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

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Tue Jan 17 20:30:23 UTC 2006

> 1. We are keeping nuclear energy development away from people we don't
> like, regardless of whether they are playing by _our_ rules or not.

You have to be specific about what you mean when you say "nuclear energy
development" (see below).

2. Is it really true that signatories can pursue modern nuclear power
> generation ?  Can they develop modern pebble bed nukes, etc. ?  Or does
> that fall outside of what is allowed.

Power generation certainly.  Its the fuel cycle -- uranium enrichment and
used fuel rod reprocessing that people become concerned with because they
give you the raw materials (HEU and plutonium respectively) from which
weapons can be constructed.

Again, my previous analysis may not apply to Iran, but it sure looks like
> we are trying to keep nuclear power generation (or at least modern forms
> of it - see #2 above) out of peoples hands, regardless of the weapons
> implications.

I don't think that is true.  As Russia is  advising on (building?)  their
nuclear reactor you can't really make that claim.  I also think there was an
understanding by the U.S. & E.U. that Russia would supply the fuel and
handle the fuel rod reprocessing.  If they wanted to block power generation
they would either have blocked the reactor (they tried unsuccessfully to do
that when Congress passed the law that the U.S. would not buy Russian
"products" such as Soyuz flights to the ISS) or they might have blocked the
sale of any raw uranium to Iran at all.  I do not believe that Iran is
particularly "rich" in uranium though a quick google suggests that it has
3-10 uranium mines.  Most of its uranium is being bought from the Chinese I

I don't think you have to look for "sinister"motives involved.  The concerns
are pretty much the same with Iran as they were/are with North Korea.  Once
you allow "irrational" people to develop nuclear weapons, one can
potentially be held hostage by them.  It is reasonably clear that North
Korea is effectively holding South Korea hostage and indirectly Japan and
the U.S.  Now whether you believe Iran could and would accomplish something
similar is a matter of debate (though I'm not sure that this list would be
the proper forum).

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