Analysts warn that entrenched political obstacles may stand in the way of any new multilateral effort to curb nonmilitary uses of bomb-grade uranium.
World leaders have achieved a degree of success since 2010 in reducing the use of highly enriched uranium for civilian needs, such as fueling nuclear reactors and manufacturing medical isotopes, says a May analysis by Miles Pomper and Philippe Mauger of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
They argued, though, that dangers from the material persist. The authors said roughly 54 tons of highly enriched uranium is being used for peaceful purposes across 29 nations, and a U.N. estimate suggests a would-be nuclear terrorist may need to steal as little as 55 pounds to construct a bomb.
Still, that March statement was nonbinding, and Pomper and Mauger argued that more substantial efforts have been hampered by the differing goals of individual governments. The fourth, and possibly final, Nuclear Security Summit is scheduled for 2016 in the United States.
“With the end of the high-level summit process likely approaching in 2016, time is running out to set a clear objective that can muster sustained engagement from the full international community,” the authors wrote. They pressed for participants in the upcoming gathering to make greater commitments, such as subjecting all nonmilitary highly enriched uranium to international inspections and ultimately ending all civilian use of the material.
“Further HEU stock minimization remains blocked by a few recalcitrant countries, and establishing broader legal principles on HEU management is proving to be difficult,” they wrote in the Stanley Foundation assessment.
Belarus and South Africa have retained stocks of the material for political reasons, while Russia and Germany have resisted transparency initiatives over fears that new measures could “shed poor light” on their uranium holdings, the article says.
What We're Following See More »
According to the most recent Gallup poll, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are equally disliked. The poll, conducted between July 18 and July 25, shows both major party candidates for president are viewed favorably by 37 percent of respondents and unfavorably by 58 percent of respondents. This poll is bad news for Clinton, who has received better favorable and unfavorable ratings in nearly every poll over the last year.
The same day that Donald Trump encouraged Russia to hack the State Department and "find the 30,000 emails that are missing," the GOP nominee for vice president took a more serious approach. "If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences," Pence said in a statement. Trump's comments at a press conference this morning were rebuked by individuals across the political spectrum, while some on Trump's team, including prominent surrogate Newt Gingrich, have called his comments a "joke."
The Federal Open Market Committee today voted to leave interest rates alone, but "upgraded its assessment of the economy’s recent performance and said near-term risks to the outlook have diminished, effectively leaving the door open to raise rates later this year, possibly as early as September."
"Spurred by VP pick Mike Pence, a former congressman with close ties to many lawmakers, the Trump campaign in recent weeks has stepped up its courtship of wary Capitol Hill Republicans. And the efforts appear to be bearing fruit." Central to the charm offensive: invitations to more than a dozen "Senate and House members into his family’s private box for some power-schmoozing with him and his kids" during the Republican National Convention.
Donald Trump essentially encouraged more Russian espionage against Democrats in a press conference this morning. "Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” That prompted Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan to say: “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election.”