[extropy-chat] nuclear non-proliferation as energy strategy ?

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Tue Jan 17 11:52:50 UTC 2006

On 1/17/06, user <user at dhp.com> wrote:
> ... what does that mean for the balance of energy haves
> and have nots when the major industrialized nations, under the guise of
> the UN and IAEA, etc., can limit the use of those technologies ?

Actually, as  the article recently cited by Samantha points out, signing the
NPT gives nations the freedom to perform uranium enrichment for peaceful
applications (such as as power production).  Iran has signed the treaty.
Israel, India and Pakistan have not.  Iran at this point seems to have the
designs and parts for the centrifuges required to perform uranium
enrichment.  The problem comes down to the fact that it is a relatively
small step from enriching uranium for generating electricity to producing
highly enriched uranium for  nuclear weapons.

Generally speaking until Iran runs out of oil it seems to make little
economic sense for it to be building nuclear power reactors.

Is it perhaps an unintended consequence of nuclear non-proliferation that
> only rich, developed countries will have access to modern forms of energy
> production ?

Actually, if you look at the maps at [1] you can see that there are nuclear
reactors all around the world including some countries that could be
considered "less" developed.

Is it perhaps _not_ an unintended consequence ?  Do the US and EU dream
> of selling electricity to arabs for petrodollars ?

Electricity doesn't transport well over long distances due to the
transmission line losses.  It is also true that countries are unlikely to
rely foreign sources for a critical resource such as electricity.  One can
too easily end up with situations similar to the U.S. 1970s oil shortages or
the recent Ukraine/EU situation with Russian natural gas supplies.


1.  http://www.insc.anl.gov/pwrmaps/
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