter (Revelation 15)

Turn a Blind Eye towards Armageddon
Steven Starr
Ten years ago, the world’s leading climatologists chose to reinvestigate the long-term environmental impacts of nuclear war. The peer-reviewed studies they produced are considered to be the most authoritative type of scientific research, which is subjected to criticism by the international scientific community before its final publication in scholarly journals. No serious errors were found in their studies.
Working at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers, and the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UCLA, these scientists used state-of-the-art computer modeling to evaluate the consequences of a range of possible nuclear conflicts. They began with a hypothetical war in Southeast Asia, in which a total of 100 Hiroshima-size atomic bombs were exploded in the cities of India Pakistan. In order to give you a clear idea of what an atomic bomb can do, please consider these images of Hiroshima, before and after the bomb, which had an explosive power of 15,000 tons of TNT.
The detonation of such an atomic bomb will instantly ignite fires over a surface area of 3 to 5 square miles. The scientists calculated that the blast, fire, and radiation from a war fought with 100 atomic bombs could produce as many fatalities as World War II. However, the long-term environmental effects of the war could significantly disrupt the global weather for at least a decade, which would likely result in a vast global famine.
The scientists predicted that nuclear firestorms in the burning cities would cause 3 to 4 million tons of black carbon smoke to quickly rise above cloud level into the stratosphere, where it could not be rained out. The smoke would circle the Earth in less than 2 weeks and would form a global stratospheric smoke layer that would remain for more than a decade. The smoke would absorb warming sunlight, which would heat the smoke to temperatures near the boiling point of water, producing ozone losses of 20% to 50% over populated areas. This would almost double the amount of UV-B reaching the some regions, and it would create UV-B indices unprecedented in human history. In North America and central Europe, the time required to get a painful sunburn at mid-day in June could decrease to as little as six minutes for fair-skinned individuals.
As the smoke layer blocked warming sunlight from reaching the Earth’s surface, it would produce the coldest average surface temperatures in the last 1000 years Medical experts have predicted that the shortening of growing seasons and corresponding decreases in agricultural production could cause up to 2 billion people to perish from famine.
The climatologists also investigated the effects of a nuclear war fought with the vastly more powerful modern thermonuclear weapons possessed by the US, Russia, China, France, and England. Some of the thermonuclear weapons constructed during 1950s and 1960s were 1000 times more powerful than an atomic bomb.
During the last 30 years, the average size of thermonuclear or “strategic” nuclear weapons has decreased. Yet today, each of the approximately 3540 strategic weapons deployed by the US and Russia is 7 to 80 times more powerful than the atomic bombs modeled in the India-Pakistan study. The smallest strategic nuclear weapon has an explosive power of 100,000 tons of TNT, compared to an atomic bomb with an average explosive power of 15,000 tons of TNT.
Strategic nuclear weapons produce much larger nuclear firestorms than do atomic bombs. For example, a standard Russian 800 kiloton warhead, on an average day, will ignite fires covering a surface area of 90 to 152 square miles].
A war fought with hundreds or thousands of US and Russian strategic nuclear weapons would ignite immense nuclear firestorms covering land surface areas of many thousands or tens of thousands of square miles. The scientists calculated that these fires would produce up to 180 million tons of black carbon soot and smoke, which would form a dense, global stratospheric smoke layer. The smoke would remain in the stratosphere for ten to twenty years, and it would block as much as 70% of sunlight from reaching the surface of the Northern Hemisphere and 35% from the Southern Hemisphere. So much sunlight would be blocked by the smoke that the noonday sun would resemble a full moon at midnight.
Under such conditions, it would only require a matter of days or weeks for daily minimum temperatures to fall below freezing in the largest agricultural areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Freezing temperatures would occur every day for a period of between one to three years. Average surface temperatures would become colder than those experienced 18,000 years ago at the height of the last Ice Age, and the prolonged cold would cause average rainfall to decrease by up to 90%. Growing seasons would be completely eliminated for more than a decade; it would be too cold and dark to grow food crops, which would doom the majority of the human population.
A brief history of nuclear winter
The profound cold and the dark following nuclear war became known as nuclear winter and it was first predicted in 1983 by a group of NASA scientists. During the mid-1980s, a large body of research was done by such groups as the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), the World Meteorological Organization, and the U.S. National Research Council of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences; their work essentially supported the initial findings of the 1983 studies.
The idea of nuclear winter, published and supported by prominent scientists, generated extensive public alarm and put political pressure on the US and the Soviet Union to reverse a runaway nuclear arms race which, by 1986, had created a global nuclear arsenal of more than 65,000 nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, this created a backlash among many powerful military and industrial interests, who undertook an extensive media campaign to brand nuclear winter as “bad science” and the scientists who discovered it as “irresponsible.”
Critics used various uncertainties in the studies and the first climate models (which are primitive by today’s standards) as a basis to criticize and reject the concept of nuclear winter. In 1986, the Council on Foreign Relations published an article by scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who predicted drops in global cooling about half as large as those first predicted by the 1983 studies and described this as a ‘nuclear autumn.’ The nuclear autumn studies were later shown to be deeply flawed, but it didn’t matter.
Nuclear winter was subject to criticism and damning articles in the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine. In 1987, the National Review called nuclear winter a “fraud.” In 2000, Discover Magazine published an article which described nuclear winter as one of “The Twenty Greatest Scientific Blunders in History.” The endless smear campaign was successful; the general public, and even most anti-nuclear activists, were left with the idea that nuclear winter had been discredited.
The rejection of nuclear winter by today’s US military and political leaders
Yet the scientists did not give up. In 2006, they returned to their labs to perform the research I have previously described. Their new research not only upheld the previous findings, it found that the earlier studies actually underestimated the environmental effects of nuclear war.
After the initial series of studies were published in 2007 and 2008, the scientist from Rutgers, Dr. Robock, and Dr. Toon of the University of Colorado, made a series of requests to meet with members of the Obama administration. The scientists offered to brief the White House about their findings, which they assumed would have a great impact upon nuclear weapons policy. Their offers were met with indifference.
Finally, after a number of years of trying, I have been told that Drs. Robock and Toon were allowed an audience with John Holdren, the Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama on Science and Technology. Dr. Robock also has met with Rose Gottemoeller, the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Dr. Robock has the impression that neither Holdren nor Gottemoeller think the nuclear winter research is correct.
But it is not only Holdren and Gottemoeller who reject the nuclear winter research. According to sources cited by Greg Mello of the Los Alamos Study Group, the US Nuclear Weapons Council – the group that determines the size and composition of US nuclear weapons, as well as the policies for their use – has stated that “the predictions of nuclear winter were disproved years ago.”
The members of the US Nuclear Weapons Council include:
The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Under Secretary for Nuclear Security of the Department of Energy
The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
The Commander of the United States Strategic Command
It may be that General John Hyten, the Head of the Strategic Command, who is in charge of the US nuclear triad, and General Paul Selva, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the second highest ranking officer in the US, have never seen or heard of the 21st century nuclear winter studies. Perhaps when they hear a question about “nuclear winter”, they only remember the smear campaigns done against the early studies. Or maybe they just choose not to accept the new scientific research on nuclear winter, despite the fact that it has withstood the criticism of the global scientific community.
Regardless, the rejection of nuclear winter research by the top military and political leaders of the United States raises some profoundly important questions: Do they fully understand the consequences of nuclear war? Do they realize that the launch-ready nuclear weapons they control constitute a self-destruct mechanism for the human race?
Renewed Cold War and the possibility of war with Russia and China
Meanwhile, US political leaders generally support the ongoing US confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia and China. Mainstream corporate media, including the editorial boards of the New York Times and Washington Post, engage in anti-Russian, anti-Putin rhetoric that surpasses the hate speech of the McCarthy era. The US has renewed the Cold War with Russia, with no debate or protest, and has subsequently engaged in proxy wars with Russia in Ukraine and Syria, as well as threatening military action against China in the South China Sea.
Hillary Clinton, who appears likely to become the next president of the United States, has repeatedly called for a US-imposed “no-fly zone” over Syria, where Russian planes are now flying in support of the Syrian Armed Forces. Marine General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress in September that should the US attempt to set up such a no-fly zone, it surely result in war with Russia.
Apparently there is now some debate about this, however, Russia has responded by moving its latest air defense systems to Syria, and it stated it would shoot down any US or NATO planes that attempted to attack the Syrian Armed Forces.
Russia has also sent its only aircraft carrier, along with all of its Northern fleet and much of the Baltic fleet to the Mediterranean, in its largest surface deployment of naval vessels since the end of the Cold War. In response to what NATO leaders describe as Russia’s “dangerous and aggressive actions”, NATO has built up a “rapid-response force” of 40,000 troops on the Russian border, in the Baltic States and Poland. This force includes hundreds of tanks, armored vehicles, and heavy artillery. NATO troops stationed in Estonia are within artillery range of St. Petersburg, the second largest city of Russia.
The US has deployed its Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system in Romania and is constructing another such BMD system in Poland. The Mark 41 launch system used in the Aegis Ashore systems can be used to launch a variety of missiles, including long-range nuclear-armed cruise missiles.
In other words, the US has built and is building launch sites for nuclear missiles on the Russian border. This fact has been widely reported on Russian TV and has infuriated the Russian public. In June, Russian President Putin specifically warned that Russia would be forced to retaliate against this threat.
While Russian officials maintain that its actions are normal and routine, Russia now appears to be preparing for war. On October 5, Russia conducted a nation-wide civil defense drill that included 40 million of its people being directed to fallout shelters. Reuters reported that on October 7, Russia had moved its Iskander nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad, which borders Poland.
While the US ignores the danger of nuclear war, Russian scholar Stephen Cohen reports that the danger of war with the US is the leading news story in Russia. Cohen states:
Just as there is no discussion of the most existential question of our time, in the American political class – the possibility of war with Russia – it is the only thing being discussed in the Russian political class . . . These are two different political universes. In Russia, all the discussion in the newspapers, and there is plenty of free discussion on talk show TV, which echoes what the Kremlin is thinking, online, in the elite newspapers, and in the popular broadcasts, the number 1, 2, 3, and 4 topics of the day are the possibility of war with the United States.
Cohen goes on to say:
I conclude from this that the leadership of Russia actually believes now, in reaction to what the United States and NATO have said and done over the last two years, and particularly in reaction to the breakdown of the proposed cooperation in Syria, and the rhetoric coming out of Washington, that war is a real possibility. I can’t remember when, since the Cuban Missile Crisis, that the Moscow leadership came to this conclusion in its collective head.
My own personal assessment of the state of the nuclear danger today is that it is profound. The United States is sleepwalking towards nuclear war. Our leaders have turned a blind eye to the scientifically predicted consequences of nuclear war, and appear to be intent in making “Russia back down”. This is a recipe for unlimited human disaster.
It is still not too late to seek dialogue, diplomacy, and détente with Russia and China, and to create a global dialogue about the existential dangers of nuclear war. We must return to the understanding that nuclear war cannot be won, and must not be fought. This can be achieved if we listen to the warnings from the scientific community about the omnicidal consequences of nuclear war.

The Oxymoron Of Surviving The First Nuclear Attack (Revelation 8)

Surviving a “Nuclear attack”
What if a war breaks out?
Dr Shoukat KhanSrinagar, Publish Date: Oct 30 2016 10:51PM | Updated Date: Oct 30 2016 10:51PMOn a late September night I had barely closed my eyes when my cell phone rang, Hello! It’s me said my mother in law, Can I talk to Rose, She asked. I was more than happy to handover my mobile phone to my wife. For the next ten minutes I heard my wife arguing with her mother on the issue of us moving to the relative safety of their house which is about 4 Kilometers from where we live in immediate proximity to the Srinagar Airport, a high value target in any war. My mother in law was sensing immediate hostilities between two sibling nations in a perpetual M.A.D (mutually assured destruction) state since seven decades of their independence from the British in August 1947. What if this place is bombed tonight my wife asked me. I asked her to go to sleep but not before she added, what if it is a nuclear attack? In that case, we will not survive! I answered straight. What I remember hearing last before I slept that night was my wife reciting verses of “Ayat Al Kursi” from the Holy Quran.In the contemporary times Kashmir, North Korea and Middle East have often been seen as potential nuclear flash points on account of unresolved political conflicts. The nuclear buildup that started in the USA and USSR is now a looming threat over the conflict zones of Asia. In 1945 United States of America developed a Nuclear weapon with the sole aim of promoting peace and ending the atrocities and horrors of the Second World War. The Atom bombs “ Little boy” weighing about 10-13 kilotons were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing about 250,000 people besides causing injuries and destruction on a large scale. Ironically! The Second World War ended after this first ever nuclear attack and the only one till date. The global nuclear arsenal witnessed tremendous build up between 1949 to 1985 with almost 65,000 nuclear warheads shared amongst the seven nation nuclear club. 95 percent of this dreadful nuclear stockpile belonged to arch cold war adversaries’ United States of America and the erstwhile Soviet Union. The super power nuclear arms race brought the human civilization nearly to the brink of planetary catastrophe. After 1985 a significant number of nuclear stockpiles were decommissioned leaving approximately 21,000 nuclear warheads with the nuclear club nations that now included India and Pakistan. After the breakup of Soviet Union in 1991 the idea of a full fledged nuclear war seems remote but the possibility of an isolated nuclear attack is possible. The global nuclear weapons stockpile is not completely secure making availability of fissionable materials like enriched Uranium and Plutonium possible. International atomic energy agency (IAEA) has recorded 175 nuclear thefts with 18 involving highly enriched Uranium between 1993 and 2006. Out of the global 1300-2100 metric tons of highly enriched Uranium, 100 metric tons are insecure. It takes 75 lbs to make the likes of “Little boy” nuclear bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. The possibility of nations using the nuclear option is remote and mostly rhetorical. In the world of statistical possibilities anything can happen if not at the hands of States but through the hands of non state actors. The Nuclear “Know How” technology is freely accessible. An undergraduate degree in nuclear physics will allow you to assemble a nuclear weapon, may be a dirty or a suit case bomb.

Should, there be a nuclear attack, what is the likely fallout? Within a radius of less than 1 km, the likely scenario in case of a more than 10 kiloton  nuclear bomb detonation, chances of survival are slim, 90% you will not make it, just vaporized by the tens of millions Fahrenheit heat, the blast effects and acute radiation sickness. This reality makes me shiver as I share a boundary wall with the Srinagar Airport. In a radius of 3 Kms from the chances of survival are 50% and beyond within 13 Kms the chances of survival are 80% and more. If you survive the initial impact don’t look towards the bombing site since this is likely to blind you temporarily or permanently. You have just 10-20 minutes to get away from the site of blast before the radiation fallout from the mushroom cloud of the bomb starts, which usually peaks by 24 hours. Move away at least 2-3 Kms from the site in a direction perpendicular to the direction of the wind. Keep your mouth, nose, skin covered. As soon as you reach at a distance of 2-3 Kms or more decontaminate yourself by removing your clothes and taking a shower if possible. Seek a medical advice if available. Get into a shelter (preferably deep underground) for the next 48-72 hours and come out only when advised by safety response team which may even take weeks depending on the weight of the bomb. Should you not be able to move away immediately from the site, immediately duck and cover yourself behind a barrier which can be a wall, sand bags, or get into any shelter or room. At the earliest opportunity move away from the blast site. Radiation cloud usually settles down within a radius of 20 miles and may take days to weeks. The key to surviving a nuclear blast is getting out of and not going into harm’s way. Farther away you are from the blast site, longer it is in time from initial blast, and more separation between you and the outside atmosphere increases your chances of surviving a nuclear attack. Make sure you carry the bare minimum survival supplies inside the shelter and come out only when the ambient atmospheric levels of radiation levels are within normal permissible limits. Seek institutional medical advice on exit. Pregnant women, children and older people need to be on medical surveillance for a longer period of time. In a city like Delhi with a high population density the scenario is likely to be chaotic if panic sets in. People need to be sensitized to such situations beforehand. How does one know if the blast is nuclear or not? The scientists find it through radiation detectors and seismographic patterns but for a common person any deafening sound that you have never heard before accompanied by shaking of earth, light flashes and a mushroom shaped cloud could be a nuclear detonation.
Don’t leave the emergency response in the event of nuclear war on the state, you will be disappointed as State sponsored emergency response teams are themselves overwhelmed by the possibilities and consequences of a nuclear disaster. No American city has developed an effective or fool proof plan to deal with a nuclear detonation disaster or a meaningful organized state preparedness to an all out nuclear war. We can minimize the fatalities of a nuclear disaster by education and citizen participation. The only effective way to avoid the horrific consequences of nuclear disaster is by way of abolition of nuclear weapons. An all out Nuclear War is less likely than before but by no means out of question so prudence merits some amount of preparedness  for the sad possibility. In a place like Kashmir there are hardly many houses with basements where one can run for shelter. Till we have them the best option is to run away as quickly and as far from the site of nuclear blast and stay there till it is safe. I hope and pray we don’t get to experience such a calamity. My mother in laws apprehensions on that September night were not totally baseless may be just a little melodramatic, but that is what love for life is all about.

Some history before the bowls of wrath (Revelation 15)

Tropic Fallout: a look back at the Bikini nuclear tests, 70 years later

National Archives

A colorized photo of the Baker detonation from Operation Crossroads. The underwater detonation rained down unanticipated fallout over a large area, covering the entire target fleet.

In July of 1946, the US military conducted a pair of nuclear weapons tests on the previously inhabited island of Bikini, a coral atoll in the Marshall Islands chain. Advertised as a “defensive” test to see how ships would withstand a nuclear blast, the tests—code-named “Crossroads”—were described by the Manhattan Project team as “the most publicly advertised secret test ever conducted.”

The National Security Archive project at George Washington University has assembled a collection of documents and videos related to the Bikini tests—the second of which would be called “the world’s first nuclear disaster“by Atomic Energy Commission chairman Glenn T. Seaborg. The Baker explosion, detonated underwater, was the first to create significant fallout, as a “base surge” of irradiated water and debris washed over the entire fleet of target ships and Bikini’s lagoon itself.

Bikini was chosen for its deep, large lagoon, and because the island was far off international shipping routes. To prepare the site, the US Navy (which governed the Marshall Islands immediately following World War II) convinced the inhabitants of Bikini to relocate for the tests, which military governor Commodore Ben Wyatt told them was for “the good of all mankind and to end all world wars.”
A task force of over 42,000 people, including 38,000 from the Navy as well as over 3,000 from the Army and scientists and technicians from 15 universities and various defense contractors and other organizations, was organized for Operation Crossroads. A total of 94 vessels, ranging from aircraft carriers to landing craft, was moored in the lagoon of Bikini as a target fleet, carrying fuel and ammunition as well as a collection of tanks, trucks and other military equipment. Twenty-two of the ships were “crewed” by 109 mice, 146 pigs, 176 goats, 57 guinea pigs and 3,030 white rats (a fact that caused the tests to be widely protested by animal welfare organizations).

The fleet of target ships included aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers, destroyers, submarines, and landing craft, among other ships. Some of the vessels had been declared excess inventory after the Navy had scaled down its forces, and others had been damaged during World War II. Three German and Japanese warships captured during the war were among the ships to be targeted.

The Able and Baker bombs were the same type of warheads used in the bombing of Nagasaki. But the results of the two tests were vastly different. Able was dropped from a B-29 Superfortress bomber, detonating in the air nearly a half mile from the intended target–the battleship USS Nevada. It sank five ships, and damaged another 40, many of them beyond potential repair. And while the Nevada survived the Able blast, neutron and gamma radiation penetrated the whole ship, killing the goats aboard standing in for its crew. Even in the deepest parts of the ship, radiation was measured at above a lethal dose. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist noted in its report on the test, that it showed “a large ship, about a mile away from the explosion, would escape sinking, but the crew would be killed by the deadly burst of radiations from the bomb, and only a ghost ship would remain, floating unattended in the vast waters of the ocean.”

But Able caused no significant contamination to the ships. While there was some metal aboard the ships rendered radioactive by the neutron bombardment, the ships were safely boarded within days of the Able blast, and there was little fallout.

Baker was detonated underwater, suspended 90 feet below a landing craft (of which no identifiable part was ever found after the test). Nine ships were sunk by the detonation, including the battleship USS Arkansas. Many others were damaged severely by the shockwave and the tsunami that followed the collapse of the gas bubble created by the detonation. But the entire target fleet was engulfed by a “base surge”–a cascade of radioactive flotsam that spread out from the detonation, engulfing most of the test area and contaminating everything in its path with fallout. The degree of fallout was far beyond anything the military had prepared for.

The Navy initially attempted to decontaminate many of the surviving ships from the Baker test. But nothing short of taking them down to bare metal worked, and the Navy crews were unprepared to deal with decontamination on such a large scale. Many were exposed to high levels of radiation. The radiological safety officer for Operation Crossroads, Army doctor Colonel Stafford Warren, lobbied hard to abandon the effort, and finally convinced the head of the task force, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Admiral William H. P. Blandy, by showing him an x-ray of a fish from the lagoon–an x-ray taken using only the radiation coming from plutonium in the fish itself.

The Nightmare Soon To Become A Reality (Rev 15)


IF TERRORISTS GOT HOLD OF A NUCLEAR WEAPON THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES

THE ECONOMIST

Jul 4th 2016, 11:00

TO SEE a nuclear horror story unfold, look no further than YouTube. In “My Nuclear Nightmare”, a five-minute graphic film, Bill Perry, a former American defence secretary, describes how a breakaway faction of a rogue state’s security forces enriches 40 kilograms of weapons-grade uranium in a secret facility and then constructs what appears to be a crude bomb, similar in design and yield to the kind that obliterated Hiroshima. It then transports the bomb in a box labelled “agricultural equipment” by civilian cargo aircraft to Dubai and on to Washington, DC. It is soon loaded onto a delivery truck and driven to Pennsylvania Avenue, where it is detonated at the halfway point between the White House and the Capitol building.

What follows is excruciating. More than 80,000 people are instantly killed, including the president, the vice-president and every member of Congress present. Another 100,000 are severely injured. Phones are down. A little later, it gets even worse: TV news stations have received a message that there are five more such bombs hidden in five more American cities. One bomb will be triggered each week unless all American troops serving abroad are immediately sent home. Panic ensues as people stream out of cities, and with the administration wiped out by the blast there is a constitutional crisis. Martial law is declared as looting and rioting spread; military detention centres spring up across the country.

How plausible is Mr Perry’s gut-churning scenario? Even pariah regimes care a lot about nuclear security. The idea that a breakaway group would manage to set up a clandestine enrichment facility in a place like Iran or even North Korea thankfully stretches credulity. Regimes that invest in a nuclear-weapons capability, despite all the political and economic costs associated with such programmes, do so for one reason only: their own survival. They do not do it to empower terrorist groups, even those they might sympathise with. Attribution would be inevitable, as would retribution once it had been established.

But concern about rogue nukes is serious enough for Barack Obama to have made a major effort during his presidency to stop terrorists from getting hold of either a nuclear weapon or fissile material that could be turned into one. He organised four nuclear-security summits aimed at creating better global safeguards to prevent highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium falling into the wrong hands. Progress has been made: HEU has been removed from 30 countries; many research reactors and isotope-production facilities have been closed or converted to use low-enriched uranium; security has been tightened at dozens of storage sites.

Despite those efforts, 24 states still have 1kg or more of weapons-usable nuclear materials, and nearly 2,000 tonnes of weapons-usable nuclear materials (1,400 of HEU, 500 of plutonium) remain stored around the world, much of it still vulnerable to theft, in the view of Sam Nunn, co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, an advocacy organisation. A terrorist group would not need much fissile material to make a nuclear bomb–about enough HEU to fill a 2kg bag of sugar or a quantity of plutonium the size of a grapefruit. Moreover, the world has about 17,000 assembled nuclear weapons (although all but 1,000 of them are in either America or Russia). Harvard’s Belfer Centre calculates that it would require the theft of only 0.01% of the stockpile to “cause a global catastrophe”.
Beware of dirty tricks

Al-Qaeda has long had the ambition to acquire a nuclear device and there is little doubt that Islamic State (IS), in Mr Obama’s words, is “seeking nuclear material to kill as many people as possible”. Thanks to its control of territory, oil revenues and ability to recruit qualified engineers, a nuclear-capable IS seems all too plausible one day if it survives long enough. In a scenario envisaged at the most recent of Mr Obama’s nuclear-security summits, held in Washington, DC, in April, IS buys nuclear material from a medical facility sold to it by “insiders” through the dark web, constructs several “dirty bombs” and then detonates them from commercially available drones flying over a city.
Not a huge amount of engineering sophistication is required to build a “dirty bomb” or, to give it its more technical name, a radiological dispersal device (RDD). It consists of radiological waste wrapped in conventional explosives, which when detonated throw radioactive particles into the surrounding area. In 1995 Chechen rebels actually planted such a device in a Moscow park but did not detonate it.

A terrorist group would not need much fissile material to make a nuclear bomb
The lethality of an RDD is limited and in no way stands comparison with the destructive power of even the smallest fission device. More people would be killed by the initial explosion than by the radioactive materials. The psychological impact would nonetheless be big and an area of a city that would require expensive and painstaking clean-up before it could be reinhabited could extend to several blocks. In short, it would be an effective terror weapon, but hardly an existential threat.
…and a battlefield bazaar

A scenario of a different kind may have been among the dangers depicted in a video shown to world leaders at Mr Obama’s nuclear-security summit in April. Pakistan has long been a concern because it has at least 100 nuclear warheads (and is producing more at a fair clip) while at the same time being a crucible of jihadist terrorism. Mark Fitzpatrick, a nuclear-proliferation expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies who has spent time with the Pakistani nuclear authorities, notes that there have been no thefts, seizures or accidents involving Pakistan’s fissile material. But there is still good reason to be fearful. IS has boasted in its online magazine, Dabiq, that it could purchase a weapon from corrupt officials in Pakistan.

In the past few years Pakistan has developed a number of short-range battlefield nuclear weapons as a counter to India’s growing conventional military superiority. These weapons are destabilising at best because of their proximity to the frontline of any conflict and the pressure to “use them or lose them”. But they suffer from another defect: at times of crisis they would be dispersed and put under the command of relatively junior officers.

There are intelligence reports of “mated” nuclear weapons (devices with all their component parts) being driven around Islamabad in unprotected civilian vans. According to some estimates, up to 40% of Pakistan’s middle-ranking army officers are to some extent radicalised. The possibility of rogue elements, with knowledge of where small nukes were to be deployed, working with a terrorist group is real enough, as is a jihadist attack on a base where such weapons are kept. Supposedly the enabling and authenticating codes that arm the weapons are in the hands of the civilian-led National Command Authority, but in reality it is the army that keeps them.

What if a jihadist group obtained an armed battlefield missile with the intention of triggering a nuclear exchange with India?What if a jihadist group obtained an armed battlefield missile with the intention of triggering a nuclear exchange with India? About 20m people would be killed directly, but the massive firestorms would send up to 5m tonnes of smoke into the stratosphere, leading to a “nuclear winter” in which crops around the world failed and hundreds of millions died of starvation. The thing about nuclear nightmares is that they come in all shapes and sizes.

The Islamic Nuclear Bomb

The Middle East: Culprit for my nuclear security insomnia

Nuclear Terrorism

Nuclear Terrorism

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

ROUNDTABLE: WHAT PATH FOR NUCLEAR SECURITY BEYOND THE 2016 SUMMIT?
22 MAY 2016

What keeps me up at night—US East Coast time—is reading Turkey’s morning news concerning Syria and Iraq. The insomnia is especially severe when my thoughts turn to nuclear security not just in Syria and Iraq but in countries throughout the Middle East.

All participants in this roundtable agree that, despite the achievements of the Nuclear Security Summits, the threat of nuclear terrorism is not necessarily diminishing. In the Middle East, nuclear terrorism seems a particularly immediate concern. True, the region lacks large quantities of highly enriched uranium and plutonium. But its political instability and its tendency toward violent extremism are conditions that can enable nuclear terrorism.

According to the 2016 Nuclear Security Index, published by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), Middle Eastern nations rank poorly when it comes to safeguarding their nuclear materials from theft. Of the 24 countries that possess at least 1 kilogram of weapons-usable nuclear materials, two are Middle Eastern: Israel and Iran. The Index ranks these countries near the bottom of the theft-protection list. Israel comes in at number 20 and Iran at 23.

Among the 152 countries with less than 1 kilogram of weapons-usable nuclear materials, about a dozen are Middle Eastern. They are all over the lot in their vulnerability to theft—from the United Arab Emirates at number 24 to Syria at 151 (just above Somalia). Clearly, the region’s efforts to prevent nuclear theft are not strong enough.

Where vulnerability to nuclear sabotage is concerned, the Middle East does even worse. Of the 45 countries in NTI’s sabotage index, five are Middle Eastern. Israel—the highest-ranking of the five—comes in at number 36. Iran is tied with North Korea for last place.

And as my roundtable colleague Hubert Foy has discussed, concern about nuclear materials is not limited to fissile materials. Radiological sources are also an issue of pressing concern. The Middle East’s generally lax security environment, along with its political instability, makes the misuse of radiological sources more likely in this region than in many other places.

Civilian radiological sources are ubiquitous, particularly in medicine. They would be relatively easy to access in children’s hospitals, for example. Luckily, most radioactive sources are not easily dispersible. Their half-lives are short. They could contaminate only limited areas. Moreover, anyone attempting to steal an unshielded source might die from acute radiation exposure. Still, using a radiological source in a “dirty bomb” could create panic and terror in local populations. A dirty bomb would turn affected areas into no-go zones for a number of years, which would have profound economic repercussions.

Another reason to be concerned about Middle Eastern nuclear security is the planned expansion of nuclear power in the region. Some nations, pointing toward Iran’s limited right to enrich uranium under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, will also wish to enrich uranium domestically. To be sure, such nations have the right to pursue the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including uranium enrichment. But in order to alleviate international concerns about their enrichment capacity, these nations must develop robust laws regarding nuclear security. They must establish procedures for secure interim storage of nuclear materials. And they must make final disposition plans for spent fuel and radioactive waste.

The International Atomic Energy Agency can help with all of those tasks. It has the authority, resources, and expertise for the job. But a lot of work will nonetheless fall to state regulatory authorities. A key challenge will be for regulators to establish independence from political authorities. A key component of success, meanwhile, will be identifying nuclear security approaches appropriate to the region—via close cooperation between regulators and the nuclear industry. Here the Nuclear Security Summits can extend their legacy. The Nuclear Industry Summits that ran parallel to the Nuclear Security Summits offer a valuable model for including industry in the dialogue toward establishing good nuclear security practices in the Middle East.

The Truth About The Nuclear End (Revelation 15)

We should be more afraid of asteroids, pandemics, and Terminators
By Michael Harthorne, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2016 5:50 PM CDT

1066630-13-20160429164007
A mushroom cloud billows about one hour after a nuclear bomb was detonated above Hiroshima, Japan.   (AP Photo/U.S. Army via Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum)
(Newser) – Pandemics, super-volcanoes, nuclear war, climate change, asteroids, and murderous artificial intelligence. You’re not more likely to die from any one of those things than in a car crash. But put all those things together, and, well, that changes things a bit, the Atlantic reports. According to the annual Global Catastrophic Risks report from the Global Challenges Foundation, the average American is more than five times more likely to die in a “human extinction event” than in a car crash. Human extinction events are considered events in which 10% or more of the human population is killed off, and they’ve happened before, the Mirror reports.
A different report cited by the Atlantic puts the chance of a human extinction event happening in the next 100 years at 9.5%. That means you’re nearly 12 times more likely to be killed by, say, a Terminator or a super-virus than in a car crash during your lifetime. “The international community needs to work together and do more to address these threats,” Sebastian Farquhar, director of the Global Priorities Project, writes for the Huffington Post. “Doing nothing is not an option. Some of these threats seem unlikely, and they probably will not hit us tomorrow or the day after. But it only takes one to change the world we live in forever.”

Time For The Bowls Of Wrath (Revelation 15:2)

Nuclear threat now greater than during Cold War, say Nunn, Perry at UGA

IMG_2191.JPG

The threat of someone using a nuclear weapon is even greater now than it was during the Cold War, according to former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn and former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry.

No one has used nuclear weapons since the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima 71 years ago — the only time a country has used nuclear weapons against its enemies.

But it’s not likely the world can go another 71 years without a nuclear weapon being used against people, Nunn said on the University of Georgia campus Tuesday.

“I would hope so, but the odds are against it,” Nunn said. Nine countries now have nuclear weapons, and two more, Iran and North Korea, have nuclear aspirations, Nunn told a large crowd in the auditorium of the university’s Russell Libraries Building, which houses UGA’s special library collections.

“The thing I worry about a great deal is that we’re in a new era where states no longer have the monopoly on nuclear weapons or material or knowledge,” he said.

The best defense against that reality is keeping nuclear materials out of their hands, Nunn said.
Perry joined the crowd on a big video screen via an Internet link from his faculty office at Stanford University as he and Nunn delivered UGA’s annual Charter Lecture. The lecture is named for the 1785 UGA charter, the first such charter granted in the new United States after the Revolution.

It’s at least partly by luck that the Soviet Union and the United States never launched nuclear missiles at each other, said Perry, secretary of defense from 1994-97 under President Bill Clinton.

The United States at least three times received false alarms when the military thought the Soviets had launched a nuclear attack, and “we know of at least two (false alarms) in the Soviet Union,” he said.
The dangers back then were twofold, he said — accidental war resulting from a false alarm, and a “war of miscalculation,” which was narrowly avoided during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
In each day of that 12-day period, “I truly believed it was going to be my last day on Earth,” Perry said.

The U.S. and the Soviet Union avoided war “as much by good luck as by good management” in 1962, he said.

We still have those two dangers today, plus two more, Perry said.

There’s a real danger a terrorist group such as ISIS could get hold of nuclear material and make a so-called “dirty bomb,” in which radioactive material is mixed with explosives and set off in a major city.

That wouldn’t kill a lot of people, compared to an atomic bomb, but it would render large areas uninhabitable, tremendously disrupt the economy and force a large migration of people, Nunn said.
“What it would do to the world economy, even one weapon, could be very destabilizing,” Nunn said. “The abandonment of a city would be a thing to behold.”

The second new danger is the possibility of a regional war, a possibility that didn’t exist during the Cold War, Perry said.

The “poster child” for this possibility is continuing conflicts between India and Pakistan, both of which have nuclear weapons, Perry said.

The United States and Russia must cooperate more than they have recently in order to keep nuclear material from getting into terrorists’ hands, Nunn said.

“Russia and the United States have 90 percent of the nuclear weapons. We have an obligation to work together. This is vital. This is existential,” Nunn said.

Russia has taken destabilizing actions recently, including violating the sovereignty of its neighbor, Ukraine, and “these are dangerous times,” Nunn said.

The most important way to prevent accidental war now is to get U.S. and Russian diplomatic relations back on track, Perry said.

Follow education reporter Lee Shearer at www.facebook.com/LeeShearerABH or https://twitter.com/LeeShearer.

On The Brink Of Nuclear War (Revelation 15)

Harvard researcher warns ISIS may be on the brink of using nuclear weapons: Chilling report highlights risk of dirty bombs, power station sabotage and device detonation

The possibility of a nuclear-armed ISIS may not be as far-off as many experts suggest, a Harvard researcher has warned. In a recent report for Project on Managing the Atom from Harvard’s Belfer Center, Matthew Bunn explains how the threat of nuclear terrorism is rising as extremist groups continue to evolve

  • Recent report explains that nuclear threat rises as terror groups evolve
  • The authors point to three types of nuclear or radiological terrorism
  • Includes detonation of bomb, use of ‘dirty bomb,’ or sabotage of facility
  • No firm indication of intentions yet, but report warns better security needed
  • For the latest Islamic State news updates visit www.dailymail.co.uk/isis
In a recent report for Project on Managing the Atom from Harvard’s Belfer Center, Matthew Bunn explains how the threat of nuclear terrorism is rising as extremist groups continue to evolve.
While there has not been any concrete indication that ISIS is pursuing nuclear materials, the researcher says that the actions and rhetoric of the group suggest its need for such powerful weapons.
The possibility of a nuclear-armed ISIS may not be as far-off as many experts suggest, a Harvard researcher has warned. In a recent report for Project on Managing the Atom from Harvard’s Belfer Center, Matthew Bunn explains how the threat of nuclear terrorism is rising as extremist groups continue to evolve

THREAT OF NUCLEAR TERRORISM

Each of these comes at a different level of risk, and the authors focus for the most part on the potential danger from the use of an actual nuclear bomb, as these results would be ‘most catastrophic.’
Nuclear sites may see tightened security, but there are also numerous other locations where radioactive materials can be acquired, and are less protected.
Hospitals and industrial sites, for instance, also contain such materials in a more easily accessible location,’ the researcher explains.
In recent years, there have been numerous occasions of suspicious events relating to nuclear facilities in Belgium, Defense One points out.
While it would be difficult to ISIS or other terror groups to obtain the knowledge of security features and access nuclear materials, Bunn explains that the evidence of such intentions are growing.
The report precedes the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, which will take place between March 31 and April 1.
According to the authors, the summit will help to determine the feasibility of terrorist groups getting their hands on nuclear materials.
The threats come from the possibility of three types of nuclear or radiological terrorism, the authors write: detonation of an actual nuclear bomb, sabotage of a nuclear facility, or use of a ‘dirty bomb’ to spread radioactive material.
Still, the other types of threats do not come without consequences.
‘The radiation from a dirty bomb, by contrast, might not kill anyone—at least in the near term—but could impose billions of dollars in economic disruption and cleanup costs,’ the authors write.
‘The effects of sabotage of a nuclear facility would depend heavily on the specific nature of the attack, but would likely range between the other two types of attack in severity.
‘The difficulty of achieving a successful sabotage is also intermediate between the other two.’
Nuclear sites may see tightened security, but there are also numerous other locations where radioactive materials can be acquired, and are less protected. Hospitals and industrial sites, for instance, also contain such materials in a more easily accessible location,’ the researcher explains
Nuclear sites may see tightened security, but there are also numerous other locations where radioactive materials can be acquired, and are less protected. Hospitals and industrial sites, for instance, also contain such materials in a more easily accessible location,’ the researcher explains
In order to reduce the chance of these attacks, the report explains that effective and sustainable nuclear security will be necessary.
But, while progress has been made in recent years, the researchers say the work is not done.
Nuclear sites may see tightened security, but there are also numerous other locations where radioactive materials can be acquired, and are less protected.
Hospitals and industrial sites, for instance, also contain such materials in a more easily accessible location, the researcher explains.
Though the probability of such an event may not be high as of yet, the potential consequences would be catastrophic, the researchers say, and this should act as a motivator for improved nuclear security measures worldwide.

The Islamic Bomb Is Soon To Come (Revelation 15:2)

Nuclear club and the security threats

March 30, 2016, 5:42 am IST in Letter from Washingtonnuclear-blast-AP
These are perilous times and contemplating the possibility of ‘nuclear terrorism’ no longer seems far-fetched. Theft, sabotage or a cyberattack on a nuclear facility could be catastrophic. And the Islamic State (IS) has already reportedly used chemical munitions against the Kurds in Iraq.

More than 1,800 tonnes of nuclear materials are stored worldwide in hundreds of sites, some guarded well, some not so. And no country, not even the US, has a perfect score. A security breach in one country has the potential to harm neighbouring countries.

Thus the need for governments to make all things nuclear more secure and impenetrable. The fourth and last Nuclear Security Summit being held in Washington on March 31-April 1 is expected to come up with an action plan for a more effective global nuclear security system, with a special session on threats posed by the IS.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 50 other leaders will try to demonstrate that they carry the burden of nuclear materials with the seriousness they deserve, and that the store is properly locked to prevent anything from ever getting into the hands of terrorists.

Modi is said to be bringing some ‘house gifts’ — summit-speak for voluntary pledges — to show India’s continued commitment to nuclear security. The plan is to squeeze in a separate meeting with President Barack Obama and give him what possibly could be the last hug before the latter becomes a private citizen.

It would be a good opportunity to ask the Prez about pushing India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group in earnest when the organisation meets for its annual plenary in June. It would be a good, well, ‘return gift’.

Obama has proved his leadership by forcing world attention on the highly technical subject of nuclear security through four summits since 2010. First Manmohan Singh and now Modi have supported the idea in full measure. Meanwhile, India has shown itself as a responsible power by signing and ratifying various international conventions against terrorism, including one on nuclear terrorism.

It has been working the corridors of the United Nations since 2002, introducing an annual resolution on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. The exercise helped create traction for UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540 adopted in April 2004, which imposed legally binding obligations on all countries to prevent weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation by passing domestic laws and enforcing them.

It’s a good time to remember that UNSCR 1540 was partly a response to the discovery of the proliferation network run by a certain A Q Khan of Pakistan. The main question facing leaders at the summit is to find ways to continue to keep the eye on the ball and not allow inertia to set in.
But how does India fare on nuclear security when judged by outside experts? Turns out, not too well. And that’s sobering.

The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), a US-based non-partisan, non-profit organisation working to raise awareness, continues to rank India low in its 2016 Nuclear Security Index with a score of 46 on a scale of 100. China is at 60 and Pakistan at 42. Australia comes out on top for the third time in a row.

Even though India’s ranking improved by two points since 2014, the main reason it hovers in the 40s is the lack of an independent regulatory agency to provide oversight and ensure accountability. Unfortunately, here, India is in the company of Iran and North Korea, the only other countries with weapons-grade nuclear material and no independent regulatory agency.

India also gets below-average marks on insider threat prevention (33), physical security during transportation (0) and control and accounting procedures (29). It gets average scores for political stability (55), effective governance (38), on-site protection (60), domestic legislation (50) and international assurances (40). But it scores high and gets above-average marks in cybersecurity (75), international legal commitments (100), implementation of UNSCR 1540 (100) and capabilities to respond (86).

Indian diplomats, at least officially, dismiss the index as a ‘private initiative’ based on private assessments. They neither recognise nor accept the NTI rankings. “Let them make their own judgements. We are not going to talk about nuclear security with a private entity,” said one official.
But unofficially, India does pay attention to the NTI index. Sheel Kant Sharma, India’s former permanent representative to the UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency, is on the panel of NTI experts. To continue to bolster its credentials as a responsible stakeholder, New Delhi knows it must engage all sides, even those who are in the business of ranking.