FAS Roundup: January 16, 2012
Implications of assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist for Tehran’s nuclear program, musings about EMP, nuclear pursuits in 2012 and much more.
From the Blogs
- Radiation and Pregnancy: Can we expect to see legions of children born with birth defects in the aftermath of a radiological attack? True – radiation can cause birth defects and it has been shown to induce mutations in animals. But the amount of radiation required to cause birth defects in humans is substantial.
- After the Pulse-Musings About EMP: Recently, there has been a flurry of commentary regarding the potential of an EMP attack against the United States by a terrorist group or rogue nuclear nation. Dr. Y gives a brief overview of EMP and discusses the plausibility of this scenario on the ScienceWonk blog.
- The End of the World (as we know it?): The world is still here. It didn’t end on May 21 as predicted by Harold Camping and it also didn’t end on the date of his revised prophecy – October 21. No matter how convincingly the argument is made, it seems that the world is determined to end at some unpredictable time in the future. The predicted reasons for the end of the world tend to fall into three categories: divine reasons, “scientific” reasons, and human reasons.
- Back to Basics-Radiation Units: Dr. Y analyzes what radiation safety units really mean and gives a feel for levels that are considered normal, interesting, or alarming on the ScienceWonk blog.
- Nuclear Pursuits, 2012: Hans M. Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project, and Dr. Robert S. Norris, senior fellow for Nuclear Policy, highlight key milestones and facts regarding the nuclear pursuits of the first five states to develop nuclear weapons—the United States, the Soviet Union and Russia, Britain, France, and China in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
- Killing Iranian Nuclear Scientists is Counterproductive and Wrong: Dr. Ali Vaez, director of the Iran Project, and FAS President Dr. Charles Ferguson write in The Atlantic that the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Rowshan on January 11, 2012 makes nuclear negotiations more difficult and a nuclear Iran more likely.
- FAS President Charles Ferguson was interviewed for a new documentary for Frontlineregarding implications for U.S. nuclear safety after the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in Japan. The documentary will air on PBS on Tuesday, January 17, 2012. Please check your local listings for air times of “Nuclear Aftershocks” on your PBS station.
Volunteer Opportunity for DC Members
- FAS will have a booth at the 2nd Annual USA Science and Engineering Festival which will be held on April 28-29 in Washington, DC. We are looking for volunteers to staff our booth-come share your knowledge and career experiences with festival attendees! If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Melanie Stegman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAS in the News
- Jan 13: Reuters, “West Sceptical of Iranian Nuclear Cooperation”
- Jan 13: Science, “Retrospective: Paul Mead Doty (1920 – 2011)”
- Jan 8: Seattle Times, “Plan for New Navy Wharf at Bangor Fires Up Nuke Debate”