Latest Posts

Satellite Database Update: More than 3,300 Active Satellites Orbiting the Earth

, senior scientist

An updated version of the UCS Satellite Database, which includes launches through December 31, 2020, is now available on the UCS website. This update includes the addition to the database of 651 satellites and the removal of 66, for a total of 3,372 active satellites. Commercial satellites continue to take a larger share of space; currently 78% of US satellites are commercially-owned. With this version of the Database, Starlink has more than 900 satellites in orbit, or 26% of the operational satellite population.
Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Why a National Day of Remembrance for Downwinders is Not Enough

Lilly Adams , UCS

Peaceful Demonstration with Trinity Downwinders at the Trinity Site Open House in New Mexico, ( L-R): Tina Cordova and Laura Greenwood. Trinity downwinders have been fighting for inclusion in the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act for over 15 years. Source: Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium.

There’s no question that the US government killed and sickened many of its own people through explosive nuclear testing: estimates of the death toll in the United States from nuclear testing vary widely, from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. But the harm doesn’t stop there. Other nuclear weapons activities, like uranium mining, production, and waste storage and cleanup, have also caused unknown deaths and illnesses. As is so often the case, the people who have borne the heaviest burden of these activities are often people of color, Indigenous communities, women and children, and those living in poor, rural communities. These people are the largely ignored, often forgotten casualties of the Cold War and the US nuclear weapons program.  

Read more >

Bookmark and Share

The Unheard Voices of the Cuban Missile Crisis

Daniel Puentes , UCS

The beginning of 2021 marks a prominent time in the world of arms control. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) enters into force today, January 22, 2021. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is set to expire on February 5, 2021. Both the Biden administration and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs have expressed their wish to extend New START unconditionally for five years, signaling the US and Russia’s commitment to arms control. Most people don’t know that over 58 years ago, another important event in nuclear security occurred in January 1963: the formal end to the Cuban Missile Crisis, also known as the October Crisis. While those fateful 13 days (October 16–28, 1962) brought the world near the brink of a thermonuclear war, danger persisted for the remainder of the year. This event was one of the dangerous periods in recent history.
Read more >

Bookmark and Share

The TPNW, Equity, and Transforming the Nuclear Community: An Interview with Nuclear Scholar Dr. Aditi Verma

, senior scientist

In anticipation of the entry into force of the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on Friday, I had the honor of corresponding with Dr. Aditi Verma, a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard University Belfer Center’s Project on Managing the Atom and the International Security Program.  Dr. Verma, who holds undergraduate and doctoral degrees in Nuclear Science and Engineering from MIT, is broadly interested in how nuclear technologies can be designed in collaboration with publics such that traditionally excluded perspectives can be brought into these design processes. She’s one of the five authors of the essay, “A call for antiracist action and accountability in the US nuclear community.”

Read more >

Bookmark and Share