North Korea’s nuclear build-up continues. Vladimir Putin announced on March 1 that Russia had developed new nuclear weapons—an announcement timed, no doubt, to one-up the US Nuclear Posture Review, which was released in February. Amid developments such as these, some observers worry that nuclear weapons are back, big time.
Read more: To prevent nuclear war, borrow from 1973
Currently, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is considering India’s application for membership. In this context NSG members are reportedly discussing membership criteria for states not party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), including a requirement for clear and strict separation of current and future civilian nuclear facilities from non-civilian nuclear facilities. In this paper, John Carlson examines India’s Separation Plan and safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and shows that they do not meet this standard – that current arrangements create an unverified grey zone between military and civilian material, and are not sufficient to verify that India is not using safeguarded material to benefit military purposes.
Read more: India’s Nuclear Safeguards: Not Fit for Purpose