THREE TIMES in the past 16 years — Bulgaria in 1999, France in 2001 and Moldova in 2011 — containers of highly enriched uranium have been seized by authorities, according to an article published online last month by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative news organization. In each case, the person holding the uranium said it was part of a larger cache for sale. ….Meanwhile, cooperation with Russia has collapsed. Nuclear security is too important to be neglected. It is not just in the interests of the United States, but vital to every country that nuclear materials be made safe and kept far away from terrorists.
Iran: A United Nations panel announced this week that Iran violated a U.N. Security Council resolution when it tested a ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead in October. Coming just months before the international community prepares to implement the landmark nuclear deal brokered between Iran, the U.S. and five other world powers this summer, the Iranian missile test is raising questions about Iran’s commitment to international protocols and the ability and will of the U.S. and the international community to enforce the terms of the controversial nuclear accord.
The United States maintains a modern arsenal of about 1,900 strategic nuclear warheads deployed on Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), Submarine- Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs), and Strategic Bombers. The Departments of Defense and Energy requested approximately $23 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 to maintain and upgrade these systems, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). CBO estimates that nuclear forces will cost $348 billion between FY 2015 and FY 2024. Three independent estimates put the expected total cost over the next 30 years at as much as $1 trillion.