US nuclear tests were discussed at a meeting between senior officials representing top national security agencies in America according to the Washi
US nuclear tests were discussed at a meeting between senior officials representing top national security agencies in America according to the Washington Post. North Korea is the only country to have tested nuclear weapons this century.
Stephen Herzog, a fellow at Harvard University’s Project on Managing the Atom, told Express.co.uk the decision to resume nuclear testing in Nevada “would serve as a green light for China, Russia and other nuclear powers to follow suit”.
The former US Department of Energy nuclear testing specialist, Mr Herzog, said: “The result would be a more dangerous world in terms of arms racing and modernisation of nuclear weapons.”
Mr Herzog said the Trump administration apparently believe a “rapid nuclear test” could scare China and Russia into offering concessions in nuclear arms control.
He described how the opposite would be more likely to happen if the US were to go ahead with nuclear testing and said: “Beijing and Moscow would become less willing to negotiate with Washington and would consider conducting their own nuclear tests.
“And for what? A fully instrumented nuclear test with scientific merit would take the US around 18 months to prepare.
“A ‘rapid nuclear test’ as proposed could take place in a matter of months, but it would be crude and lack benefits for maintaining or modernizing the US arsenal.”
The nuclear gamble will hit the presidential campaign leading up to the American election which will take place at the start of November.
President Donald Trump and former Vice-President Joe Biden, the current presumptive Democratic nominee, have been campaigning during the coronavirus pandemic.
READ MORE: World War 3 MAPPED: The SIX places where WW3 could break out in 2020
Mr Herzog said: “Moving toward a nuclear test could particularly damage Trump’s electability in Nevada, where a test would be conducted, and in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah home to communities of ‘downwinders’.”
Downwinders are people affected by radioactive contamination from past nuclear tests in the US.
Mr Herzog added: “New Mexico is expected to vote for Joe Biden, but Arizona and Nevada are battleground states.
“Utah has a long history of supporting Republican presidential candidates. The loss of any of these states could swing the election in favour of Biden.
“Americans have a lot of other issues to consider, including the COVID-19 pandemic, structural racism and police brutality, and a flailing economy.”
Mr Biden has described the reported renewed nuclear weapons testing as reckless.
In a statement the former Vice-President said: “The possibility that the Trump administration may resume nuclear explosive weapons testing in Nevada is as reckless as it is dangerous. We have not tested a device since 1992; we don’t need to do so now.”