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The Rocky Road to Nuclear Zero R. Rajaraman Emeritus Professor of Physics Jawaharlal Nehru The Rocky Road to Nuclear Zero R. Rajaraman Emeritus Professor of Physics Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 1

Thanks Ø Let me first thank Dr Pushpalatha Bhat for inviting me to give Thanks Ø Let me first thank Dr Pushpalatha Bhat for inviting me to give this colloquium. . Ø I spent a summer here during the last millennium in my earlier Avatar as a theoretical physicist. It is nice to be back again and especially to give this talk in Wilson Hall. Ø Prof. Wilson was the Head of Newman Lab at Cornell when I was a grad student and later taught for bit there, and he was uniformly kind to me. 2

The Early Days A quick review, for completeness, with a touch of Indian perspective The Early Days A quick review, for completeness, with a touch of Indian perspective Ø The call for nuclear disarmament is as old as the nuclear era itself. Ø No sooner had the Hiroshima –Nagasaki bombings starkly confirmed the holocaust that nuclear weapons can cause, voices began to be heard seeking a ban on further development , production and use of these weapons. Ø Some of these coalesced into anti-nuclear movements, which began to sprout in the US and Europe. Prominent among them were the protests in the UK led by Bertrand Russell. Ø These concerns were shared by several physicists like Leo Szilard, originally involved in developing the weapon for fear that the Nazis might get there first. Ø The Pugwash conferences were born, as was the Bulletin of 3 Atomic Scientists with its Doomsday Clock

Ø But these movements were not strong enough to overcome the dynamics of post Ø But these movements were not strong enough to overcome the dynamics of post WW II geopolitics. The wartime alliance between the USSR and the US, very wary in the first place , came apart after the War. They began to view one another as their principal enemies. Ø This view was also tethered to ideological differences between the ”Communist” and the “Democratic/Capitalist“ way of life and government. Ø Each side was keen to prevent the other from propagating its philosophy and gaining control of large swaths of the globe. Ø In that atmosphere, once the Soviets too developed their first nuclear weapons, as had to inexorably happen , the Americans had to build some more. Meanwhile, the H bomb was also developed, Ø And the nuclear arms race was on. 4

NPT Ø By 1964, each of the P 5 --the five members of the NPT Ø By 1964, each of the P 5 --the five members of the UN Security Council with Veto powers (The US, USSR, the UK, France and China ) had developed their own nuclear arsenals. Ø Nuclear weapons became not only instruments of mutually assured destruction but also a currency of global power Ø Once they all had nukes in their pockets, the P 5, as trustees of the world’s security, decided that it was too dangerous to allow any more countries to make them and brought into being the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)in 1968 Ø NPT divided the world into the Haves and the Have-nots: Ø (i) Nuclear Weapon States(NWS), i. e. the P 5, and, Ø (ii) the rest (Non-NWS). Ø The Treaty disallowed the rest (NNWS) from acquiring the weapons, and brought in instruments of verification through IAEA safeguards 5

Ø Highly asymmetrical though this arrangement was, NPT was amazingly successful in getting 190 Ø Highly asymmetrical though this arrangement was, NPT was amazingly successful in getting 190 signatory state-parties Ø Among the carrots offered to the NNWS were Ø (a) help in developing civilian nuclear power and Ø (b) the promise by NWS (in Article VI of NPT) to "pursue negotiations. . on effective measures relating. . . to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament. . Ø Other factors that made NPT acceptable to the NNWS were: Ø (a) most were in any case developing nations without the technological base, or the economic strength to go in for nukes. Ø (b) Of the developed countries among the NNWS, a few renounced the nuclear option on principle, but many were covered by the nuclear umbrellas of the US and USSR. Ø India, Pakistan and Israel did not join the NPT. North Korea 6 withdrew in 2003

Ø Despite the assurances given in Article VI, far from taking “effective measures. . Ø Despite the assurances given in Article VI, far from taking “effective measures. . . disarmament”, the NWS kept increasing their stockpile of weapons to alarming and irrational levels. Ø During the peak of the Cold War (in the mid ‘eighties) the world had about 60, 000 nuclear weapons, enough to wipe out mankind several times over. 7

Global Nuclear arsenal 1985 About 95% of these belonged to the US and USSR Global Nuclear arsenal 1985 About 95% of these belonged to the US and USSR 8

Soviet/ Russian arsenal http: //www. nrdc. org/nuclear/nudb/dafig 10. asp 9 Soviet/ Russian arsenal http: //www. nrdc. org/nuclear/nudb/dafig 10. asp 9

The process of arms reduction Ø Mercifully, however, by 1969, even as the number The process of arms reduction Ø Mercifully, however, by 1969, even as the number of warheads kept growing, the two sides also started talks to contain the arms race. Ø These resulted in a sequence of treaties in the next 3 decades leading to concrete reduction in weapons. . Ø First came the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaties SALT I (Brezhnev-Nixon 1972) and SALT II (Brezhnev-Carter 1979) Ø By 1991, the number of warheads had come down to about 22, 000. Ø Then came the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty START I (1991) , which further lowered the number of warheads by about half, in a verifiable manner. Ø The Moscow Treaty of 2002 Ø By 2005, over 40, 000 weapons ( ≈70% of the peak cold war figure) had been consigned for dismantlement. 10 Ø This was an admirable and extremely difficult achievement,

Guillotined Airplanes 11 Guillotined Airplanes 11

Ø But beyond that, there was considerable resistance from both super powers to speedier Ø But beyond that, there was considerable resistance from both super powers to speedier reduction, despite the break-up of the Soviet Union. START II negotiations were not moving. Ø The global nuclear arsenal began to flatten out at a level that was still enough to destroy humankind several times over Ø Meanwhile, after their 1998 nuclear tests, both India and Pakistan started building their nuclear arsenals. Ø While their current arsenals are still smaller than those of the P 5, they are a source of considerable concern, given the tensions between the two nations. Ø Finally N Korea also joined the party. 12

Courtesy IPFM Report “Unmaking the Bomb” http: //fissilematerials. org/library/ipfm 14. pdf 13 Courtesy IPFM Report “Unmaking the Bomb” http: //fissilematerials. org/library/ipfm 14. pdf 13

Current Nuclear Warheads (IPFM) country warheads remarks United States ~7700 about 3000 awaiting dismantlement Current Nuclear Warheads (IPFM) country warheads remarks United States ~7700 about 3000 awaiting dismantlement Russia ~8500, about 4000 awaiting dismantlement France < 300 China ~250 United Kingdom < 225 Israel 100 – 200 Pakistan 100 – 120 14

Nuclear Terrorism and Fissile Material (FM) Security Ø Meanwhile, after 9/11, the possibility of Nuclear Terrorism and Fissile Material (FM) Security Ø Meanwhile, after 9/11, the possibility of terrorists getting hold of nuclear weapons became a major security concern, especially in the West. Ø Now, of all the various components of nuclear warheads, perhaps the most problematic ones to produce unobtrusively are the Fissile Materials --Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) and Plutonium (Pu) which form the explosive component of nuclear weapons. Ø That requires large and elaborate facilities, hard to set up and harder hide. Ø Therefore if you are a terrorist trying to make a bomb, (or a nation state doing it on the quiet) you may have to steal rather than produce the FM for it. 15

Ø Unfortunately, alongside the massive stockpile of weapons there has also been an alarming Ø Unfortunately, alongside the massive stockpile of weapons there has also been an alarming increase in FM stocks, in addition to what is inside the weapons. Ø Aside from excess un-utilized stocks in the military complexes, all civilian power reactors built to produce electricity unavoidably also produce PU 239 through the reaction n + U 238 → Pu 239. Ø This later transmute further into Pu 240, 241 and 242 --- a mixture loosely called Reactor-grade Pu Ø Weapons ideally need Pu with over 90% of 239 content, but if you settle for unreliable quality and yield, you can make one with Reactor grade Pu as well. Ø The world had accumulated almost 2000 tons of such material, worth over 150, 000 nuclear weapons , spread at multiple locations among 25 countries

Global HEU inventory Courtesy IPFM Report “Unmaking the Bomb” http: //fissilematerials. org/library/ipfm 14. pd Global HEU inventory Courtesy IPFM Report “Unmaking the Bomb” http: //fissilematerials. org/library/ipfm 14. pd 17

Break-up of HEU inventory (IPFM’s The Global Fissile Material Report 2013) HEU : Altogether Break-up of HEU inventory (IPFM’s The Global Fissile Material Report 2013) HEU : Altogether 1380 ± 125 tons (The large uncertainty comes from insufficient Russian data in the public realm) Note the white segments of eliminated HEU in Russia and the US More on this later 10, 000 warheads 18

19 19

Plutonium Stocks Altogether 495 ± 10 tons 10, 000 warheads 20 Plutonium Stocks Altogether 495 ± 10 tons 10, 000 warheads 20

FISSILE MATERIALS (FM) Ø Having 2000 tons of dispersed FM is clearly very dangerous. FISSILE MATERIALS (FM) Ø Having 2000 tons of dispersed FM is clearly very dangerous. Depending on your technological sophistication, it will take only about 4 -7 kg of Pu or about 15 -40 kg of HEU to make a warhead Ø Terrorists need only to pilfer a miniscule fraction of these 2000 tons of FM to fuel a couple of bombs. Ø As a result, the focus of the arms control community has shifted bit more towards Fissile material security. Some analysts feel that this is diverting attention from disarmament. Ø The presence of so much FM also makes any progress towards ridding the world of nuclear weapons very unstable since they make it easier for a nation to “break out” of any arms reduction agreement and re-arm itself again. 21

Future growth of FM holdings Ø The (slightly) good news is that the US. Future growth of FM holdings Ø The (slightly) good news is that the US. , Russia, UK and France have voluntarily announced a moratorium on further production of FM. China has not formally announced a moratorium but is believed to have also stopped production. Ø These countries believe they have enough foreseeable use. Ø But India and Pakistan do not, and continue to produce them. Ø Reducing stocks of FM is even more challenging than reducing stocks of weapons, which only need to be dismantled. Ø Left to themselves FM do not rot. PU has a half life of 24. 000 years and U-235 about 700 million years. Ø But you can destroy FM by inducing them to fission in reactors. Such “burning” of Pu in “Fast” reactors or as MOX fuel is being done, but their rate of consumption is too slow. Not enough reactors in the world to absorb all of it as fuel. Ø Possible shift away from nuclear energy will make this problem 22 worse

Fissile Material Control (Cut-off) Treaty (FMCT) Ø In 1993 UN General Assembly resolution called Fissile Material Control (Cut-off) Treaty (FMCT) Ø In 1993 UN General Assembly resolution called for “. . . a verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. . . ” Ø The U. N. Conf. on Disarmament in Geneva (CD) was charged with immediately commencing negotiations on an FMCT Ø But despite much discussion at the CD in the last 20 years, negotiations could not even be started on such a treaty. Ø In recent years, Pakistan has dug its heels in and explicitly declared that it is opposed to any negotiation. (The CD requires consensus, effectively giving every country a veto) 23

Hopes revived – the 4+1 Horsemen Ø Things were looking depressing for further progress Hopes revived – the 4+1 Horsemen Ø Things were looking depressing for further progress on arms control a decade back. Ø Then, in an unusual move that seemed to go against the grain of play, a distinguished quartet comprising three former Secretaries George Shultz, William Perry , and Henry Kissinger along with Senator Sam Nunn co-authored an essay in the Wall St Journal in January 2007, with a follow-up article in 2008, . Ø Soon nicknamed the Four Horsemen they called for “reversing reliance on nuclear weapons globally ……and ultimately ending them as a threat to the world”. . Ø They recommended an accelerated effort towards further disarmament by the US and Russia, placing deployed warheads on de-alert, ending fissile material production and so on – all unexceptionable steps towards a Nuclear Zero. . 24

Ø When a joint appeal is made by such senior statesmen of the strongest Ø When a joint appeal is made by such senior statesmen of the strongest nuclear power, especially men like Kissinger who are known to be hard realists, one might expect it to be taken very seriously. Ø Indeed it was. The four authors were invited by leaders and think tanks around the world to elaborate on their views Ø Besides, a new perspective has been emerging on nuclear weapons. Their utility as war-fighting instruments is being steadily discounted. Ø Opinion is growing , even among the some of the military of nuclear powers, that they would rather have more and better conventional weapons than “un-usable” nukes. Ø The four Horsemen’s proposal has also bestowed some respectability to seeking total disarmament even in hard nosed pragmatic circles, rather than be dismissed as an unrealistic dream of pacifists. 25

The Fifth Horseman who galloped even faster Ø This was followed by Mr. Obama’s The Fifth Horseman who galloped even faster Ø This was followed by Mr. Obama’s even stronger appeal to rid the world of nuclear weapons, based not just on pragmatic arguments but also on idealistic grounds Ø He began this as a campaign promise. But unlike most utopian campaign promises made around the world, President Obama began to walk the talk after assuming office. Ø His famous speech at Prague in 2009 calling for a world without nuclear weapons, was, in my view one of his most inspiring Ø “The existence of thousands of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War……. So today, I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. ” Ø Led, for the first time, by a US President in office, the vision of a nuke-free world was endorsed by other world leaders, including President Medvedyev and Britain’s PM Gordon Brown. 26

NEW START Ø On April 1 st, 2009 Medvedev and Obama jointly announced in NEW START Ø On April 1 st, 2009 Medvedev and Obama jointly announced in London that [since the ] START Treaty. . was to expire in December 2009, they “decided to …. . work out a new, comprehensive, agreement to replace the START Treaty” Ø Both sides worked strenuously to complete the negotiations fast, and the NEW START treaty was signed at Prague by Presidents Obama and Medvedev on April 8 th, 2010 Ø The treaty's duration was to be ten years, with 27 an option of extending it once for five years.

Key Arms Reduction Goals of NEW START Ø A limit of 700 deployed delivery Key Arms Reduction Goals of NEW START Ø A limit of 700 deployed delivery vehicles each comprising ICBMs, SLBM (submarinelaunched ballistic missiles) and nuclear armed bombers. Ø Limit of 1, 550 warheads each. Each warhead on deployed ICBMs and SLBMs counted as one, toward this limit Ø This limit is 74% lower than the limit of the 1991 START Treaty and 30% lower than the Moscow Treaty. 28

But, Ø Each deployed bomber equipped for nuclear armaments counts as only one warhead But, Ø Each deployed bomber equipped for nuclear armaments counts as only one warhead (sic !) Ø the Treaty does not limit development of Missile Defense Ø Nor cover tactical nuclear weapons. There are literally thousands of these in the world, the majority in Russia. Ø This treaty says nothing about weapons that are stored in a stockpile. In principle, they would be ready to be re-deployed, if either side walks out of the Treaty, which is permissible. 29

Nuclear Security Summits Ø On a different front, President Obama hosted In 2010 a Nuclear Security Summits Ø On a different front, President Obama hosted In 2010 a summit at Washington DC, to address the securing of fissile materials. Ø As a political and diplomatic event it was a great success. Heads of almost all nations, including non-NPT states came to the Summit. I believe such a summit of 47 world leaders had not taken place in Washington for decades. Ø Until then, the security of Fissile Materials was hardly the stuff of Global Summits. -- viewed as a technical matter best left to experts and officials. Nor was it of great public concern Ø The Obama initiative raised the consciousness of world leaders to the gravity of the dangers posed by FM stocks. Ø It was a cordial summit with unanimous declarations supporting President Obama’s call for greater FM security. Ø A second such Summit was held at Seoul in 2012 and a third last year at The Hague. The next Summit (perhaps the last in 30 that series) is planned for 2016

Some success Ø The success of the Summits was more than just “optics” – Some success Ø The success of the Summits was more than just “optics” – the spectacle of so many world leaders converging to discuss nuclear security. There were also concrete outcomes. Ø Countries were encouraged to reduce dependence on HEU as much as possible. Many nations offered “Gift Baskets” of voluntary commitments to reduce their civilian HEU and Pu stocks by returning them to their original donor sources or downgrading / turning into MOX fuel their HEU stocks. Ø As a result, the number of countries possessing HEU has come down from 53 in 2003 to 25 today. Ø These Summits also strengthened the hands of IAEA 31 , national agencies and NGOs devoted to this effort.

Megatons to Megawatts Program Ø Last year the US and Russia completed a 20 Megatons to Megawatts Program Ø Last year the US and Russia completed a 20 year process of down-blending 500 tons of Russia’s 'surplus' (HEU) from nuclear disarmament and military stockpiles, and selling it to the US, which then uses them for its civilian reactors Ø As a result of all these steps, the worldwide stock of HEU has come down from ≈1725 tons in mid 2006 to ≈1350 tons by 2012 32

Ø While these Summits were a success within their own stated objective -- to Ø While these Summits were a success within their own stated objective -- to strengthen nuclear Safety and Security of nuclear materials, we must not forget that in the larger scheme of things that mandate was very limited. Ø The Summit did not even consider Ø a) Sharing their S&S measures for Peer review Ø b) Declaring existing stocks of NM without/with verification Ø c) Stopping further production Ø d) Reducing the accumulated stocks of FM, let alone Ø e) Reducing arsenal of weapons (disarmament) Ø All these larger, contentious issues avoided. Ø In fairness, that was all that the market could have taken. 33

Nuclear Summits --- a reality check Ø The Security Summits were welcome examples of Nuclear Summits --- a reality check Ø The Security Summits were welcome examples of pursuing “the possible”. But in the process, they have also offered a reality check. Ø Despite verbal support by amny governments to “A world without nuclear weapons”, “Global Zero” etc. after 2008, Ø the ground reality is that, there is no universal acceptance at present on even the smallest of steps towards auditing, capping, eliminating fissile materials, let alone weapons. Ø So, the danger is that the Summits may have induced a disproportionate sense of progress, and diverted attention away from the far more serious but intractable tasks of FM Control and nuclear disarmament. 34

Ø Indeed, things do not look promising for further progress on disarmament. Ø In Ø Indeed, things do not look promising for further progress on disarmament. Ø In the past 5 years, aside from the Iran Deal, none of the further steps towards Nuclear Zero have materialized. Ø Ratification of CTBT by the US , hoped for from the start of the Obama presidency, has not materialized. Ø FMCT remains at a standoff in Geneva, given the consensus rule at the CD and Pakistan’s officially expressed objections to engaging even in discussion on the Treaty. Ø The logistical support the US needed till recently from Pakistan on the Afghan front has reduced the former’s ability to “persuade” Pakistan to come back to the table on FMCT. Ø Attempts to negotiate some form of FMCT outside the CD has also not borne fruit so far. Ø Meanwhile India and Pakistan continue to produce more Fissile Materials every year, and are presumably also weaponising it. Ø North Korea has shown no inclination to stop further weaponization or production of missiles to deliver them 35

Ø US-Russia relations are far less cordial than in 200910 after Crimea and Ukraine. Ø US-Russia relations are far less cordial than in 200910 after Crimea and Ukraine. Ø US continues to seek BMD ballistic missile defenses against North Korea, and perhaps also the Middle. East but Russians fear such defenses could (and may be intended to) weaken the Russian nuclear deterrent Ø The impression is that many Russians continue to recall the international respect they gained as one of the two superpowers more clearly than they recall the accompanying problems of that bygone era. A more assertive Russia finds much domestic support. Ø This constituency may not seek reversal of arms reductions but will go along with maintaining nuclear muscularity. Prospects of further arms reductions 36 seem dim, to me, as things stand now.

“ 999 Warheads” Ø However, deeper US-Russia arms reduction at this stage is crucial “ 999 Warheads” Ø However, deeper US-Russia arms reduction at this stage is crucial for moving towards Nuclear Zero. Until the US-Russian arsenals come down to three figures, any hope of persuading other countries to disarm is dim. Ø Using department store marketing wisdom, I would set “ 999 warheads” each as the slogan for the next urgent goal Ø This is quite feasible, consistent with security needs. Dr. Sid Drell and Ambassador Goodby have described how the US arsenal can be brought down to just 500 deployed weapons. Ø As the reductions proceed, other nuclear nations could, regional conflicts permitting, be persuaded to disarm in some coordinated proportionate manner. Ø The US and Russia would have much greater moral authority then to seek such reduction by the smaller nuclear powers. Ø Nuclear weapons, already recognized as having little use in real warfighting, should also be devalued as status symbols, 37

Ø On the other hand if there is no deeper reduction for another ten Ø On the other hand if there is no deeper reduction for another ten years, Ø and possession of nuclear weapons is not debunked as a symbol of power and prestige, Ø several other developing nations, which are approaching the required technological and financial capability, may well decide that they too wish to sit at the “High Table”. Ø Not only will that increase the danger of accidents and hasty use of nuclear weapons, it will also make Nuclear Zero all the more distant. 38

Ø THANK YOU 39 Ø THANK YOU 39