Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.War on Cash, Bank of England Planning Hyper QE, Scrapping Cash for Digital Currency - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Stock Market End Run Smash Crash Looks Imminent... - Clive_Maund
3.Europe Refugee Crisis, UK to Repatriate 120,000 Hungarian Economic Migrants Back to Hungary - Nadeem_Walayat
4.The Great Deflation Will Destroy All Bubbles – These Too - Harry_Dent
5.Deflation Signals Abound for U.S. Dollar, Forex Markets and Commodities - Rambus_Chartology
6.U.S. Housing Market Two Outs in The Bottom of The Ninth - James_Quinn
7.Poland, Czech, Slovakia and Hungary Refugee Hypocrisy After Flooding UK with 4 Million Economic Migrants - Nadeem_Walayat
8.The Two Real Reasons Crude Oil Prices Are Currently Slipping - Dr. Kent Moors
9.R.I.P. Interest Rates - Andrew Snyder
10.Steps from a Deep October Stock Market Selloff - Bob_Loukas
Last 5 days
The Social Challenge to Find Humanity in Capitalism - 5th Oct 15
Fed Interest Rate Hike: "I don't care. It doesn't really make much of a difference" - 5th Oct 15
Gold Rose 2.2%, Silver Surged 5.4% After Poor Jobs Number On Friday - 5th Oct 15
Gold, Silver Precious Metals: a Critical Week Ahead - 5th Oct 15
Stock Market Correction Still in Force - 5th Oct 15
Gold Price Change in Character - 5th Oct 15
Putin’s Blitz Leaves Washington Rankled and Confused - 4th Oct 15
More Selling for Stock Market, Gold? - 4th Oct 15
Gold And Silver – A Reality Check - 3rd Oct 15
Stock Market Primary IV Still, or Primary V Underway? - 3rd Oct 15
The Oil Industry’s Day of Reckoning - 3rd Oct 15
U.S. Interest Rate Hikes Keep On Slippin' Into the Future; Treasury Yields Sink Again - 3rd Oct 15
China's Stock Market Crashing; Time for Panic or Restraint - 3rd Oct 15
SPX Stocks Bulls Struggle to Regain the Upper hand... - 2nd Oct 15
The Two Faces of Stock Market Volatility - 2nd Oct 15
Money Supply and the Fed’s Serious Inflation Risks - 2nd Oct 15
Stock Market How Bad Can This Get, And How Fast? - 2nd Oct 15
A Worrying Set Of Recession Signals - 2nd Oct 15
Negative Jobs Report Sents SPX, TNX Lower - 2nd Oct 15
Don't be Fooled by the Recent Equity market Rallies. Its a Bear Market, Stupid! - 2nd Oct 15
US Bond Market - How to Fix This - 2nd Oct 15
Survival Secrets from Colorado Resource Investing Front Lines - 2nd Oct 15
What Two Risks From Rising Interest-Rates Could Each Trigger A New Global Crisis? - 1st Oct 15
Stock Market S&P 500 Volatility-Based Price Probability Range - 1st Oct 15
Dow Stock Market About To Crash Like October 1929? Get Your Physical Silver - 1st Oct 15
Stock Market Negative Expectations Once Again - Will It Break Down? - 1st Oct 15
Advice for Biotech Investors: 'Hold Your Powder' 'til Winter - 1st Oct 15
Best Short-Term Commodity Market Opportunities - Video - 1st Oct 15
The Coming Corporate "Crime Wave" - 30th Sept 15
Stock Market Retracement May Have Run Its Course - 30th Sept 15
A Stocks Bear Market Is Now More Likely Than Not - 30th Sept 15
The Killer Ape, Human Evolution, Artificial Intelligence and Extinction End Game - 30th Sept 15
Junk Bond Market Imminent Collapse Threatens (Unwelcome) BIG Rate Rises - 30th Sept 15

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Nuclear Renaissance or The End of Nations ?

Politics / GeoPolitics Sep 14, 2010 - 09:30 AM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop


Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe Internet is a vast rumour mill and Internet-thinking can lead to paranoia and selfdelusion. This has infected the so-called "Nuclear debate" just like the Climate debate, the Peak oil debate, the Environment debate and other mix-and-muddle mass readership themes generated by political and corporate elites, put through the rumour mill, and sterilized.

Due to this, the real dimensions of the nuclear challenge - extending right up to removing all remaining credibility from the notion of "the nation state" - has been sidelined and lost in a maze of lesser conspiracy theories, like the long-running or nearly endless saga of the Iran nuclear affair. To tweak up the hysteria level every few months, we have Bomb Iran calls, tacky histrionics and tinsel debate, but the threat of nation states simply being no longer defensible because of current civil nuclear proliferation and the massive plans and programs to build new civil reactors, almost everywhere, never gets airtime.

Impassioned calls for Iran bombing are presented as the quick fix solution to nuclear weapons proliferation. In Iran's case, this would be a Doomsday Choice spilling long-lived radiation poisoning around the Gulf region, and further. It would also be a Doomsday Choice in any other country with large size reactors and extensive nuclear waste stores, uranium fuel fabricating plants and other parts of "the fuel cycle", that got bombed - for any reason at all.

Chernobyl 1986 is a key nuclear weapons proliferation date. It is at least as real as the Manhattan Project and the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 or Dr Abdul Qadr "Bombs R Us" Khan's two screwdriver turn A-bomb on which he started work in 1975, and the US led coalition's massive use of Depleted Uranium weapons in the Liberation of Kuwait, 1991.

To be sure, president Obama calls for nuclear disarmament and faster decommissioning of Russian and US atom bombs but the hidden agenda, here, is the massive undersupply of uranium for the world's reactor fleet. Decommissioning bombs releases atomic materials to feed US civil nuclear reactors - which supposedly received about 45% of their total fuel need from the "Megatons to Megawatts" source in 2009.

Taking bombs apart to get reactor fuel has a best-by date simply due to these sources of reactor fuel being limited. When or if we ran out of bombs to take apart it will be even more necessary to play with plutonium-generating Fast Breeder Reactors as a possible way out of the uranium fuel supply garrot.


The 2010-2020 decade marks the world's "Nuclear Renaissance" according to triumphal industry spokesmen. It may result in the construction of 200 - 250 new reactors, mostly in the Emerging countries. The countries signing up to the New Nuclear Miracle, which extends to its debt-linked financing, now range far and wide in the low and mid income South. They include Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan and plenty others.

Plutonium production and proliferation risks can only rise. More than 75 of these Chernobyl-sized reactors would be built in 15 to 18, or more, low and mid-income countries with absolutely no previous experience of the atom. Many of them are exposed to civil war uprisings, are riven with religious and community conflicts, experience periodic food shortages, have water supply and power infrastructure breakdowns and blackouts, and have very troubled relations with their neighbours.

These countries, exactly like China and India, are however committing themselves to the same gleaming high-tech Quick Fix nuclear solution to power shortages, to keep their economies growing at record rates. This will vastly extend the Doomsday threat of large reactors being treated as sitting duck military targets in regional conflicts. This is over and apart from the risk of worst possible reactor accidents, such as the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, and over and apart from nuclear waste and fuel enrichment security and pollution threats generated by surging reactor numbers.

Nuclear power is sold using a Cornucopian Universal Prosperity and Titanic Power Myth, but our main concern is simple: What happens when nuclear weapons proliferation includes massive Dirty Bomb targets and the massive potential of simply and cheaply turning nuclear wastes into deadly carcinogenic Depleted Uranium weapons ? To be sure, the nuclear sales lobby claims nuclear energy faces no shortage of uranium, is cheap and clean (low CO2), cuts oil dependence nearly to zero, improves energy security despite all or most of the uranium being imported, is high-tech, prestigious and modern. Above all, weapons proliferation is no risk - we have the NPT ! Even the risk of 'recycling' nuclear wastes to make the Poor Man's nuclear ordnance - Depleted Uranium weapons - is low or zero.

Like Obama, Sarkozy, Merkel and other leaders of the reactor building, uranium supplier, and nuclear service selling countries, the Nuclear Lobby claims nuclear power is totally separate and separable from weapons. It claims it is the quickest possible, most market friendly, and cheapest Fast Track to generating more power.

Reality dashes all of these illusions and self delusions. It reveals the risks, the hazards, the long-term costs, and the fragile "market friendly" reactor financing set-ups used by the socalled financial community to sell the atom to countries ranging from Bangladesh to Sudan and harnessing them with 50-year debts for their choice of hi-tech atomic trinkets.

Each new large-sized civil reactor is potentially a Chernobyl-type Dirty Bomb and each year will generate enough plutonium (about 50 kilograms) to make 5 Hiroshima-type and sized bombs, or 10 atom bombs of the same power using modern technology weapon design. Bomb technology dates back 65 years, has seriously evolved in 65 years, and is now almost ubiquitously available. Large sized reactors can also provide massive quantities of nuclear waste for cheaply produced and deadly carcinogenic Depleted Uranium weapons, recycling and value-adding to nuclear wastes, rather than face ever rising long term disposal costs for these unwanted side-products of the "nuclear miracle".

Nuclear reactors are massive Dirty Bomb targets. Reactor materials can be used to make atomic weapons. Nuclear waste can be quickly and cheaply used to make deadly carcinogenic Depleted Uranium weapons. The world's plutonium repositories, which contain hundreds of tons of plutonium extracted from civil reactors, are literal Doomsday Weapons.


Due to this sombre context, national security as we know it and with any real meaning no longer exists. Any country with large sized nuclear reactors is not defensible. Its has already positioned Weapons of Mass Destruction - for the enemy side - inside its national territory. When both belligerent nations have nuclear reactors, they have guaranteed and massive Mutually Assured Destruction.

When we take account of the full risks of the coming worldwide nuclear boom, the exploding number of civil reactor numbers, the full extent of fuel production and reprocessing, accumulated nuclear wastes, plutonium production and storage, and the spiralling amounts of 'new' nuclear waste being produced each day, the nation state itself has no remaining signification or meaning. Its civil nuclear reactors are the "softest" and easiest targets for conventional military attack - with guaranteed devastating sequels.

The nation state's "prerogative" of making war, for example in Afghanistan and Iraq is no longer feasible or defensible - but is this known to politicians and the public ? Do they want to know this ? What is the level of debate on this subject ?

By Andrew McKillop

Project Director, GSO Consulting Associates

Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

© 2010 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2015 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Christina Mcpherson
14 Sep 10, 20:13
Nuclear Renaissance

This article might sound extreme- to some.

The thing is, it is so true that it is frightening.

Andrew McKillop should be congratulated for saying something that we surely all know, but don't talk about - nuclear facilities are TARGETS.

Nuclear weapons are no defense against terrorists - who are acknowledged as the big threat.

The famed 9/11 attack showed this. Any sort of "dirty" bomb could be effected with relative ease, and so cheaply - it can all be done with the so-called "peaceful"nuclear facilities.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Biggest Debt Bomb in History