In the Sunday, February 15, 2009 edition of TimesOnline (London), James Lovelock leads off a column supportive of nuclear power with a hypothetical story line. His hypothesis, nearly as interesting and potentially as conception altering as his famous Gaia theory, is that creative writers missed an opportunity for a believable thriller by failing to explore the possibility that Russian oil and gas interests purposefully selected polonium as the poison for killing Alexander Litvinenko in 2006.
Lovelock sets up the following with imagining a scene from a movie set in Moscow; I imagine a large conference table with men in dark suits having a discussion:
Someone says: “You realise, do you, that a poisonous dose of polonium210 will cost about $10m? Why not use ricin – we know that that’s a reliable poison and a lot less visible to the media? Moreover, it will cost less than $1.”
Another bureaucrat adds: “Yes, and to make the polonium we have to seek time on a reactor which is already fully occupied with other important tasks.”
At which a senior manager intervenes. “Gentlemen,” he says, “the purpose of this action is not merely to punish a traitor – and that alone needs visibility and media amplification – but more importantly to keep the West frightened of all things nuclear. Our future as a world power depends on our ability to make them wholly dependent on us for their supply of oil and gas; their use of nuclear energy would free them of this dependency and we could lose our ability to make the world go the way we wish. Ten million dollars is nothing in that cause.”
Perhaps I am not the only one who believes that a major portion of the anti-nuclear movement is really a FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) spreading effort by the coal, oil, and gas interests around the world.