Friday, May 09, 2008

"Nuclear energy means nuclear bombs"

Answer : A knife can be used for making dinner.

Nuclear power generation has one of the least established links for making nuclear bombs. All the bombs that have been made till now, have been made without a nuclear reactor being built for power generation. The very first nuclear bomb had been made in the Los Alamos laboratory of USA during the 2nd world war, before a nuclear power reactor was even ever conceived. It is true that a power reactor can be used for producing fissile material, but this method remains the most expensive and ineffective way of building a nuclear bomb. There are cheaper and quicker ways of making bombs, which are easier to conceal. No sane person would choose to build a power reactor for making bombs.

The only country to have used Plutonium from a (research) power reactor to build an explosive device was India, in the Smiling Buddha test of 1974. But this has to be looked upon as a wary reaction of India towards official recognition of China as a nuclear power in 1968 after the bitter war which happened in 1962.

Nuclear proliferation and bombs are scary, so we expect the international law to place proper safeguards against them. But there exist practically none today. The IAEA inspects the longwinding procedure of nuclear power generation in each country, for possible loopholes. It leaves all the other channels of building nuclear bombs royally open. We desperately need methods for preventing nuclear proliferation, and for rapidly diminishing the bombs already existing in the world. Carping against nuclear power is an idiocy that we can hardly entertain in the current moment.

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