The controversy surrounding nuclear proliferation in the world today

Excerpt from Term Paper: Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons:

The controversy surrounding nuclear proliferation in the world today

This treatment of studies presented by the National Academy of Sciences differs from that found in Part 2, in that criticisms are examined in more detail. Spent-Fuel Standard and Demilitarization.

If no further processing occurs to the MOX after irradiation a once-through fuel cyclethe depleted fuel would be stored for posterity. This combination introduces formidable barriers to re-use of the weapons-plutonium proliferation — a strong contribution to arms control.

In NAS issued a comprehensive report on proposed methods for disposing of fissile materials that might become surplus as a result nuclear arms reductions.

Should nuclear weapons be abolished? |

Much of the debate has been emotionally charged, and some academic scientists have placed their reputations on the line. Many who favored long-term storage of plutonium instead of demilitarization were seduced by two concerns: They wanted to avoid extending the lifetime of nuclear reactors, and they were not convinced of the effectiveness of demilitarization by reactor irradiation.

Their persistent anti-nuclear-power tone is why we have chosen to categorize them as ideologues on this issue lacking a better term ; this tone, we find, pervades their pronouncements.

In its report on demilitarization of weapons plutonium, the NAS committee recommended three objectives: They agreed that reactor-grade plutonium in spent-fuel rods has an inherent degree of self-protection against diversion. But they felt that interim storage was necessary because long-term disposition could take decades to complete.

Gradually the NAS moved toward acceptance of at least one reactor-irradiation phase of weapons plutonium to satisfy its spent-fuel self-protection criterion, a conclusion that started to emerge in and consummated in Ironically, those who fear weapons plutonium and advise immobilization have come into conflict with other environmental interests that dispute government siting choices for nuclear-byproduct storage and underground burial.

This meant that degradation of weapons plutonium would be limited to only the first of what otherwise could be two or three cycles of irradiation and reprocessing. To meet primary security goals, the NAS in its mids studies stressed three objectives: Although securely stored, surplus plutonium through the years remained in forms that could be readily recovered for weapons.

Pressure thus built up to move ahead with either reactor irradiation or immobilization.

Nuclear proliferation - Wikipedia

However, single-track immobilization — simply mixing weapon-grade plutonium with some form of radiologically contaminated byproduct — has two afflictions from which it never be free: Three Strikes Against Immobilization.

The process of immobilization by vitrification has three strikes against it: Simply incorporating weapon-grade plutonium in a glass matrix does not diminish its isotopic potency, that is, its direct usefulness as a weapon material.

The controversy surrounding nuclear proliferation in the world today

Marvin Miller from MIT and Frank von Hippel from Princeton have frequently expressed their opinion that all plutonium should be immobilized vitrified and buried — which would not reduce its military potential. Holdren explained his revised views about the demilitarized nature of reactor-grade plutonium: That means the path to reuse of spent fuel would be more difficult technically and politically — as well as easier to detect — than reusing weapons plutonium extracted from glass.

If, instead, they placed greater emphasis on fundamental nuclear physics, they might have come to the conclusions ultimately reached by their scientific and engineering peers at the Academy.

The controversy surrounding nuclear proliferation in the world today

Opposition to reactor degradation, stemming from misdirected fear of nuclear power, is often disguised as environmentalism. For example, Arjun Makhijani, a self-styled environmentalist, in the February issue of his in-house publication Science for Democratic Action, argues that converting weapons plutonium in commercial plants raises concerns about proliferation and safety due to the use of plutonium as fuel.

He also mentions transportation and security issues. He prefers single-track immobilization, which he considers to be safer, faster, and cheaper — ignoring the NAS report that pointed out that immobilization was going nowhere. In his view, U. The Academy late recanted their original single-track burial recommendation, having found that the immobilization concept did not benefit arms control and nonproliferation as well as the built-in isotopic barriers of MOX irradiation.How did the proliferation of nuclear technology affect the United States and the world?

During the 's, both the U.S. and Soviet Union raced to perfect and build newer and more powerful weapons.

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Nuclear weapons should be abolished simply because they are no longer the threat that they used to be at the time of their inception - nearly every country in the world either possesses a nuclear weapon or is the close ally of a nation that does.

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.

At the center of the nonproliferation regime is the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). this treaty is based upon an important tradeoff.

The nonnuclear weapons states agree not to develop or acquire nuclear weapons, and the nuclear weapons states agree to engage in good faith negotiations for nuclear disarmament.

OVERVIEW: Nuclear proliferation is the spread of nuclear weapons, or related research information to nations not recognized as a “nuclear weapon state” by the NPT.

How did the proliferation of nuclear technology affect the United States and the world? During the 's, both the U.S. and Soviet Union raced to perfect and build newer and more powerful weapons. Examine the controversy surrounding the proliferation of nuclear technology in the United States and the world. Proliferation has been opposed by many nations with and without nuclear weapons, as governments fear that more countries with nuclear weapons will increase the possibility of nuclear warfare (up to and including the so-called "countervalue" targeting of civilians with nuclear weapons), de-stabilize international or regional relations, or infringe upon the national sovereignty of states.

The NPT is the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons with signatories from various nations that hope to diminish the threat of nuclear weapons to the world. Safeguards to Prevent Nuclear Proliferation. Most countries participate in international initiatives designed to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The international safeguards system has since successfully prevented the diversion of fissile materials into weapons. Its scope has been widened to address undeclared nuclear activities.

Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: Opportunities for Control and Abolition