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Hans M. Kristensen

Hans M. Kristensen (born April 7, 1961) is director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists. He writes about nuclear weapons policy there; he is coauthor of the Nuclear Notebook column in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,[2] and the World Nuclear Forces appendix in Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's annual SIPRI Yearbook.[3]

Hans M. Kristensen
Born (1961-04-07) April 7, 1961 (age 58)
ResidenceSilver Spring, Maryland, United States
Education1981: Studentereksamen, Vesthimmerlands Gymnasium, Aars, Denmark mathematics and biology
1979: Realeksamen, Ranum Statsskole, Ranum, Denmark
Occupationresearcher, author, anti-nuclear activist
EmployerFederation of American Scientists
Known forwritings on nuclear weapons policy
TitleProject Director
Spouse(s)Sandra Marquardt
ChildrenAdam Marquardt Kristensen
WebsiteFederation of American Scientists : The Nuclear Information Project
nuclear information project

His work especially relies on using the Freedom of Information Act to compel U.S. government agencies to release documents. He maintains an on-line overview of the number of nuclear weapons in the world, and writes frequently on the FAS Strategic Security Blog.

He is critical of the development and deployment of nuclear weaponry by the US, the UK, and France.[4] In 2005 he discovered a draft document on a Pentagon website that proposed a change in U.S. nuclear doctrine to include the possibility of a preemptive nuclear strike. Even though Secretary Rumsfeld had not approved the change, its publication provoked a reaction from some members of Congress.[5]

Professional historyEdit


  1. ^ "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). 12 October 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-27.
  2. ^ Norris, Robert S.; Kristensen, Hans M. (March–April 2009). "Nuclear Notebook: U.S. nuclear forces, 2009" (PDF). Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 65 (2). pp. 59–69. doi:10.2968/065002008. vol. 65, no. 2
  3. ^ Kile, Shannon N.; Vitaly Fedchenko; Hans M. Kristensen (2007). "Appendix 12A. World nuclear forces, 2007". SIPRI Yearbook 2007: Armaments, Disarmament, and International Security. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Oxford University Press. p. 514 et seq. ISBN 978-0-19-923021-1. Retrieved 2009-04-27.
  4. ^ Burns, Robert (October 26, 2008). "US considering implications of nuclear decline". USA Today. Washington, D.C.: Gannett. Associated Press. Retrieved November 28, 2010. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, wrote in the current issue of an internal publication, Joint Force Quarterly, that the United States is overdue to retool its nuclear strategy. He referred to nuclear deterrence -- the idea that the credible threat of U.S. nuclear retaliation is enough by itself to stop a potential enemy from striking first with a weapon of mass destruction.
    ... "It's completely overblown," said Hans M. Kristensen, who tracks nuclear weapons developments for the Federation of American Scientists. The advocacy group opposes the Bush administration's proposal to develop a new nuclear weapon design. The number of nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal is a state secret. But Kristensen and a fellow expert, Robert S. Norris, estimate that the total stood at nearly 5,400 warheads at the start of this year. That includes an estimated 4,075 ready for potential use and 1,260 in backup status. In an interview, Kristensen argued that even though the number is declining, the capability of remaining weapons is increasing as older missiles, for example, get new engines, guidance sets and computer software. Gates takes a different view. He has expressed concern about lack of official attention to the nuclear arsenal.
  5. ^ Pincus, Walter. "Pentagon Revises Nuclear Strike Plan - Strategy Includes Preemptive Use Against Banned Weapons". Washington Post. p. A01. Retrieved November 28, 2010.

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