Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Bits and Pieces - April 4, 2012

Driving Inside the Soviets’ Secret Submarine Lair.

Living in a nuclear hell. The Soviets were very casual about disposing of the kinds of nuclear waste that was put into tanks at Hanford and Savannah River in the US: they just poured it into the river.

Clarifying some terms that have to do with the US oil supply.

It has bothered me for some time that so much of Science magazine is behind a paywall. I've wanted to write about their material and didn't many times because I couldn't link to it. Sometimes I take the time to find an article or the press release from Science. Michael Eisen points out that those press releases don't always portray the material accurately.

At first glance, this seems like a good idea: Brazil would take a leadership position in nuclear nonproliferation by eschewing enrichment. The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty guarantees peaceful nuclear technology to countries that don't make bombs with it. The problem is that enrichment enables both civilian reactors and bomb-making. Seems to me there needs to be a lot more buy-in by NPT signatories before something like this can happen.

In 2006, Philip Zelikow, then a counselor in the State Department, wrote a memo opposing the use of torture. Yesterday the National Security Archive obtained a copy of that memo through the Freedom of Information Act. Here's the memo, a short article on it in the Washington Post, and more from the National Security Archive.

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