From the Papers

July 2016

India is rejoicing over news that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brokered deals with US officials to bring New Delhi closer to its long-held dream of joining an elite group of nations allowed to control the global trade in nuclear materials, equipment and technology.


Moldovan intelligence officials say they have seized an ‘imposing quantity’ of radioactive uranium from a criminal group and detained several people. The Moldovan Intelligence and Security Service said the uranium was due to be sold for £154,000 but did not say how big the haul was. In a statement, it said ‘a criminal group specializing in smuggling radioactive substances was uncovered’, adding that ‘members of the group were found to be Moldovan citizens’. It said there was an ongoing investigation into where the uranium came from and how the detained people got involved. …. In February 2015, an attempt to sell highly radioactive caesium to Islamist terrorists, including ISIS, was thwarted by the FBI and Moldovan security personnel. The seller had asked for enough of the substance to contaminate several city streets with a dirty bomb.


It is 33 years since the last nuclear vessel came to New Zealand: the nuclearpowered attack submarine USS Queenfish that visited Auckland in 1983 equipped to launch five-kiloton nuclear weapons. It was the last, because soon after New Zealand banned nuclear-armed and powered warship visits. Now the Government has invited a United States warship to visit the country as part of this year’s Navy 75th anniversary celebration. Could that spell the end of the nuclear free policy? There has been worried discussion on this question. The answer – based on reliable, publicly available sources – is no, not at all. If the US Navy sends a warship in November, it will be on New Zealand’s terms. The nuclear free policy is not threatened.