Make a difference in the challenge to confront global warming and prevent nuclear war and the development and use of nuclear weapons.
Tell President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. It poses too great a threat to survival and health.
Laser Enrichment and its Proliferation Risks
Morgan Pinnell and Ashish Sinha
August 22, 2011
Over the weekend, the New York Times reported on General Electric’s successful attempt at using laser enrichment to create nuclear fuel. They now seek support for a $1 billion facility that would cover 100 acres in Wilmington, NC. At the same time as they herald this “break-through” and its ability to simplify uranium enrichment, they also claim that this would not make the path to a nuclear bomb easier. Ridiculous.Our current firewall against a world filled with nuclear capable countries and groups is the scarcity of nuclear fuel. While it’s difficult to hide an enrichment facility using massive centrifuges, laser enrichment offers the promise of smaller scale facilities that require less space and resources. As much difficulty as the international community is having in pushing back Iran’s nuclear ambitions - we would have been completely caught off guard had they been able to hide their nuclear facilities from the IAEA and the United States. Even worse is the potential for a terrorist organization being able to develop this type of facility covertly.Industry may claim it has no intentions of proliferation, but the very act of introducing a new sort of technology that can be used for bomb-making can have devastating consequences. AQ Khan stole enrichment designs from his employers at URENCO, and created a cottage-industry of selling nuclear secrets and technology. We are still reaping the proliferation consequences of his decision decades ago. This new development is an unwelcome herald of a world of easy access to nuclear weapons. The least our government can do is conduct a thorough risk assessment of this new technology with an eye towards the fearsome proliferation potential.
Comments Leave a Comment
Video: Friends Don't Let Friends Have Nuclear Weapons
PSR Board Member Dr. Ira Helfand addresses the Second International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, Nayarit, Mexico, February 13, 2014. Read more »
Nuclear Famine: Two Billion People at Risk?
PSR's new, updated report on the global impacts of limited nuclear war on agriculture, food supplies, and human nutrition. Read more »
Fukushima Disaster: Impacts & Continuing Threats
More than two years since the nuclear disaster began at the Fukushima Daiichi reactors, its impact is massive and widespread. It will be decades before the full scope of the impacts of this ongoing disaster is fully understood but significant health, economic, environmental and social consequences are already evident and quantifiable. Read more »