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[en] This dissertation focuses on the current debate in international relations literature over the risks associated with the proliferation of nuclear weapons. On this subject, IR scholars are divided into roughly two schools: proliferation 'optimists,' who argue that proliferation can be beneficial and that its associated hazards are at least surmountable, and proliferation 'pessimists,' who believe the opposite. This debate centers upon a theoretical disagreement about how best to explain and predict the behavior of states. Optimists generally ground their arguments on rational deterrence theory and maintain that nuclear weapons can actually increase stability among states, while pessimists often ground their arguments on 'organization theory,' which contends that organizational, bureaucratic, and other factors prevent states from acting rationally. A major difficulty with the proliferation debate, however, is that both sides tend to advance their respective theoretical positions without adequately supporting them with solid empirical evidence. This dissertation detailed analyses of the nuclear programs in the United States, Russia, China, India, and Pakistan to determine whether countries with nuclear weapons have adequate controls over their nuclear arsenals and tissue material stockpiles (such as highly enriched uranium and plutonium). These case studies identify the strengths and weaknesses of different systems of nuclear controls and help predict what types of controls proliferating states are likely to employ. On the basis of the evidence gathered from these cases, this dissertation concludes that a further spread of nuclear weapons would tend to have seriously negative effects on international stability by increasing risks of accidental, unauthorized, or inadvertent use of nuclear weapons and risks of thefts of fissile materials for use in nuclear or radiological devices by aspiring nuclear states or terrorist groups. (author)
[en] A series of studies by the Air Force, the National Reconnaissance Office and NASA have identified the critical role played by large optics in fulfilling many of the space related missions of these agencies. Whether it is the Next Generation Space Telescope for NASA, high resolution imaging systems for NRO, or beam weaponry for the Air Force, the diameter of the primary optic is central to achieving high resolution (imaging) or a small spot size on target (lethality). While the detailed requirements differ for each application (high resolution imaging over the visible and near-infrared for earth observation, high damage threshold but single-wavelength operation for directed energy), the challenges of a large, lightweight primary optic which is space compatible and operates with high efficiency are the same. The advantage of such large optics to national surveillance applications is that it permits these observations to be carried-out with much greater effectiveness than with smaller optics. For laser weapons, the advantage is that it permits more tightly focused beams which can be leveraged into either greater effective range, reduced laser power, and/or smaller on-target spot-sizes; weapon systems can be made either much more effective or much less expensive. This application requires only single-wavelength capability, but places an emphasis upon robust, rapidly targetable optics. The advantages of large aperture optics to astronomy are that it increases the sensitivity and resolution with which we can view the universe. This can be utilized either for general purpose astronomy, allowing us to examine greater numbers of objects in more detail and at greater range, or it can enable the direct detection and detailed examination of extra-solar planets. This application requires large apertures (for both light-gathering and resolution reasons), with broad-band spectral capability, but does not emphasize either large fields-of-view or pointing agility. Despite differences in their requirements and implementations, the fundamental difficulty in utilizing large aperture optics is the same for all of these applications: It is extremely difficult to design large aperture space optics which are both optically precise and can meet the practical requirements for launch and deployment in space. At LLNL we have developed a new concept (Eyeglass) which uses large diffractive optics to solve both of these difficulties; greatly reducing both the mass and the tolerance requirements for large aperture optics. During previous LDRD-supported research, we developed this concept, built and tested broadband diffractive telescopes, and built 50 cm aperture diffraction-limited diffractive lenses (the largest in the world). This work is fully described in UCRL-ID--136262, Eyeglass: A Large Aperture Space Telescope. However, there is a large gap between optical proof-of-principle with sub-meter apertures, and actual 50 meter space telescopes. This gap is far too large (both in financial resources and in spacecraft expertise) to be filled internally at LLNL; implementation of large aperture diffractive space telescopes must be done externally using non-LLNL resources and expertise. While LLNL will never become the primary contractor and integrator for large space optical systems, our natural role is to enable these devices by developing the capability of producing very large diffractive optics. Accordingly, the purpose of the Large Aperture, Lightweight Space Optics Strategic Initiative was to develop the technology to fabricate large, lightweight diffractive lenses. The additional purpose of this Strategic Initiative was, of course, to demonstrate this lens-fabrication capability in a fashion compellingly enough to attract the external support necessary to continue along the path to full-scale space-based telescopes. During this 3 year effort (FY2000-FY2002) we have developed the capability of optically smoothing and diffractively-patterning thin meter-sized sheets of glass into lens panels. We have also developed alignment and seaming techniqu es which allow individual lens panels to be assembled together, forming a much larger, segmented, diffractive lens. The capabilities provided by this LDRD-supported developmental effort were then demonstrated by the fabrication and testing of a lightweight, 5 meter aperture, diffractive lens
[en] Biological agents are unique class of microorganisms which can be used to produce the disease in large populations of humans, animals and plants. If used for hostile purposes, any disease-causing microorganism could be considered a weapon. The use of biological agents is not a new concept and history is replete with examples of biological weapon use. Before the twenty century, biological warfare took on three main forms by deliberate poisoning of food and water with infectious material, use of microorganisms or toxins in some form of weapon system, and use of biologically inoculated fabrics. Four kinds of biological warfare agents are bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae, fungi. These are distinguished by being living organisms, that reproduce within their host victims, who then become contagious with a deadly multiplier effect, bacteria, viruses, or fungi or toxin found in nature can be used to kill or injure people. Biological agents may be used for an isolated assassination, as well as to cause incapacitation or death to thousands. These biological agents represent a dangerous military threat because they are alive, and are therefore unpredictable and uncontrollable once released. The act of bioterrorism can range from a simple hoax to the actual use of biological weapons. Biological agents have the potential to make an environment more dangerous over time. If the environment is contaminated, a long-term threat to the population could be created. This paper discusses common biological agents, their mode of action in living organisms and possible impact on the environment. (author)
[en] In view of the threat to Canadian domestic targets presented by the asymmetric use of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) weapons of mass destruction (WMD), this thesis examines whether the Canadian Forces (CF) has capability deficiencies in managing the consequences of such an attack. Research included an examination of the post Cold War strategic environment, the state of the art in CBRN technology, current concepts and experience in managing the consequences of major disasters and responsibilities at the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government. The methodology used included scenario based planning to develop circumstances where WMD might be used domestically, and decomposition to break down the scenarios into events and potential CF roles and tasks. The current CF structure was used to determine the probable CF response, which included the ability of CF units to perform the required tasks, the CF response time and the ability of the CF to sustain the operation. (author)
[en] This summer 2020 marks a sad commemoration: the 75. anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. Pierre Papon, who has a book coming out in mid-September on the role of science in the democracies, looks back at this event which saw human beings drop the first atomic bomb, occasioning between 155,000 and 250,000 mainly civilian deaths, depending on the various estimates. After reminding us of the premonitory writings of H.G. Wells on the discovery and use of an atom bomb, and of the Manhattan Project, which led to the development of nuclear weapons, Papon underscores the reaction both in the scientific community and also from thinkers like Albert Camus to the use of those weapons. He looks back too at the decisions taken by states over the years to restrict the proliferation of nuclear weapons, but many questions remain in that regard about the motivations of - and measures taken by - the nuclear powers to achieve lasting arms control
[en] This report is the latest in a continuing series that highlights the recent technical accomplishments associated with the work being performed within the Materials and Process Sciences Center. Our research and development activities primarily address the materials-engineering needs of Sandia's Nuclear-Weapons (NW) program. In addition, we have significant efforts that support programs managed by the other laboratory business units. Our wide range of activities occurs within six thematic areas: Materials Aging and Reliability, Scientifically Engineered Materials, Materials Processing, Materials Characterization, Materials for Microsystems, and Materials Modeling and Simulation. We believe these highlights collectively demonstrate the importance that a strong materials-science base has on the ultimate success of the NW program and the overall DOE technology portfolio
[en] The Stockpile Stewardship Program (SSP) is a single, highly integrated technical program for maintaining the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile. The SSP uses past nuclear test data along with current and future nonnuclear test data, computational modeling and simulation, and experimental facilities to advance understanding of nuclear weapons. It includes stockpile surveillance, experimental research, development and engineering programs, and an appropriately scaled production capability to support stockpile requirements. This integrated national program requires the continued use of current facilities and programs along with new experimental facilities and computational enhancements to support these programs. The Advanced Simulation and Computing Program (ASC) is a cornerstone of the SSP, providing simulation capabilities and computational resources to support the annual stockpile assessment and certification, to study advanced nuclear-weapons design and manufacturing processes, to analyze accident scenarios and weapons aging, and to provide the tools to enable Stockpile Life Extension Programs (SLEPs) and the resolution of Significant Finding Investigations (SFIs). This requires a balanced resource, including technical staff, hardware, simulation software, and computer science solutions. In its first decade, the ASC strategy focused on demonstrating simulation capabilities of unprecedented scale in three spatial dimensions. In its second decade, ASC is focused on increasing its predictive capabilities in a three-dimensional simulation environment while maintaining the support to the SSP. The program continues to improve its unique tools for solving progressively more difficult stockpile problems (focused on sufficient resolution, dimensionality and scientific details); to quantify critical margins and uncertainties (QMU); and to resolve increasingly difficult analyses needed for the SSP. Moreover, ASC has restructured its business model from one that was very successful in delivering an initial capability to one that is integrated and focused on requirements driven products that address long-standing technical questions related to enhanced predictive capability in the simulation tools. ASC must continue to meet three objectives: Objective 1. Robust Tools--Develop robust models, codes, and computational techniques to support stockpile needs such as refurbishments, SFIs, LEPs, annual assessments, and evolving future requirements. Objective 2. Prediction through Simulation--Deliver validated physics and engineering tools to enable simulations of nuclear-weapons performances in a variety of operational environments and physical regimes and to enable risk informed decisions about the performance, safety, and reliability of the stockpile. Objective 3. Balanced Operational Infrastructure--Implement a balanced computing platform acquisition strategy and operational infrastructure to meet Directed Stockpile Work (DSW) and SSP needs for capacity and high-end simulation capabilities
[en] The threat of nuclear terrorism has become a global concern. Many countries continue to make efforts to strengthen nuclear security by enhancing systems of nuclear material protection, control, and accounting (MPC and A). Though MPC and A systems can significantly upgrade nuclear security, they do not eliminate the 'human factor.' Gen. Eugene Habiger, a former 'Assistant Secretary for Safeguards and Security' at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) nuclear-weapons complex and a former commander of U.S. strategic nuclear forces, has observed that 'good security is 20% equipment and 80% people.' Although eliminating the 'human factor' is not possible, accounting for and mitigating the risk of the insider threat is an essential element in establishing an effective nuclear security culture. This paper will consider the organizational role in mitigating the risk associated with the malicious insider through monitoring and enhancing human reliability and motivation as well as enhancing the nuclear security culture.
[en] One of the key factors in the verification of future nuclear disarmament treaties will be the confirmation, by a monitoring party, that declared treaty limited items (TLIs) are consistent with the declaration made by the host country.A significant part of this confirmation may be supplied by a radiation measurement system that confirms the declared radiation characteristics of the TLI. These radiation measurements can take the form of measuring declared characteristics (or attributes) of the TLI, comparing declared TLIs with a pre-existing template, or some combination of the two techniques. Treaties covering TLI dismantlement form an important subset of general disarmament treaties. In a dismantlement scenario, the confirmation radiation measurements can be performed either before or after the TLI is dismantled (or at both times). Pre-dismantlement measurement may generate additional confidence that the item is truly a TLI but may be technically challenging, while post-dismantlement measurement can offer additional confidence that the dismantled item was truly the declared TLI. Since repeated measurement increases monitoring party confidence and there are technical advantages to both measurement times, a combination of pre-dismantlement and post-dismantlement measurement will lead to the highest overall confidence. The relative importance of the two types of measurement is directly dependent on the specifics of the treaty under discussion.