What is the Balance of Terror?

Introduction The phrase “balance of terror” is usually, but not invariably, used in reference to the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Refer to Mutual Assured Destruction. Outline It describes the tenuous peace that existed between the two countries as a result of both governments being… Read More


What was the Frisch-Peierls Memorandum?

Introduction The Frisch-Peierls memorandum was the first technical exposition of a practical nuclear weapon. It was written by expatriate German-Jewish physicists Otto Frisch and Rudolf Peierls in March 1940 while they were both working for Mark Oliphant at the University of Birmingham in Britain during World War II. The memorandum contained the first calculations about… Read More

What is a Cobalt Bomb?

Introduction A cobalt bomb is a type of “salted bomb”: a nuclear weapon designed to produce enhanced amounts of radioactive fallout, intended to contaminate a large area with radioactive material, potentially for the purpose of radiological warfare, mutual assured destruction or as doomsday devices. Brief History The concept of a cobalt bomb was originally described… Read More

A Brief Overview of US Military Nuclear Incident Terminology

Introduction The United States Armed Forces uses a number of terms to define the magnitude and extent of nuclear and radiation accidents and incidents in order to reduce the time taken to report the type of incident, thus streamlining the radio communications in the wake of the event. Origin United States Department of Defence directive… Read More

RAF Lakenheath Nuclear Near-Disasters

Introduction RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, one of several air bases in the United Kingdom (UK) used by the United States Air Force (USAF) to store nuclear weapons during the Cold War, was the site of two nuclear near-disasters, in 1956 and 1961. Two incidents involving aircraft crashes and subsequent fires causing damage to nuclear weapons… Read More

Developing a New Method to Confirm the Absence or Presence of Nuclear Weapons & Fissile Materials

Research Paper Title A physical unclonable neutron sensor for nuclear arms control inspections. Background Classical sensor security relies on cryptographic algorithms executed on trusted hardware. This approach has significant shortcomings, however. Hardware can be manipulated, including below transistor level, and cryptographic keys are at risk of extraction attacks. A further weakness is that sensor media… Read More

What is the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty?

Introduction The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a multilateral treaty that bans all nuclear tests, for both civilian and military purposes, in all environments. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 September 1996, but has not entered into force, as eight specific nations have not ratified the treaty. Brief History The… Read More