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  Timeline of the Nuclear Age 2010s  2014

  2014  

A study suggests that radioactive particles from nuclear tests during the Cold War remain in the upper atmosphere in higher concentrations than previously believed.

An interim agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program enters into force. The agreement includes easing sanctions on Iran in return for Iran halting its uranium enrichment.

US Defense Department officials acknowledge that officers responsible for safeguarding nuclear weapons had cheated, or were aware of cheating, on monthly tests. As a result 92 Air Force Officers, nearly half of the nuclear launch crew, were suspended.

Federal Judge Amul Thapar in Tennessee sentences 84-year-old nun Sister Megan Rice to 35 months in prison for breaking into Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, facility where enriched uranium for nuclear bombs is stored.

Japan hands over an estimated 1,100 pounds of weapons-grade plutonium to the US.

North Korea rejects South Korea’s offer of humanitarian aid and investment in exchange for giving up its nuclear weapons program.

Joint statement issued at end of latest round of talks on Iranian nuclear dispute suggests that extensive disagreements remain; asserts that 'intensive work' remains between Iran and the group of six major powers negotiating a permanent agreement in order to complete draft accord by their self-imposed deadline.

The Republic of the Marshall Islands filed landmark cases in the International Court of Justice and U.S. Federal District Court against the nine nuclear-armed states. They claim that the nuclear-armed nations have failed to comply with their obligations, under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and customary international law, to pursue negotiations for the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons.

The NPT Prepcom ended without the adoption of the Chair’s recommendations to the 2015 NPT conference.

Sandia National Laboratory completes wind tunnel tests on the B61 bomb as part of an ongoing project to modernize one of the oldest nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal.

The US Government announces the legal team that will defend against the Marshall Islands’ lawsuit.

U.S. fighter jets intercept Russian nuclear bombers along Alaskan border. This follows the trend of increased activity since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine.

Protests brew in Japan over a constitutional re-interpretation to allow aggressive, rather than defensive, use of its military.

The United States moves to dismiss the suit brought against it by the Marshall Islands, arguing that the Nuclear Zero lawsuit is not subject to the district court’s jurisdiction.

All parties in the Iranian nuclear negotiations agree to a four-month extension in the talks.

The United States renews its 1958 agreement to share nuclear weapons information with the United Kingdom. Many argue that the Mutual Defense Agreement violates Article I of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

 The International Peace Bureau announces the MacBride Peace Prize will be awarded to the Marshall Islands for their courage in bringing suit against the nine nuclear armed nations.

The U.S. Navy discharges 34 sailors for cheating on certification tests at the nuclear facility in Charleston. The cheating ring involved approximately one fifth of the enlisted operators, and operated for seven years. Another ten sailors are currently under criminal investigation.

Four organizations file amicus curie briefs supporting the Nuclear Zero lawsuit brought against the United States.

The Marshall Islands file an Opposition to Dismissal in U.S. district court, arguing that the case should be heard on its merits.

Russia successfully tests a new intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting targets up to 5,000 miles away. 

A recent federal study put the price tag for modernizing the United States nuclear arsenal at up to a trillion dollars over the next three decades.

United States Air Force conducts a test launch of a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. 

United States announces that a nuclear waste facility in Carlsbad, New Mexico will remain closed until 2016. 

In an open letter to the people and government of the Marshall Islands, 82 advocates of disarmament and human rights from 22 nations, including two Nobel Peace Laureates, endorses the federal lawsuit and a parallel suit the Marshall Islands have filed in the World Court against all 9 nuclear weapons nations. 

A study by Dr. Christopher Busby, a University of Liverpool Fellow, shows that British soldiers exposed to radiation during the 1950s were ten times more likely to bear children with defects. 

155 nations signs onto the Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons at the First Committee of the UN General Assembly.

Bishop Timothy Pates, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Intercontinental Justice and Peace, writes a letter to US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz urging the United States not to move forward with its plan to modernize its nuclear forces. 

United States announces that it will attend the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons. 

North Korea threatens fourth nuclear test. 

Iran nuclear negotiations miss another deadline.

The US Department of Justice files court documents indicating that cleanup deadlines imposed by the state of Washington at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are too costly and should be rejected. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov asserts his country’s “right” to deploy nuclear weapons in Crimea.