This bulletin highlights significant events in the world of arms control in the coming week, as compiled by staff and friends of the Arms Control Association. (Send your suggestions for events to be covered here.)
– Jefferson Morley,
Senior Editorial Consultant,
Arms Control Today
Rouhani inauguration expected to reset nuclear talks
Following the August 3 inauguration of President Hassan Rouhani, it is widely expected that the world powers will extend a formal invitation to Iran to resume talks on the country’s nuclear program. The IAEA and Iran may also resume their discussions on completing the IAEA’s investigation of past Iranian nuclear activities with “potential military dimensions” sometime in August. (See “‘More Active’ Talks Needed, Rouhani Says,” in the July/August issue of Arms Control Today.)
Report Due on Troubled Plutonium Plant
The National Nuclear Security Administration will issue its final Surplus Plutonium Disposition Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement this week, with billions of dollars in federal spending on the line.
The report to the Department of Energy will likely outline alternatives to building a new Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication facility to convert surplus weapons plutonium into reactor fuel for electricity production. The DoE’s MOX plant, located on the Savannah River in South Carolina, has suffered cost overruns and there are no commercial customers lined up to buy the MOX fuel. Earlier this year, the DoE announced it would review alternative plutonium disposition strategies, none of which will be inexpensive.
See “U.S. Revisits Plutonium Disposition Plan,” in May 2013 Arms Control Today. For a technical analysis of plutonium disposition options and the policy implications, see “The Future of Plutonium Disposition” by Clements, Lyman, and von Hippel in the July/August issue of Arms Control Today.
Obama to report on nuclear stockpile
President Obama will submit an annual report to Congress this week on the 10-year plan for the nuclear weapons stockpile, nuclear weapons complex, nuclear weapons delivery systems, and nuclear weapons command and control system.