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Must read: Avoiding World War III

Friday, December 7, 2007

nuclear symbolIn a post earlier this week, Sierra Club president Carl Pope discusses the "dangerous distraction" of nuclear power:

The President in his press conference today was questioned about the new intelligence report that suggests that, after all, the government of Iran has not been pursuing prohibited nuclear weapons technology for the past several years. In fact, as it claimed, it has simply been pursuing its right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to master the entire civilian nuclear fuel cycle -- including reprocessing. A byproduct of reprocessing, though, is plutonium, which is what you need for a nuclear weapon.

Pope goes on to point out the strong motivation any sovereign nation would have to master that nuclear fuel cycle, because if a nation cannot produce energy from the inside -- well then, they'd have to rely on other nations to produce it for them:

In the wake of today's intelligence report, for example, the Chicago Tribune urged in an editorial that we "continue to push international efforts to persuade Iran to give up its enrichment efforts and accept an agreement to be supplied fuel [by] Russia." Well, today's regime in Iran may have some trust for today's regime in Russia. But why, if the Iranians really are going to rely heavily on nuclear power, would they put themselves in a position that if Russia decided in the future to reassert its historic vision that Iran was part of its sphere of influence, they would have to cave in or shut off the power? Why would any sovereign nation with even illusions of independence accept such ground rules?

It's a great post -- go give it a read.