Nuclear weapons

From: Al Koop <koopa@gvsu.edu>
Date: Tue May 25 2004 - 12:42:46 EDT

Reading about nuclear power also inevitably leads to questions about
nuclear weapons. There is certainly reason for concern there as well
as just nuclear energy questions. From what I read, it is North Korea
and Iran that are more likely than Iraq to develop nuclear weapons. You
have to be a real optimist to think that one of these weapons will not
be detonated somewhere at sometime during this century. I do not have
much of an idea how the church can make a difference here, however.

Here is an excerpt from an article written today about this very issue:

Entire article found at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/25/science/25nucl.html?th

Nuclear Weapons in Iran: Plowshare or Sword?
By WILLIAM J. BROAD

Published: May 25, 2004

A recurring fear haunts the West's increasingly tense confrontation with
Iran: Is its work on civilian nuclear power actually a ruse for making a
deadly atomic arsenal, as has been the case with other countries?

Next month, the United Nations plans to take up that question at a board
meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Vienna. The
diplomatic backdrop includes possible sanctions and even the threat of
war.

"If Iran goes nuclear, you worry that Hezbollah goes nuclear," said Paul
Leventhal, president of the Nuclear Control Institute, a private group
in Washington, referring to the Iran-backed terrorist group.

The Iranian crisis, and related ones simmering in North Korea and also
around Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani expert who recently
confessed to running nuclear black markets, are giving new urgency to
limiting proliferation, a central danger of the atomic era. Recently,
international inspectors discovered that North Korea may have
clandestinely supplied uranium to Libya, demonstrating how an aspiring
state can secretly reach for nuclear arms.

The development of such arsenals is often hard to hide, because it takes
place in large industrial complexes where nuclear power and nuclear
weapons are joined at the hip - using technologies that are often
identical, or nearly so. Today, with what seems like relative ease,
scientists can divert an ostensibly peaceful program to make not only
electricity but also highly pure uranium or plutonium, both excellent
bomb fuels.

Experts now talk frankly about a subject that was once taboo: "virtual"
weapon states - Japan, Germany, Belgium, Canada, Brazil, Kazakhstan,
Taiwan and a dozen other countries that have mastered the basics of
nuclear power and could, if they wanted, quickly cross the line to make
nuclear arms, probably in a matter or months. Experts call it
breakout....
Received on Tue May 25 12:43:28 2004

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