CND's Press Round-Up - 16th June 2021

Posted: 16th June 2021

Dear all,

Please find today’s press round up below. Thank you to all for their continued help and support.

Nuclear Weapons

Iran releases new figures on its uranium enrichment whilst Russia has criticised the NATO summit.

Iran Nuclear Production

The Iranian government has said that it produced 6.5kg of uranium enriched up to 60%, according to Reuters. This is higher than previous estimates published by the IAEA. Uranium needs to be enriched to around 90% purity in order to be suitable for nuclear weapons. The Iranian parliament passed a law last year requiring the government to produce 120kg of 20% enriched uranium a year, and Iran announced enrichment of material up to 60% purity in April. What to do with such material under a new nuclear deal has vexed European and U.S. policymakers.  
Chinese Nuclear Proliferation
In an interview with the TASS state news agency, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that attempts by NATO to link Chinese nuclear proliferation with Russia were ‘laughable’. Putin also said that Chinese arguments were ‘simple and understandable: in terms of the amount of ammunition and warheads and delivery vehicles, the United States and Russia are far, far ahead of China. And the Chinese justly say, “Why should we make reductions if we are already far behind what you have?”’ At the NATO summit, China was criticised for ‘cooperating militarily with Russia, including through participation in Russian exercises in the Euro-Atlantic area’.


A U.S. floatilla has sailed into the South China Sea.

China – U.S. Relations

The U.S. aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan has sailed into the South China Sea, in a move sure to anger Beijing, Al Jazeera reports. It is accompanied by two other ships and is on a routine mission, the U.S. Navy claims. China has increased its military presence in the South China Sea over the past few years, including by building artificial islands. The USS Ronald Reagan sailed from Manila in the Philippines, where a crucial bilateral military agreement between the U.S. and the country, after recent difficulties between the Duterte government and the U.S.


Chinese officials have made strong remarks about the U.S. and NATO’s statements on North Korea have generated interest. 

NATO Summit Aftermath

The Chinese Foreign Ministry described the U.S. as ‘very ill indeed’ after the NATO summit took a harder line than perhaps anticipated on China, Bloomberg reports. China said that the questions of Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang were purely domestic ones and were no business of the G7. China is mentioned ten times in the summit’s agreed statement, compared to just once in 2019. Analysts say China’s diplomatic strategy might now focus on peeling off the U.S’s European allies from Biden’s more assertive stance.
The Korean press has picked up NATO’s statements on North Korea. NATO said that it wanted to see ‘the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea, in accordance with relevant UNSCRs’. The last time North Korea engaged in direct negotiations with the U.S. was at a 2019 summit in Hanoi. The Biden administration claims it has made two diplomatic approaches to the country, one in February and one in April after the conclusion of its North Korea policy review.

Nuclear Power

A small fire has been reported at Hinkley Point C.

Nuclear Power – UK

A fire was been reported at Hinkley Point C yesterday morning, according to local press. A pipe and cable carrying gallery caught flames. Smoke was visible for houses close to the plant. Local firefighters attended. EDF Energy has said the fire is under investigation and that ‘lessons will be learned’.

With best wishes,

Michael Muir

Press and Communications Officer
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
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