This has been a terrible year for arms control. The United States withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, announced a withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty, threatened not to renew the New START treaty limiting long-range nuclear weapons, and reportedly explored the resumption of underground nuclear weapons testing that would violate the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (which the United States has signed but not ratified). Now, to make matters worse, the Department of Energy has announced a plan to restart production of nuclear weapons-grade, highly enriched uranium (HEU) for the first time since 1992. Under a new “strategy to assure U.S. National Security,” the department declared in April a “well-defined future defense need” to produce “highly-enriched uranium needed to fuel Navy nuclear reactors in the 2050s,” when the existing stockpile supposedly will run out.
War on the Rocks 15th June 2020 read more »