Monday, June 13, 2011

Creation of [US] National Science and Security Consortium

On 9 June 2011 the University of California announced that the US National Nuclear Security Administration “has awarded $25 million to the University of California, Berkeley, to lead a multi-institution consortium that will support the nation’s nuclear nonproliferation mission through the training and education of experts in the nuclear security field.” The five-year grant will establish a National Science and Security Consortium (NSSC). NNSA envisions some 230 graduate students, post-docs, and undergraduates participating in the program, which will include focal areas in nuclear physics, nuclear and radiation chemistry, nuclear engineering, nuclear instrumentation, and public policy.

While the program is cast as a ‘nonproliferation’ program, it is apparent that the knowledge and skills gained are among those required for a move to global zero.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

❄ Are These Useful Measures?

Google offers measures of search results found and query trends. [Note 1] Their advantage is that they are available and display for a broad community of users. Disadvantages: they don’t tell why a page has been posted or a search made, and they tell nothing about the searcher's substantive views. Here are two ways in which we can draw on Google’s figures, which at least prompt the question ‘why is this so?’ [Please add other suggestions in comments.>

[1]  Search Query Terms

This graphs shows only that of people including the phrase “nuclear war” in a Google query (between the beginning of 2004 and late April 2011) there was a gradual but marked decline during the period. It does not say what proportion of all queries included “nuclear war”, nor anything about the absolute number of such queries. It does seem to show a small upward bump about the time of the 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami initiating the chain of events at Fukushima Daiichi.

North Korea announced a first nuclear test on 9 October 2006. A second test took place 25 May 2009. The peaks of the graph appear to coincide with those events.

[2]  Search Results

[All numbers are approximate: “about ... ”"]

10,400,000:   IAEA IAEA

  5,100,000:   WMD    "weapons of mass destruction"

  1,230,000:   Nuclear Disarmament   "nuclear disarmament"

     283,000:   Gorbachev   "mikhail gorbachev" nuclear "by the year 2000" [advanced search: all three strings in page]

     207,000:   Denuclearization denuclearization

     196,000:   Abolish "abolish nuclear weapons"

     151,000:   Global Zero "Global Zero" nuclear

        99,600:   Four Horsemen    shultz perry kissinger nunn

        25,400:   ICNND    "international commission on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament"

        24,000:   Obama    "I state clearly and with conviction america's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons": from Barack Obama's speech in Prague, 5 April 2009

        18,500:   NPT Article VI    "Each of the parties to the treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures", beginning of Article VI of the NPT

            6780:   Ban Ki-Moon:    "ban ki moon" "five-point plan" [advanced search: both strings in page]

            3,880:   IPFM IPFM fissile [advanced search: both strings in page]


[Note 1] Google Trends:

Friday, February 25, 2011

2011.02.25 CTBTO & CNS Agree on Course Development

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization issued the following notice today [excerpt, highlights added]]:

The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) is to collaborate with an international centre for non-proliferation studies as the organization seeks to strengthen its capability to meet challenges to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

An agreement, with the James Martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) of the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California, was signed on Friday, 25 February, in Vienna by Tibor Toth, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO and Sunder Ramaswamy, President of the Monterey Institute.

The two organizations will develop a series of courses addressing the technical, scientific, political and legal challenges facing the Treaty and its verification regime.

The agreement is an element in the CTBTO's strategy for capacity development, which seeks long term political support for non-proliferation and disarmament by developing networks of partnerships and investing in expanded training activities.
Vienna Centre on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation

The signing preceded the official opening of the new Vienna Centre on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP), which will be managed by CNS.

The VCDNP is an initiative of Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger. He told the opening ceremony that it would encourage open and constructive dialogue between governments, organizations and civil society. “I’m optimistic that the Centre will stimulate the debate in Vienna and contribute effectively to the international discourse on disarmament and non-proliferation issues,” he said.

Tóth said at the event that there is a need for “an army of experts instead of experts of (the) army. There is a need to mass produce hundreds if not thousands of people who have an expertise in general on issues of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control but specifically on the issue of nuclear weapons prohibition,” he said.

[Source: CTBTO. ]

Monday, February 21, 2011

Governing the Bomb: Civilian Control and Democratic Accountability ...

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)


Governing the Bomb: Civilian Control and Democratic Accountability of Nuclear Weapons

Thursday, March 3, 2011, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
The Stimson Center, 1111 19th Street NW, 12th Floor, Washington, DC

‘Go nuclear’ or ‘Go zero’? As the international community stands at a nuclear crossroads, a number of questions demand urgent attention: how well can established and emerging nuclear-armed states manage their nuclear affairs? Who commands and controls a country’s nuclear forces? What role do domestic and international stakeholders have in assuring the wise governance of nuclear weapons aimed at non-proliferation, non-use and disarmament?

In assessing the nuclear weapons programmes of eight states (the USA, Russia, the UK, France, China, Israel, India, and Pakistan), Governing the Bomb scrutinizes these and related questions, and examines whether nuclear-armed States are accountable to their publics and to the world for the security of their weapons. Please take the singular opportunity to discuss the pertinent issues of contemporary nuclear weapons governance this book raises and  join:

•   Dr. Barry M. Blechman, Co-founder of the Stimson Center and distinguished fellow focused on nuclear disarmament
•   Dr. Bates Gill, Director, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute,
•   Avner Cohen, Senior Fellow, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies

Please RSVP to April Umminger at

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Excellent! How would you take BASIC's model to another issue?

UK defence minister: case for Trident is 'thin'.

“The armed forces minister, Nick Harvey, says he tried to dig up the original justification for Britain's sea-borne deterrent and found very little. ... ”

A new independent commission on Trident was launched tonight with the aim of re-examining the decision to replace Britain's submarine-launched deterrent. The members came from the three major parties all chosen on the grounds that they were open to persuasion by the evidence.

“The commission, set up by the British American Security Information Council (Basic), includes a former Labour defence secretary, Lord Browne, one of his Conservative predecessors, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Menzies Campbell, as well as a former chief of the defence staff, Lord Guthrie.”

[Source and quote: Julian Borger’s Global Security Blog, “UK defence minister: case for Trident is 'thin'.” Guardian, 10 February 2011.]

Sunday, January 30, 2011

 2011.01.30  Brochure: Key Points 

This post shows a brochure of the Global Collaborative on Denuclearization Design, introducing some of the proposals in the book Designing Denuclearization.

Single-click on page for readable size. Or bring up a pdf version at (from which hard-copy tri-panel brochures can be printed).

[Denuclearization Designers is at]

Friday, January 28, 2011


This blog invites comments and contributions in answer to two questions, broadly conceived:

[1] How can nuclear zero (abolition, ‘global zero’, &c.) be achieved?

[2] Once zero is achieved, how can it be sustained, without compromising social justice, civil liberties, and fundamental decency?

Anyone may comment on a post. Comments may be moderated, in accordance with usual expectation that comment be germane and civil.

If you self-identify as a ‘denuclearization designer’, or are engaged with this subject as a professional, student, or activist, please consider proposing yourself as an ‘author’ with posting rights

For more about the Global Collaborative on Denuclearization Design, see Reach this blog via