Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Gold Price Trend Forecast, Where are the Gold Traders? - Bob_Loukas
2.Stocks Bear Market of 2017 Begins? Shorting the Dow At its Peak! - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Betting on President Trump Leaving Office Early, Presidency End Date - Betfair Market - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Why Stock Market Analysts Will be Wrong About 2017 - Clif_Droke
5.Is This The Best Way For Investors To Play The Electric Car Boom - OilPrice_Com
6.Silver Price 2017 Trend Forecast Update - Video - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Gold Price Set For Very Bullish 2017, Trend Forecast - Austin_Galt
8.10 Things I learned From Meetings With Trump’s Transition Team - - John_Mauldin
9.How Investors Can Profit From Trumps Military Ambitions - OilPrice_Com
10.Channel 4 War on 'Fake News', Forgets Own Alt Reality Propaganda Broadcasting - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
The Mother of All Financial Bubbles will be Unimaginably Destructive when it Bursts - 19th Feb 17
Gold’s Fundamentals Strengthen - 18th Feb 17
The Flynn Fiascom, the Trump Revolution Ends in a Whimper - 18th Feb 17
Not Nearly Enough Economic Growth To Keep Growing - 18th Feb 17
SPX Stocks Bull Market Continues to make New Highs - 18th Feb 17
China Disaster to Trigger Gold Run, Trump to Appoint 5 of 7 Fed Governors - 18th Feb 17
Gold Stock Volume Divergence - 17th Feb 17
Gold, Silver, US Dollar Cycles - 17th Feb 17
Inflation Spikes in 2017, Supporting Gold Prices Despite Increased Odds of March Rate Hike - 17th Feb 17
Roses Are Red... and So's Been EURUSD's Trend - 17th Feb 17
Gold Trade Note Sighted - 17th Feb 17
Gold Is Undervalued Say Leading Fund Managers - 17th Feb 17
NSA, CIA, FBI, Media Establishment 'Deep State' War Against Emerging 'Trump State' - 16th Feb 17
Silver, Gold Stocks and Remembering the Genius of Hunter S. Thompson - 16th Feb 17
Maps That Show The US’ Strategy In Asia-Pacific - 15th Feb 17
The Trump Stock Market Rally Is Just Getting Started! - 15th Feb 17
Tesco Crisis - Fake Prices, Brexit Inflation Tsunami to Send Food Prices Soaring 10% 2017 - 15th Feb 17
Stock Market Indexes Appear Ready to Roll Over - 15th Feb 17
Gold Bull Market? Or was 2016 Just a Gold Bug Mirage? - 15th Feb 17
Here’s How Germany Buys Time From China - 15th Feb 17
The Stock Trader’s Actionable Guide to Trump - 15th Feb 17
Trump A New Jacksonian Era? The Fourth Turning (2) - 14th Feb 17
Stock Market Yet Another Wall Street 'Witch's Brew' - 14th Feb 17
This Is Why You Don’t Own A Lot Of Stocks - 14th Feb 17
Proposed Tax Reforms Face Enormous Headwinds - 14th Feb 17
BBC Inside Out Tesco Rip off Offers - Determined to Lose Big Spend Customers! - 13th Feb 17
Is the UK An Economy Built on Debt? - 13th Feb 17
Stock Market VIX Cycles set to Explode in March/April 2017 – Part 2 - 13th Feb 17
Stocks At Record Highs - Will Uptrend Accelerate? - 13th Feb 17
US Dollar: 'Rumors of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated' - 13th Feb 17
Is This The Top Commodity Play For 2017? - 13th Feb 17
Trump a New Jacksonian Era? - 13th Feb 17
Stock Market at High Tide - 13th Feb 17
Channel 4 War on 'Fake News' Ends - The New News Age - 12th Feb 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

State of Global Markets 2017 - Report

Nuclear Renaissance or The End of Nations ?

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

By: Andrew_McKillop

Politics

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.

NUCLEAR RENAISSANCE

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.

THE END OF THE NATION STATE

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

gsoassociates.com

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.


© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

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

Catching a Falling Financial Knife