8:09 AM, Apr 17, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will spend the four days leading up to the Boston Marathon conducting a helicopter-based survey to measure naturally occurring background radiation in a ten square mile area west of downtown Boston. The measurements are being taken to "establish baseline levels [which] is a normal part of security and emergency preparedness", especially before large public events such as the marathon. A similar survey was conducted in northern New Jersey and New York City before the Superbowl in January.
The NNSA made the announcement to alert residents who may be alarmed by the low-flying aircraft. The twin-engine helicopter out of the military's Joint Base Andrews in Maryland will fly a grid pattern as low as 150 feet above the ground at 80 miles per hour, though only during daylight hours.
A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report in 2006 reported "significant benefits" to such surveys in the event of nuclear terrorism:
There are significant benefits to conducting aerial background radiation surveys of U.S. cities. Specifically, the surveys can be used to compare changes in radiation levels to (1) help detect radiological threats in U.S. cities more quickly and (2) measure contamination levels after a radiological attack to assist in and reduce the costs of cleanup efforts.
At the time of the 2006 report, New York City was the only major U.S. city to have conducted a full survey of the entire city, which was done in 2005 at a cost of $800,000.
Washington, D.C. was the site of a 70 square mile, two-week survey in the weeks before President Obama's second inauguration in January 2013.
The NNSA also deployed a team of 33 experts to Japan in 2011 to measure and monitor radiation levels around Fukushima following the tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster at the power plant in that city.
Romney still wrong about Russia, says Obama.11:56 AM, Mar 25, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Speaking at a brief news conference in the Hague, President Obama said he's more worried about a nuke being detonated in Manhattan than he is about Russia:
"With respect to Mr. Romney's assertion that Russia is our number one geopolitical foe, the truth of the matter is that America has a whole lot of challenges," said the president.
"Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neigbors, not out of strength, but out weakness.
12:37 PM, Mar 21, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Iran appears to be constructing a mock-up of the U.S.S. Nimtiz. The ship is not operational. Only 2/3s scale. And not militarily capable of much of anything.
12:01 PM, Mar 19, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
President Obama has made nuclear nonproliferation one of his highest priorities but, as the Wall Street Journal explains, the White House’s weak response on Ukraine is sending all the wrong messages.
1:25 PM, Mar 18, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
As William Maclean of Reuters reports, Iran has not let deals and agreements get in the way of its effort to build a bomb. He interviewed:
1:37 PM, Feb 18, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
Lawrence Freedman’s post, “Iran, History, and Strategy by Analogy,” in the strategic and military affairs blog “War on the Rocks,” is a thorough and respectful engagement with Elliott Abrams’s recent article in THE WEEKLY STANDARD, “A Misleading Cold War Analogy: Don’t count on containing Iran.”
9:18 AM, Feb 5, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The head of an Iranian nuclear organization, Ali Akbar, says the "entire nuclear activity of Iran is going on," despite the nuclear deal reached with the United States and other Western nations. Akbar made the comments in an interview with PressTV, an Iranian propaganda outfit.
Akbar also says they won't dismantle Arak reactor, that the American have achieved nothing, and that they're continuing to build new nuclear sites.
3:35 PM, Feb 3, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon reports:
One of Iran’s top former nuclear negotiators promised that Iran “will never” dismantle its nuclear enrichment program, and that Tehran’s current promises to curb these activates are only temporary.
No Limitations to Nuke Technology11:22 AM, Jan 23, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Iranian president tells Fareed Zakaria of CNN that, under the nuclear deal, there will be no limitations to nuclear technology and no destruction of centrifuges:
5:44 PM, Jan 22, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Foreign Minister Zarif of Iran said on CNN that the White House is getting the nuclear deal wrong -- and that they don't have to give up anything:
Said the Iranian foreign minister, "The White House version both underplays the concessions and overplays Iranian commitment. And I'm not interested in that. I'm simply saying, why don't we all stick to what we agreed? Why do we need to produce different texts?"
9:01 AM, Jan 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce, released this statement on the Iran nuclear deal:
7:38 AM, Jan 14, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani is taking to Twitter to gloat about the nuclear deal his country struck with the U.S. and other Western countries.
"Our relationship w/ the world is based on Iranian nation's interests. In #Geneva agreement world powers surrendered to Iranian nation's will," Rouhani tweeted about an hour ago.
7:01 AM, Jan 14, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Iran's chief negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, who helped his country secure the nuclear deal with the U.S. and other Western countries, is claiming victory.
4:23 PM, Jan 13, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Barack Obama talked briefly about the Iran nuclear deal and said "give peace a chance." Via the pool report:
Pres. Obama said the implementation agreement finalized over the weekend gives the parties "the time and space" to reach a comprehensive accord.
"It's going to be difficult, it's going to be challenging, but ultimately this is how diplomacy should work."
"If Iran is willing to walk through the door of opportunity that's presented to them" then the country and its people will benefit.