The U.S. Energy Department has awarded a multimillion-dollar research grant to explore new technologies for verifying foreign nonproliferation commitments.
A consortium of universities will use the $25 million grant by the department’s National Nuclear Security Administration over the next half-decade to investigate, among other things, geophysical models for aiding in the confirmation of underground atomic explosions. Research will also look into methods for verifying that nations are not illicitly diverting nuclear materials toward weapons programs, according to an NNSA news release.
Another goal of the research initiative is to prepare a new generation of scientists for careers in the nonproliferation field, said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington.
“Developing the R&D expertise of tomorrow can take years to cultivate,” she said in a released statement. “But we are linking national laboratories and academia by funding the next generation of researchers to perform complex research and gain understanding of technical challenges in the areas of major importance for the nuclear nonproliferation mission.”
The University of Michigan is leading the group of 13 academic institutions, which will be working with a group of national laboratories on the various projects.
Some researchers will be investigating new technologies aimed at determining whether the quantity and concentration of an atomic-energy site’s nuclear materials actually match the figures declared by the facility to the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to a University of Michigan press release. Developing new verification methods could enable IAEA inspectors to no longer carry out the lengthy and expensive process of opening up sites’ nuclear-material storage containers.
Other scientists are to work on a project focused on confirming that nations are turning atomic warhead material into civilian reactor fuel, and are not processing other, less sensitive materials into fuel as a means of evading their disarmament commitments.
“In Russia, the Megatons to Megawatts program converted hundreds of metric tons from warheads into nuclear fuel used in the U.S.,” Sara Pozzi, a University of Michigan associate professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences, said in provided comments. “In these scenarios, again, we need tools to verify that what is being turned into fuel is indeed a nuclear warhead and not some other form of nuclear material.”
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."