International nuclear watch & discussion -28-Mar-08

Gerard
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Postby Gerard » 19 Mar 2008 04:52


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Postby NRao » 21 Mar 2008 20:05

Sarkozy: France to cut nuclear arsenal

Sarkozy: France to cut nuclear arsenal
Story Highlights
President Nicolas Sarkozy says France will reduce nuclear weapons

He says number of airborne warheads to be cut by one third to fewer than 300

Sarkozy says he is firmly committed to France's nuclear deterrent

CHERBOURG, France (AP) -- President Nicolas Sarkozy announced a modest cut Friday in France's nuclear arsenal, to less than 300 warheads, and urged China and the United States to commit to no more weapons tests.

In his first major speech as president on France's much-vaunted nuclear "strike force," Sarkozy said atomic weapons remain a vital component of French defenses.

"It is the nation's life insurance policy," he said.

He noted that while France does not face a foreseeable threat of invasion, other dangers exist. He singled out Iran's development of its missile forces and the "grave suspicions" surrounding its nuclear program -- which France and other western powers fear is aimed at developing weapons.

"The security of Europe is at stake," Sarkozy said.

Many of France's nuclear weapons are carried aboard submarines, with the rest on warplanes.

Sarkozy said the airborne component would be cut by one-third.

"After this reduction, our arsenal will include less than 300 nuclear warheads," he said. "That is half the maximum number of warheads that we had during the Cold War."

Sarkozy did not say how many warheads France currently has and the Defense Ministry said that information is a state secret. The Federation of American Scientists, which tracks nuclear arsenals around the globe, said in a status report for 2008 that France had 348 warheads.

Since Sarkozy is France's first leader born after World War II, his reaffirmation of the need for nuclear weapons, despite France's budgetary difficulties, was significant -- marking a continuation of French policy despite a generational shift in political leadership.

Sarkozy was speaking at the inauguration of a nuclear submarine named "The Terrible," the fourth in a new generation of French subs, both powered by a nuclear reactor and equipped to carry nuclear missiles.

Quieter and more stealthy than its predecessors, "The Terrible" will carry the new M51 nuclear missile with multiple warheads and a longer range than current missiles.

France's airborne nuclear weapons are carried by three Air Force squadrons of Mirage 2000N and another Navy flotilla of upgraded Super Etendard jets. They are all to be replaced by high-tech Rafale jets, in Air Force and Navy versions.

Sarkozy followed his announcement of weapons cuts with appeals for other nations to scale back their nuclear facilities.

He appealed to China and the United States to ratify a nuclear test ban treaty they signed in 1996.

"It's time to ratify," he said.

He urged nuclear powers to dismantle nuclear test sites.

He also called for negotiations on a treaty to ban short- and intermediate-range ground-to-ground missiles and a treaty to ban the manufacturing of fissile material for nuclear weapons.

Nuclear deterrence expert Bruno Tertrais said Sarkozy's nuclear policy was largely a continuation of his predecessor's -- although Jacques Chirac was not so open about the number of warheads in the French arsenal.

"Chirac did not believe that transparency was worthwhile or interesting," said Tertrais, a senior research fellow at the Foundation for Strategic Research think-tank. "There is more continuity than change, but the level of transparency now is something new."

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Postby Gerard » 21 Mar 2008 21:38

France to reduce nuclear warheads
France is believed to have 348 deployed nuclear weapons, including 288 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, 50 air-launched cruise missiles and 10 airborne bombs, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

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Postby Gerard » 22 Mar 2008 01:30

Sarkozy Dedicates Nuclear Submarine[quote]he inaugurated a new generation of nuclear submarine of the “Triomphantâ€

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Postby Gerard » 22 Mar 2008 01:34


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Postby Gerard » 22 Mar 2008 01:35


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Postby Gerard » 22 Mar 2008 01:38

http://img.iht.com/images/2008/03/21/21sarkozyb550.jpg

French President Nicolas Sarkozy poses as he inaugurates "the Terrible", a new generation nuclear-armed submarine, in Cherbourg, France, on Friday.

http://www.corlobe.tk/IMG/jpg/73442_1.jpg
http://www.corlobe.tk/IMG/jpg/VigilantSNLE.jpg

M51 test launch
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clsvbivrB70

Article on M51 SLBM
The M51 will, in addition, introduce several innovative features including the ability to select the yield of its six nuclear warheads, nominally rated at 150 kilotons each.
The M51 weighs 54 metric tonnes, or about 50% more than the M45 it will replace; it is 12 meters long and has a diameter of 2.3 meters. It is equipped with electric (instead of hydraulic) nozzle actuators, a celestial navigation system in addition to inertial navigation, a deployable wind shield to ease aerodynamic penetration after launch, and its nose cone and propulsion stages are made of composite carbon-based materials. Range is reportedly closer to 10,000 km. than to 8,000 km.


Video from French TV showing construction, reactor being lowered into hull
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4srqm ... 10308_tech
Last edited by Gerard on 22 Mar 2008 18:47, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Gerard » 22 Mar 2008 05:04


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Postby Rye » 22 Mar 2008 06:17

From the above article from the Japanese newspaper.

At present, then, Dhanapala—and all other people committed to human survival—should certainly welcome the recent antinuclear activities of a portion of the national security elite. But, as he implies, substantial progress toward a nuclear-free world remains dependent on a revival of pressure from non-nuclear nations and from the public.


Wouldn't this mean that by signing up to the deal and willing to fall in line, the pressure on the P-5 to denuclearize would in face reduce? Furthermore, this will allow the US to play both sides of the fence -- they can "raise the pressure to disarm" on behalf of the non nuclear states and simultaneously push their dsiarmament "solution".

Stitch up these disarmament treaties with sufficient loopholes for the P-5, and the pretend that a nuclear-free world is imminent. All the 4-letter treaties to cap the capabilies of the NNWS states will only apply to states without a military program, i.e., NNWS states. India was supposed to be in a separate category, but that is not true given the article by Dr. A. N. Prasad a few days ago -- there are still only 2 categories NNWS and NWS as far as all the non-prol treaties go.

The P-5 Can now pretend that the NPT is in fact intact because there is only the P-5 with nukes, with India/Pakistan/Israel being in the category of "states about to lose their crown jewels". By turning on the screws on all the weapons programs of non nuclear states, they can pretend to start the disarmament process and rapidly dismantle "problem arsenals", i.e., non P-5 arsenals. the speed of dismantling will conveniently come to a crawl when it comes to dismantling their own programs.

JMT

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Postby Gerard » 22 Mar 2008 18:32


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Postby Gerard » 22 Mar 2008 21:47


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Postby Gerard » 23 Mar 2008 00:18


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Postby Sanjay M » 23 Mar 2008 01:01

I wonder why India doesn't just cut a deal with N.Korea, and send over an ATV submarine to load up on enriched ore, which we can then run as a breeder reactor.

Yeah, the US might be sore for a little while, but they'd have to get over it quick, just like they did with PokhranII.
Besides, keeping NKorea engaged would keep them from proliferating more stuff to Pak.
I don't see how we are served by letting NKorea give No-Dong type missiles to Pak without reacting or coming up with a response to that.

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Postby Rye » 23 Mar 2008 01:08

Sanjay M. wrote:
I wonder why India doesn't just cut a deal with N.Korea


say whu now?

Now why would India want to do such an unhelpful thing for itself, and get involved with a state that is the US's nuclear bugbear? Are you unhappy with the current state of affairs where is India being bracketed only with Pakistan via constant equal-equals?

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Postby Sanjay M » 23 Mar 2008 02:00

The point is that India is always being "bracketed" -- ie. we are always stuck jumping through hoops by self-appointed judges.

If we were to get independent refuelling from NKorea, which doesn't have similar constraints on its fuel supplies, then we could use that to jumpstart the thorium program, and move to the point of not needing anyone's supplies.

The problem lies in getting to that breakeven point where we're producing enough U-233 on our own, and don't need any more external U-235 supplies.

Yes, I've heard everyone say that we should tap our own natural uranium supplies better, but I don't see the harm in securing some external uranium supplies from those who're hard up enough to cut a deal with us.

Besides, China gets a lot of international political leverage out of its patronship of Pyongyang. That relationship is also sometimes rocky, and I'm sure the NKoreans would like to have other options beyond Beijing.

Or, what if we'd obtained enriched uranium from Iran? If we had done that during the 1990s for example, our U-constrained thorium program would be much farther ahead by now.

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Postby Rye » 23 Mar 2008 02:05

Sanjay M. wrote:
If we were to get independent refuelling from NKorea


Kim Jong Il is china's sockpuppet -- N.K. is desperately poor and in terrible shape. N.K.'s economy is on life-support from China for fuels, foods, etc.

So considering N.K an independent entity is a mistake.

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Postby Sanjay M » 23 Mar 2008 02:10

Hey, the worst they can do is say no. :)

Kim Jong Il is also a daring brinksman and stuntsman. His back is to the wall. It's not like we'd have to publicly announce anything to the Chinese.

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Postby Rye » 23 Mar 2008 02:27

Sanjay M. wrote:
the worst they can do is say no.


That's not the point. Why would India want to be associated with N.K. without good reason...so far have not seen any good reasons in your posts.
Please stop this distraction. thanks.

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Postby Gerard » 23 Mar 2008 02:56


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Postby Gerard » 23 Mar 2008 03:02

Attention Rare Earth End-Users: There Is a New American Source[quote]a historically known-since 1949-very significant major high-grade hard rock source of thorium, presenting as thorium oxide rich mineral veins in Idaho and Montana, at sites in the geographic region known as the Lemhi Pass, has been “re-explored,â€

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Postby Sanjay M » 23 Mar 2008 03:05

Rye wrote:Sanjay M. wrote:
the worst they can do is say no.


That's not the point. Why would India want to be associated with N.K. without good reason...so far have not seen any good reasons in your posts.
Please stop this distraction. thanks.


Alright fine, this is my last post. I'm saying we don't have to make any association public, just like Israel wasn't overtly associating itself with Praetoria-ruled South Africa.
Everybody else has made deft alliances, except us. It shows that we're not realists able to practice realpolitik, but just stodgy blinkered types, not able to think outside the box. We don't want to end up like the Dalai Lama. Nice guys finish last.

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Postby Rye » 23 Mar 2008 03:11

Better stodgy and blinkered and healthy inside the box than "courageous" and missing a foot outside the box.

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Postby Gerard » 23 Mar 2008 07:09


Sanjay M
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Postby Sanjay M » 23 Mar 2008 07:30

Rye wrote:Better stodgy and blinkered and healthy inside the box than "courageous" and missing a foot outside the box.


Missing a foot? I don't see China missing a foot. If we can't stand the heat, we'd better get out of the kitchen. We'd better hurriedly give up any pretensions of autonomy and just grovel haplessly.

It's a matter of showing resolve. If we don't, then more people are likley to pressure us, in the belief that we're more amenable to pressure.

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Postby Gerard » 23 Mar 2008 07:40


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Postby Rye » 23 Mar 2008 07:44

Sanjay M,

It is a bloody cretinous, moronic, ridiculous idea for India to hook with a dictatorship like NK that kills it owns citizens. So kindly cut your horse sh1t and stick to the topic.

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Postby Gerard » 23 Mar 2008 17:55


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Postby Gerard » 24 Mar 2008 04:13

A World Free of Nuclear Weapons: An Interview With Nuclear Threat Initiative Co-Chairman Sam Nunn

LINK

I describe moving toward zero as climbing a mountain, the top of the mountain being zero nuclear weapons. We might not get there in my lifetime, but we need to be heading up the mountain, not down the mountain. We have to head up the mountain together. It’s not going to be a unilateral move. It’s going to have to be moving up the mountain together and hopefully reaching a plateau so that our children and grandchildren can at least get out their binoculars and see the top of the mountain.


:roll:

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Postby Gerard » 24 Mar 2008 18:11

Watch out, you're being watched
It turns out the feds have been monitoring Interstate 5 for nuclear "dirty bombs." They do it with radiation detectors so sensitive it led to the following incident.

"Vehicle goes by at 70 miles per hour," Giuliano told the crowd. "Agent is in the median, a good 80 feet away from the traffic. Signal went off and identified an isotope [in the passing car]."

The agent raced after the car, pulling it over not far from the monitoring spot (near the Bow-Edison exit, 18 miles south of Bellingham). The agent questioned the driver, then did a cursory search of the car, Giuliano said.

Did he find a nuke?

"Turned out to be a cat with cancer that had undergone a radiological treatment three days earlier," Giuliano said.

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Postby Gerard » 24 Mar 2008 18:18


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Postby Rye » 24 Mar 2008 19:33

Joe Griebowski is President of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy and Secretary General, Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom.


This ayotollah has branched out into "human rights" and "religious freedom" also -- looks like there "environmental issues" could also be added to this list of GOTUS sanctioned post-modern "liberation" NPA theology.

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Postby Gerard » 25 Mar 2008 00:37

Isotopes and Identity: Australia and the Nuclear Weapons Option, 1949-1999
http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/npr/vol07/71/hym71.pdf

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Postby Gerard » 25 Mar 2008 02:15


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Postby Gerard » 25 Mar 2008 03:55



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Postby Gerard » 25 Mar 2008 05:17

THE PEACE SYMBOL, EXPLAINED

link

Image

[quote]Gerald Holtom, a designer and former World War II conscientious objector from West London, persuaded DAC that their aims would have greater impact if they were conveyed in a visual image. The “Ban the Bombâ€

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Postby Gerard » 25 Mar 2008 05:18


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Postby Gerard » 25 Mar 2008 16:43

Green light for R17bn nuclear plant
The R17-billion project will go a long way in helping to solve South Africa's current power problem by 2013, said Robert Peters, a senior consultant at the fuel development laboratories at the pebble bed modular reactor.

The high-temperature helium gas-cooled reactor is the first of a new generation.

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Postby Gerard » 26 Mar 2008 05:05

U.S. Regains Missile Parts; Gates Orders Investigation
The U.S. military has regained control of four non-nuclear nose cone assemblies for a Minuteman missile mistakenly sent to Taiwan in 2006
:eek:
[quote]The nose cone assemblies and associated electrical parts are proximity fuses for the missiles. While not technically “triggers,â€

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Postby Gerard » 26 Mar 2008 05:18



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