The United States has carried out a nonexplosive nuclear test in Nevada. The subcritical test did not involve a fission process that is key to atomic detonations. The test took place at the Nevada National Security Site. The test–the first since February 2011–studied “how plutonium responds to a conventional explosive detonation.” The US has said the test is critical to the continuing dependability of the country’s nuclear deterrence. While the NNSA administrator said that the test is one of many experiments that help to “deliver President Obama’s nuclear security agenda,” Iran has condemned the test as an example of the US’s lack of commitment to nuclear disarmament.
Politics in the UK have recently addressed that country’s nuclear deterrent. Questions abound over whether the government should renew the Trident program, which would see the building of new submarine fleets with nuclear capability. Nick Brown writes at labourlist.org that the Labour Party’s most responsible option would be to opt against renewal. Meanwhile, the European Economic and Social Committee has concluded that Europe as a whole has a long way to go as far as making its nuclear activities–including the safety of nuclear plants–transparent to the public is concerned.
The fate of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal also remains one of the most debated subjects in international security circles. However, Madiha Sattar writes at Dawn that while there is a plethora of work on Pakistan’s militancy problem, work focused on the nuclear aspect of the Pakistan debate is much less available, specifically work that is accessible to a nonacademic audience. Her review of Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb (by Feroz Hassan Khan) claims that this recent work fills in that gap in accessible analysis.