Monitoring nuclear weapons1

  • Pat Norris
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


America’s first space program was to develop surveillance satellites to monitor the nuclear arsenals of the Soviet Union and its allies. Although the Cold War has ended, nuclear weapons remain a threat to world peace and surveillance satellites are still an important tool in monitoring them. A recent US policy statement on the subject stated that “The threat of nuclear war has become remote but the risk of nuclear attack has increased”.2 An all-out nuclear exchange between the USA and Russia looks very unlikely, but nuclear weapons are now held by nine countries, some in areas of the world where the threat of war is high. 3 Recent calculations suggest that a nuclear war between regional powers could cause a decade-long global winter, with a death toll of about a billion (mostly among those who live on marginal food supplies).4


International Atomic Energy Agency Nuclear Weapon Satellite Imagery Nuclear Facility Action Team 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Gates R. M. (2010) Nuclear Posture Review Report,US Department of Defense, April, Preface.Google Scholar
  2. Robock A. and Toon O. B. (2010) Local Nuclear War, Global Suffering, Scientific American,January, 302(1), 60–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. IAEA Secretariat (2006) Strengthening the Effectiveness and Improving the Efficiency of the Safeguards System Including Implementation of Additional Protocols (Vienna, Austria: IAEA), GC(50)2, August 7th.Google Scholar
  4. IAEA Secretariat (2009) Annual Report 2008(Vienna, Austria: IAEA), GC(53)7, September.Google Scholar
  5. Broad W. J. (2010) Research Reactors a Safety Challenge, New York Times,April 13th, New York Edition, D3.Google Scholar
  6. Bathke C. G. et al.(2009) The Attractiveness of Materials in Advanced Nuclear Fuel Cycles for Various Proliferation and Theft Scenarios, Proceedings of Global 2009,Paris, France, September 6–11th, Paper 9543.Google Scholar
  7. Rhodes R. (1986) The Making of the Atomic Bomb(New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks).Google Scholar
  8. Collins G. P. (2007) Kim's Big Fizzle: The Physics behind a Nuclear Dud, Scientific American, 296(1), 8–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fischer D. (1997) History of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the First Forty Years(Vienna, Austria: IAEA).Google Scholar
  10. Kleiner K. (2009) Mind What You Say on your Mobile, New Scientist,December 18th. Langewiesche W. (2005) The Wrath of Khan: How A. Q. Khan Made Pakistan a Nuclear Power and Showed that the Spread of Atomic Weapons Can't Be Stopped, The Atlantic, 296(4), 62–85.Google Scholar
  11. Rashid A. (2009) Descent into Chaos: The World's Most Unstable Region and the Threat to Global Security(London: Penguin Books).Google Scholar
  12. Posen B. R. (2000) US Security Policy in a Nuclear-Armed World, or What If Iraq Had Had Nuclear Weapons, in Utgoff V. A. (ed.), The Coming Crisis: Nuclear Proliferation, US Interests, and World 0rder(Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).Google Scholar
  13. Broad W. J. and Sanger D. (2007) With Eye on Iran, Rivals Also Want Nuclear Power, New York Times,April 15th, Late Edition—Final, 1,1.Google Scholar
  14. Goldberg J. (2009) How Iran Could Save the Middle East, The Atlantic,July/August.Google Scholar
  15. Ben-David A. (2010) Ballistic Boost: Iran Displays New Rocket Mock-Up, but Views Differ on its Potential Threat, Aviation Week & Space Technology,February 15th, 33–34.Google Scholar
  16. Opall-Rome B. (2010) Israeli Missile Experts: Simorgh Sets Iran on Path to ICBM, Space News,February 15th, 14.Google Scholar
  17. Albright D. and Brannon P. (2010) Suspect Reactor Construction Site in Eastern Syria: The Site of the September 6 Israeli Raid? The Institute for Science and International Security, October 23rd, available online at Publications/SuspectSite_24October2007.pdf.
  18. Reed T. C. and Stillman D. B. (2009) The Nuclear Express: A Political History of the Bomb and its Proliferation(Minneapolis, MN: Zenith Press).Google Scholar
  19. Norris P. (2007) Spies in the Sky(Chichester, UK: Springer-Praxis).Google Scholar
  20. Covault C. (2007e) Spy vs. Spy: Israeli Space-Based Radar Set for Indian Launch as Pentagon's New Commercial Recon Poised for Vandenberg Flight, Aviation Week & Space Technology,September 17th, 28–30.Google Scholar
  21. Opall-Rome B. (2009) Ofeq-8 Nearing Launch, Ofeq-9 Stalled, Space News,November 16th, A3.Google Scholar
  22. Harris R. (2009) Remote Sensing Policy,in Warner T., Ellis M., and Foody G. (eds), The SAGE Handbook of Remote Sensing(London: SAGE Publications), 2, 18–29.Google Scholar
  23. Prober R. (2003) Shutter Control: Confronting Tomorrow's Technology with Yesterday's Regulations, Journal of Law and Politics,Spring, 19, 203–252.Google Scholar
  24. Pirard T. (2007) Taïwan: cap sur l'autonomie spatial, Air & Cosmos, November 9th, 2099, 32.Google Scholar
  25. de Selding P. B. (2007a) France Sets its Sights on an Operational Elint System, Space News,June 18th.Google Scholar
  26. Avenhaus R., Kyriakopoulos N., Michel M., and Stein G. (eds) (2006) Verifying Treaty Compliance: Limiting Weapons of Mass Destruction and Monitoring Kyoto Protocol Provisions(Berlin-Heidelberg: Springer).Google Scholar
  27. Leslie R., Riggs P., Bragini V., Truong Q., Neville R., and Staenz K. (2002) Satellite Imagery for Safeguards Purposes: Utility of Panchromatic and Multispectral Imagery for Verification of Remote Uranium Mines, Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management,June, 23–27.Google Scholar
  28. IAEA Secretariat (2007) IAEA Safeguards: Staying Ahead of the Game(Vienna, Austria: IAEA), July.Google Scholar
  29. Niemeyer I. (2009) Perspectives of Satellite Imagery Analysis for Verifying the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,in Jasani B., Niemeyer I., Nussbaum S., Richter B., and Stein D. (eds), International Safeguards and Satellite Imagery: Key Features of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Computer-Based Analysis(Berlin-Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pat Norris
    • 1
  1. 1.ByfleetUK

Personalised recommendations