Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

October 2014 Nuclear Security Brief – Nuclear Materials Security and Other News

Nov. 03, 2014

Prepared by Nickolas Roth

NRC Chair announces she is stepping down, "notable progress" in security at Y-12, unmanned drones over French nuclear plants, and more.

Highlights:

  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair, Allison Macfarlane, announces she is stepping down.
  • An inspection of security at the Y-12 nuclear weapons production facility found “notable progress.”
  • Unidentified unmanned drones flew illegally over five French power plants nuclear

U.S.-Russian Nuclear Security Cooperation

  • Speaking about U.S. nuclear cooperation with Russia, National Nuclear Security Administration Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, Anne Harrington, said “There’s no way to avoid the impact of our geo-political relationship with Russia right now on some of our programs. But I think to the credit of both countries we have remained fully committed, especially to the third-country removal and bringing that material back to Russia. So that work is proceeding, I’m very happy to say.” (Atomic City Underground, 10/26/14)
  • Despite increasing tension between the two countries, Rosatom and the U.S. Department of Energy held a meeting to discuss converting Russian research reactors from using highly enriched uranium to low enriched uranium. (International Panel on Fissile Materials, 10/31/14)
  • Vadim Mikerin, General Director of a U.S.-based Rosatom-owned company, and three Americans were charged with taking bribes to divert contracts related to the U.S.-Russian HEU purchase agreement. (U.S. Attorney’s Office, 10/31/14)

Nuclear Security Funding

Security for Nuclear Weapons and Materials

  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair, Allison Macfarlane, announces she is stepping down. (10/21/14, NRC News)
  • As part of its new Force Improvement Program established to address issues related to low morale, the Air Force has created a new Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal. (Great Falls Tribune, 10/13/2014)

Threats & Vulnerabilities

  • The Islamic State commander “Omar the Chechen” called his father to say he would be coming home to “show the Russians.” According to the father, Omar said “I have many thousands following me now and I’ll get more. We’ll have our revenge against Russia.”  (Bloomberg,10/9/14)
  • Unidentified unmanned drones flew illegally over five French nuclear power plants. (Reuters, 11/1/14)

Nuclear Smuggling

For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: October 2014 Nuclear Security Brief – Nuclear Materials Security and Other News.” Nuclear Security Matters, November 3, 2014, https://nuclearsecuritymatters.belfercenter.org/publication/october-2014-nuclear-security-brief-nuclear-materials-security-and-other-news.