On December 8, 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his forward-leaning Atoms for Peace speech at a gathering of the United Nations General Assembly in Bermuda. His vision for the world has not yet been realized, but remembering some of his thoughts might inspire some thinkers to take action.
There are many reasons why many decision makers have resisted implementing Eisenhower’s ideas. There has been a sustained effort to sell the false notion that developing a large number of nuclear power plants would require the world to accept a significantly increased risk from nuclear weapons. I reject that notion, especially when it is to justify adding so many burdens on nuclear energy technology that it becomes too expensive to compete against other sources of reliable energy.
The task of creating a weapon from plutonium extracted from reasonably high burnup reactor fuel is so close to impossible that it will never happen. Implementing severe security controls on material from high burnup reactors is a way to add cost and slow nuclear energy development without any increase in actual safety.
That is, in my opinion, exactly the reason why UCS, Von Hipple, and much of the rest of the non proliferation crowd refuses to budge in their assertions that nuclear power = risk of nuclear weapons proliferation. It is also why they continue to play the terrorist card. Their paymasters do not want a plutonium economy. Their paymasters also don’t want a uranium or thorium based economy; the Establishment is making oodles of money from the hydrocarbon based economy that we have today.
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