Biden Promotes CTBT in Speech
The objections once raised by critics of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) have been fully met, Vice President Joe Biden said Feb. 18 at the
Referring to the Senate’s 1999 vote against the treaty, Biden said, “We are confident that all reasonable concerns raised about the treaty back then—concerns about verification and the reliability of our own arsenal—have now been addressed.”
Biden devoted much of the speech to the Stockpile Stewardship Program (SSP), which maintains the
Stockpile stewardship has been a success, he said. The
For fiscal year 2011, the Obama administration is requesting about $7 billion, an increase of about 10 percent, for the weapons activities of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a separately organized agency within the Department of Energy that manages the SSP. The administration plans further increases over the next five years, Biden said.
“This investment is not only consistent with our nonproliferation agenda, it is essential to it,” Biden said.
The audience included several top administration officials, including Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who introduced Biden.
Considers Buying French Warship Russia
French President Nicolas Sarkozy approved the sale of an advanced amphibious warship to
The 23,700-ton Mistral-class ship can carry 16 helicopters and 40 assault vehicles, act as a floating command center, anchor in coastal waters, and deploy troops on land. Although the $750 million ship does not include the latest defense and fire-fighting technology, its purchase would give
Last year, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Vladimir S. Vysotsky said a Mistral-class ship would take just 40 minutes to do what Russian vessels did in 26 hours in the Black Sea during the August 2008 Georgian-Russian war.
The deal comes at a time when
Draws Attention to CFE Impasse Clinton
In December 2007,
Meanwhile, Victoria Nuland was appointed special envoy for conventional armed forces in
India Moves Closer to Nuclear Exports U.S.
President Barack Obama certified last month that
The certification, sent to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Feb. 3, means that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission can issue licenses for U.S. firms to make nuclear exports to India. Certain other obstacles to U.S.-Indian nuclear trade remain. (See ACT, January/February 2010.)
As part of a Bush administration initiative to lift long-standing
As required by the 2008
New Law Pushes Nuclear Forensics
address concerns about a nuclear terrorist attack.
Through nuclear forensics, scientists can trace nuclear material to the laboratory that produced it.
The Nuclear Forensics and Attribution Act, which was introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), was signed into law Feb. 16. It establishes a
The law also expresses the “sense of the Congress” that the president should pursue international agreements to create a framework for determining the source of nuclear material that has been confiscated or has been used in a nuclear or radiological weapon. Under the law, the president also should develop protocols for exchanging sensitive information.
In his testimony during an Oct. 10, 2007, hearing before House Homeland Security Committee, Schiff said that “little of this information is of direct use to adversaries, and in many cases the risk of not sharing the data is much greater than [the] risk of sharing it.”