International Cooperation in Nuclear Energy

International Cooperation in Nuclear Energy

International Cooperation in Nuclear Energy

International Cooperation in Nuclear Energy

Excerpt

The international development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes has always carried with it the risk of spreading nuclear weapons because the explosive component of nuclear fission weapons and the fuel used in nuclear power plants are derived from the same substances. Moreover, the technology required to exploit nuclear energy for peaceful purposes inevitably gives its possessors some of the knowledge needed to produce nuclear weapons. These uncomfortable facts reflect unchanging attributes of the physical universe. Mankind must be prepared to live with them for the rest of human history. It has been doing so for only a third of a century.

The record during this brief period--merely the dawn of the nuclear age--has been mixed. Since the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, no nuclear weapons have been used in war. Efforts to check the spread of nuclear weapons, however, have been only partly successful.

The U.S. attempt to put the nuclear genie back into the bottle immediately after the end of World War II failed when the Soviet Union rejected the Baruch Plan. The Soviets pushed forward with their own nuclear weapons program and successfully tested a nuclear explosive device in 1949. The British followed in 1952, the French in 1960, and the Chinese in 1964. Membership in what is inappropriately referred to as the nuclear weapon club remains at five, unless one counts India with its so-called . . .

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