Putin hat den Rückzug aus dem Atomwaffentestversuchsvertrag nun angekündigt und die Wiederaufnahme von Atomtests angekündigt. Aber welche neuen Atomwaffen, die einen Unterschied machen könnten da noch entwickelt werden, zumal von allen Kalibern von Wasserstoffbombe bis Mininukes schon alles entwickelt und getestet ist, zudem in nächster Zeit? Zumal Atomtests auch mittels Computern simuliert werden können.? Dazu noch folgender Text der Carnegie Foundation, bei der klargestellt wird, dass die USA selbigen Vertrag wie auch andere erst gar nicht ratifiziert haben, man scheinbar solche ominösen neuen Nuklearsprengköpfe wie den W93 seitens der USA entwickelt, wobei unklar bleibt, was denn nun so disruptiv neu an ihm ist, jedenfalls jetzt nicht nur der Atomtestsverbotsvertrag, sondern nun auch der ganze Nichtproliferationsvertrag (NPT) als nächstes Makulatur werden könnte, insofern er das teilweise ja schon mit Auftreten neuer Atommächte wie Indien Pakistan, Nordkorea und Israel teilweise schon war, was ein nukleares Wettrüsten, eine nukleare Kettenreaktion auslösen würde.
“Russia’s Withdrawal From the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Is an Own Goal
Russia doesn’t stand to gain anything from de-ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, but friends and foes alike will reap the benefits of its decision.
Russia is revoking its ratification of one of the most consequential international agreements for global security: the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Russian President Vladimir Putin claims that the move is being taken to reestablish strategic parity with the United States, which never ratified it, despite signing it back in 1996. In reality, the negative fallout may eclipse anything that Moscow stands to gain.
For more than two decades, Russia has attempted to make the CTBT an element of its strategic dialogue with the United States. On June 4, 2000, President Putin and U.S. President Bill Clinton signed a Joint Statement on Principles of Strategic Stability that mentioned ratifying the CTBT. Russia did so that same month, but the United States has dragged its feet ever since, primarily to avoid tying its hands in national security matters.
Russian experts have regularly called for a return to strategic parity with the United States, including after Washington exited the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, during European missile defense negotiations in the early 2010s, and more recently. It’s no surprise, therefore, that “mirroring” the United States is now Russia’s rationale for abandoning the CTBT.
In a February speech this year, Putin recalled the treaty, saying that “certain actors in Washington” were considering the possibility of full-scale nuclear weapons testing. His main concern appeared to be the W93, a nuclear warhead that first appeared in a U.S. Department of Energy budgetary request in February 2020, when the U.S. administration was mulling a possible return to nuclear testing, supposedly with the aim of prompting China to sign up to nuclear arms reduction treaties.
That, however, was the Trump administration. The Biden administration, on the contrary, supports the CTBT and has promised to facilitate its entry into force. In addition, Moscow’s understanding of nuclear technology appears to be at least a decade out of date: modern science enables new warheads to be developed without the need for full-scale testing. In 2021, Los Alamos National Laboratory staff member Charlie Nakhleh confirmed that no new nuclear testing would be required before putting the W93 into service. Either the Russian government’s rhetoric is trapped in the past, therefore, or it’s anticipating a Republican victory in 2024.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has also expressed concern about the United States’ decision to “enhance the readiness of its nuclear test site, the Nevada Test Site.” Russian diplomats have been complaining about the site’s increased readiness since at least 2018. Five years later, there still haven’t been any full-fledged tests in Nevada, yet Russia’s complaints remain the same.
Current activities at the Nevada Test Site include subcritical nuclear and non-nuclear experiments permitted under the CTBT. Similar activity has been observed at test sites in China and Russia, and Russia’s Novaya Zemlya nuclear test site is also reportedly ready to resume testing: it’s only a matter of political will.
Russia blames the United States exclusively for preventing the CTBT from taking effect. Yet the United States is only one part of the equation. A total of forty-four “nuclear technology holder” states must sign the CTBT before it can enter into force. Egypt, Israel, Iran, and China have signed the treaty but not ratified it, while India, North Korea, and Pakistan haven’t even gotten that far. Even if the United States ratifies the CTBT, those seven countries are unlikely to follow suit. India and Pakistan are watching each other more than the United States.
China, meanwhile, will only welcome other signatories’ withdrawal from the treaty. Beijing managed to conduct only forty-five nuclear tests prior to signing the CTBT: twenty-three times fewer than Washington. At the time, China’s technical infrastructure lagged behind that of the two nuclear superpowers, so it couldn’t build adequate facilities to simulate tests. Now China is actively expanding its nuclear arsenal and would jump at any opportunity to try out its latest developments.
Russia previously expressed interest in devising reciprocal test site transparency measures with China, but that interest was not mutual. Still, Russia hasn’t criticized China over its lack of enthusiasm, nor does it seem concerned about potential nuclear tests on Chinese territory.
Clearly, then, this isn’t actually about parity with the United States, especially given that just last month Washington invited representatives from China and Russia to inspect subcritical tests of a type permitted under the CTBT, to demonstrate that it was not violating the moratorium on full-scale nuclear testing.
Responding to the invitation, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Russia had no plans to discuss arms control with the United States. In the past, Russia has pushed for a change in America’s Ukraine policy as a prerequisite for arms control talks. This suggests that the CTBT has become another victim of Russia’s war, and that Moscow is holding its future hostage to extract concessions in Ukraine.
Russia’s de-ratification of the CTBT might be good news for Russia’s allies: especially North Korea and Iran, which want the freedom to develop their nuclear programs. But Russia’s decision is also convenient for the United States and China, for which tests are even more crucial. The CTBT’s ban on nuclear testing limits the ability to circumvent quantitative restrictions by qualitatively improving nuclear weapons.
Russia, meanwhile, is already close to completing the modernization of its nuclear forces: according to President Putin, it has created the Sarmat super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missile and tested the Burevestnik cruise missile. In theory, therefore, Russia has more interest than anyone in preserving the CTBT—and its advantage. But Russia’s priorities apparently lie elsewhere.
Russia doesn’t stand to gain anything from de-ratifying the CTBT. It won’t increase its national security or induce the United States to make concessions on Ukraine, and will only tarnish Russia’s reputation even further in the eyes of its few remaining partners. Moscow had been seen as an important player in nuclear nonproliferation. Not so long ago, the Russian Foreign Ministry described the CTBT as “one of the major international legal instruments designed to put a reliable barrier against the qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and their spread in the world.”
Now Moscow is telling the world that it no longer considers nonproliferation important: the priority is countering the United States. Perhaps the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) could be next on the chopping block. After all, certain Russian hawks argue that nuclear weapons are necessary to ensure a stable peace, and that many countries should have them.
If de-ratifying the CTBT becomes the first step toward nuclear testing on Russian territory, things will go from bad to worse. Putin has said that “for now, it is sufficient to mirror our enemies: the United States and others.” The crucial part is “for now.” Mikhail Kovalchuk, president of the Kurchatov Institute (a prominent nuclear development lab) and someone who also happens to be close to Putin, is already calling for nuclear testing to show everyone how things stand between Russia and the West. If they happen, the tests would give other countries the moral right to resume testing. Once started, a nuclear chain reaction is very hard to stop.
Nachdem Putin nun ein riesiges Atommanöver durchgeführt hat, die NATO mittels des Atommanövers „Steadfast Noon“ antwortete, Putin wiederum die Entwicklung neuer Atomwaffen samt Atmwaffentests angekündigt hat und sein atomkriegstreibender akademischer Kettenhund Karaganow eine neue russische Nuklearstrategie mit begrenzten und globale Atomkriegsdrohungen der Marke Madman theory forderte, , wollen sich die USA auch nicht lumpen lassen-Zwei Newsweek-Artikel sind zum Thema neue Atomaffentypen, Resilienz, strategische Vorratshaltung und nukleare Abschreckung und Aufrüstung dazu noch empfohlen:
“Biden Working on a New Nuclear Bomb
Oct 27, 2023 at 6:38 PM EDT
America’s Nuclear Weapons Plan Gets A Boost
By Aila Slisco
President Joe Biden’s administration has proposed building a new nuclear bomb as the production of weapons to replace the aging U.S. stockpile ramps up.
The Department of Defense (DoD) announced on Friday that it was pursuing the development of a new variant of the B61 gravity bomb, a type of weapon that was first produced in the 1960s, at the height of the Cold War. Until very recently, U.S. nuclear weapons production had largely been at a standstill since the Cold War ended with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Weapons in the B61 series, a key part of the existing U.S. stockpile, are so-called „tactical“ gravity bombs, unguided weapons designed to detonate at targets reached after being dropped out of an airplane. The DoD said in a press release that the new variant, the B61-13, was needed „to assure our ability to achieve deterrence and other objectives.“
„The B61-13 will strengthen deterrence of adversaries and assurance of allies and partners by providing the President with additional options against certain harder and large-area military targets,“ the release states, while adding that the bomb would „include the modern safety, security, and accuracy features“ of the B61-12, an Obama-era variant.
The B61-12, which was not produced until after Biden took office, added a tail kit to provide guided navigation intended to improve the accuracy of the weapon. Like other nuclear weapons produced by the U.S. since the end of the Cold War, the B61-13 is expected to be made with warheads repurposed from older bombs.
If the yield figure is accurate, the B61-13 would have more than 22 times the explosive force of the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II, but far less force than the most powerful nuclear weapon currently in the U.S. arsenal, the 1.2 megaton B83.
The yield of the B61-12 variant is lower than the B61-7. While the Biden administration previously touted the B-61-12s as „critical to sustaining the Nation’s air delivered nuclear deterrent capability,“ the production of B61-13s is expected to reduce the number of produced B61-12s.
„The B61-13 will not increase the overall number of weapons in the U.S. stockpile,“ Friday’s DoD release states. „The number of B61-12s to be produced will be lowered by the same amount as the number of B61-13s produced.“
While campaigning for president in 2020, Biden pledged that, if elected, he would „work to bring us closer to a world without nuclear weapons, so that the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are never repeated.“
Newsweek reached out for comment to the White House via email on Friday evening.
The Biden administration previously announced that it was planning to retire the large-yield B83. However, production on the first new nuclear weapons to include freshly produced warheads is taking place under his administration.
A 10-year, $750 billion effort to replace the nuclear arsenal is „the country’s most ambitious nuclear weapons effort since the Manhattan Project,“ according to the Associated Press.
„The nation’s current nuclear forces are reaching the end of their service life, and some delivery systems may not be capable of having their service life extended further,“ a Congressional Budget Office report on the replacement effort states.
Biden’s pursuit of nuclear weapons continues a decades-long push from several of his predecessors. In 2003, during the administration of former President George W. Bush, the U.S. lifted a 10-year ban on developing tactical nuclear weapons. Bush’s efforts to build a new low-yield weapon were unsuccessful.
The B61-12 variant was approved during former President Barack Obama’s administration, which also oversaw the development of new nuclear cruse missile, known as the Long-Range Standoff (LRSO), which may still be in the testing stage.
Development of new and updated nuclear weapons was also active under former President Donald Trump, with the U.S. Navy adding the submarine-launched W76-2 low-yield nuclear warhead to its arsenal during his administration.
“America’s Nuclear Weapons Plan Gets a Boost
Oct 27, 2023 at 11:06 AM EDT
America’s Nuclear Weapons Plan Gets A Boost
The House of Representatives approved a measure on Thursday that boosts nuclear spending for present and future stockpiles, defense and energy security, and uranium enrichment.
House Resolution 4394 was approved by a 210-199 vote and provides about $56.96 billion in discretionary spending towards the 2024 fiscal year, approximately $2.96 billion below President Joe Biden’s budget request. It also increases defense spending by about $1.11 billion compared to the current fiscal year.
The appropriations bill was initially introduced in June by Tennessee Representative Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican and chairman of the House Appropriations Energy and Water Development Subcommittee. It includes the following nuclear-related spending:
- $19.114 billion for the continued modernization of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile and infrastructure.
- $1.946 billion for naval reactors to support the operational nuclear fleet, Columbia-class submarine reactor development, and research and development for current and future generations of nuclear-powered warships.
- $2.38 billion to reduce the threat of hostile nations or terrorist groups acquiring nuclear devices, radiological dispersal devices, weapons-usable material, and nuclear expertise.
It also aims to reduce reliance on foreign uranium sources by supporting domestic uranium enrichment capabilities, including high-assay low enriched uranium (HALEU).
Lawmakers say that the United States must power current and future commercial nuclear reactors. Advancing small and advanced reactors is part of that objective, as is appropriating more than $200 million for the production of related critical minerals.
„[Bipartisan efforts led to] a historic bill that invests in modernizing our nuclear deterrent and enterprise, prioritizes America’s energy security by revitalizing domestic uranium enrichment capabilities, funds upgrades to water infrastructure projects nationwide, and keeps the United States the world leader in scientific research and discovery,“ Fleischmann said in a post-vote statement.
Newsweek reached out to Fleischmann via email for additional comment.
HALEU is uranium that contains uranium-235 at levels of between 5 and 20 percent, Sara Pozzi, a professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences at the University of Michigan and director of the Consortium for Monitoring, Technology and Verification (MTV), told Newsweek via email on Friday.
Uranium-235 is the isotope or „type“ of uranium that fissions and sustains the nuclear chain reaction. It is a higher level than what is currently used in nuclear fuel for traditional nuclear power plants.
„HALEU nuclear fuel is being developed because new, advanced reactors require it,“ Pozzi said. „These new reactors promise to be smaller, less expensive to build and operate, and better able to utilize the fuel (for better efficiency). Nuclear energy does not emit harmful greenhouse gases.“
The Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States was established as part of fiscal year 2022 funding, intended to „examine and make recommendations with respect to the long-term strategic posture of the United States“ in areas including deterrence, arms control initiatives, and nonproliferation strategies.
A 160-page report published earlier this month by the commission noted how workforce shortages, supply chain limitations and inadequate physical, scientific, technical and experimental infrastructure at the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) have impacted American military readiness.
„These shortcomings resulted from years of inattention and if not addressed promptly, will continue to limit the U.S. ability to prepare and respond to the new challenges….We concluded that the United States does not truly have, but must commit to, a ‚whole-of-government‘ approach to be more efficient and effective,“ said Commission Chair Madelyn Creedon and Vice Chair Jon Kyl.
While presenting the report’s findings at the Hudson Institute think tank this week, Creedon warned that the industrial base supporting the U.S. nuclear arsenal „is out of date, unusable, or in some cases, literally falling down,“ according to Foreign Policy on Thursday.
She added that neither the Pentagon nor the DOE „have enough capacity to meet future requirements.“
Pozzi agrees, mentioning how with the notable exception of North Korea, countries have stopped nuclear weapons testing by nuclear explosions underground.
This new approximate 7.5 percent budget increase for the NNSA addresses inflation in addition to the need to train, attract and retain the next generation of the nuclear workforce, she added.
„Most nuclear weapons in the U.S. stockpile were produced during the 1950s and 1960s,“ Pozzi said. „The reliability of the nuclear weapons stockpile must be maintained through sustained scientific and technical efforts. A reliable nuclear weapons stockpile is essential for nuclear security and deterrence.“
Newsweek also reached out to the commission, DOD and DOE via email for comment.
Update 10/27/23, 12:38 p.m. ET: This story was updated with comment from Pozzi.
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