Nuclear Proliferation

Nuclear power was the failed answer to the horrors of the atomic bomb - the so-called "Peaceful Atom." However, the two technologies are inextricably linked. Countries such as India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea clandestinely developed nuclear weapons using the infrastructure, technology and know-how of their "civilian" nuclear programs. Contained expansion of nuclear power across the globe only increases the chances of nuclear weapons development and is counterproductive to disarmament.



Stephanie Cooke's "In Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age" book talk at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C. on May 18th 

Stephanie Cooke has covered the nuclear industry for almost thirty years. She is currently the editor of Uranium Intelligence Weekly, and a contributor to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. She will discuss and sign her new book, In Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age, on Tuesday, May 18th at 6:30 p.m., at Busboys and Poets “Langston Room,” 14th and V Streets, NW, in Washington DC. From the Manhattan Project to the present energy crisis, Stephanie Cooke's provocative history of our failure to manage the power of the atom is perfectly timed. The mistakes of the past are on the verge of being repeated. Cooke's work is a call for everyone to understand and respect the power held in mortal hands. Beyond Nuclear is sponsoring this event. For more information, contact Beyond Nuclear’s Kevin Kamps at, or (301) 270-2209 ext. 1.


Nonproliferation Policy Education Center warns that nuclear power subsidies risk worldwide proliferation of nuclear weapons 

Henry Sokolski, Executive Director of NPEC, has warned that U.S. Department of Energy taxpayer-backed loan guarantees for new atomic reactors in the U.S. will set a bad international example that could be followed by foreign governments seeking to conceal nuclear weapon programs behind a nuclear power facade. He points out that a large-scale atomic reactor can generate enough plutonium each year for "scores" of nuclear weapons, if it is chemically separated from radioactive waste. In addition, the enrichment of uranium for nuclear fuel fabrication can be readily diverted for the manufacture of bomb-grade high enriched uranium (HEU).


Will Obama's "Global Nuclear Security Summit" be a farce or a force?

President Obama's planned Global Nuclear Security Summit is scheduled to take place in Washington, DC this coming April (no specific dates or location have yet been announced.) The theme of the summit is exploring ways to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons. At least 40 countries along with international organizations are expected to participate. However, according to an outline on the Web site of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, one of the goals of the summit is to "build confidence that the right to peaceful nuclear energy contained in Article IV of the NPT can be exercised safely." If this is the case, then the summit is likely not to see past the obvious flaw in Article IV which is precisely one of the easiest pathways used by terrorists to acquire nuclear materials in the first place.


US MOX nixed by Duke Energy

A program that would have converted "surplus" U.S. nuclear weapons plutonium into reactor fuel has been abandonded by the utility - Duke Energy - destined to use it, according to Friends of the Earth. The problematic MOX fuel "lead test assemblies", manufactured in France, had already encountered technical setbacks which forced a stoppage for safety reasons at Duke's Catawba reactor where the tests were being conducted. The U.S. MOX program has already dragged on for ten years but it now seems unlikely that Duke will ever use MOX fuel in its reactors. Duke was under contract with Shaw Areva MOX services to conduct the tests. Areva came under fire in France for allowing the production of the lead test assemblies at its Cadarache site which was supposed to be shut down due to the high earthquake probability in the area. The Shaw Group was already in the spotlight after it was revealed by the Project on Government Oversight that current Shaw executive, Jeffery Merryfield, approved contracts for Shaw while a commissioner at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Former U.S. Energy Secretary, Spencer Abraham, is chairman of the board of Areva, Inc.

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