Banning nuclear testing: lessons from the Semipalatinsk nuclear testing site. This is a good short history of the Semipalatinsk nuclear testing site. Top photo by me: Lake Balapan, excavated by a nuclear device. It is almost exactly the same size as Sedan Crater at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site, which was excavated similarly. Read More
Broadening the areas of interest today for weekend reading.
Why young Americans are giving up on capitalism. It’s important to think about the different worlds that constitute our pasts. The world that millennials have grown up in was shaped by Ronald Reagan and the conservatives who cut taxes and government. Good job, guys!
The interesting thing that happened when Kansas cut taxes and California hiked them. The opposite of what those conservatives predicted. Read More
The police in Orlando, Florida, say that the attack early Sunday morning was terrorism. Information coming out about the attacker offers a great many possible motives: he might have been unable to deal with conflicts between religion and sexuality; he was generally a violent and hate-filled person; he declared his allegiance to ISIS during the attack, to other organizations earlier. Read More
On 31 March President Obama convened in Washington, DC, the fourth and last Nuclear Security Summit of his presidency. The goal of the summits has been to secure nuclear materials against diversion and unauthorized use. And indeed, the summits have encouraged countries to make significant progress toward that goal. Why, then, do so many reports on this summit emphasize the fear of nuclear terrorism rather than the steps that are being taken to prevent it? Read More
News media are reporting a number of suspicious activities at Belgian nuclear facilities. Some of those media are connecting those activities with last week’s bombing attacks. Information is inconsistent and insufficient for drawing conclusions. Read More
Russia is partially withdrawing its troops from Syria. It will maintain its naval and air bases there but will remove some unspecified amount of troops and equipment. Every reason you can think of has been offered in the speculation as to why and why now. Here’s a reasonable interpretation from Randa Slim, who has been involved in Track II discussions with Russia. Also from Mark Galeotti. How much will Russia continue to support Assad? Will Assad support the peace process with his protector partially gone? And how will other parties to the conflict respond? Nobody really knows. Here’s an article about strained relations between Russia and Iran. Read More
I’ve been intrigued by the Oregon standoff since it hit the news, more than six weeks ago. It’s not national security in the sense of most of what we write at Nuclear Diner, but it overlaps.
The group who occupied the refuge intended to overthrow parts of the federal government on the basis of their interpretation of the United States Constitution and perhaps other documents, including the Declaration of Independence and the Bible. Part of their interpretation of the Constitution encourages armed force against the government. Read More
Everything you need to know about gravitational waves. Supposedly a bit announcement coming on Thursday. Graphic from here: gravity waves from two black holes orbiting around each other. Read More
A Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian SU-24 bomber. Rumors and videos are circulating. It’s not clear whether the pilots are alive or not. Vladimir Putin made a statement linking Turkey with ISIS and claiming a “stab in the back.” A number of videos circulating on social media are from earlier incidents. This story is developing. The New York Times and Washington Post are probably the most reliable sources for summaries for the next day or so. And no, World War III is not about to begin. Russia and Turkey have too many commercial interests in common. Putin’s statement does not mention military reprisals. Photo: CNN Read More