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Protect Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant Before It’s Too Late

The Additional Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Convention offers a model, but the United States can’t denounce Russia until it embraces the norms it’s seeking to enforce. Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power complex, which Russia captured early in the war, has been continually in the European and U.S. headlines since Russia turned it into a…

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Russian Invasion of Ukraine Spotlights the Dangers of Nuclear Reactors in War

The United States decided decades ago that nuclear reactors could not be defended from military attacks. Now, reactors in Ukraine are coming under fire during Russia’s invasion. Just as the terrorist attacks on 9/11 required a reexamination of how best to protect against terrorist airplane hijackings, Russia’s military assault on Ukrainian nuclear plants raises questions…

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“Fast Reactors” Also Present a Fast Path to Nuclear Weapons

New “fast reactors” promise sustainable nuclear energy. They also pose serious proliferation risks because they can make lots of plutonium. The Energy Department’s choice for the leading reactor design for reviving nuclear power construction in the United States is so at odds with U.S. nonproliferation policy that it opens America to charges of rank hypocrisy.…

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Bill Gates’ Fast Nuclear Reactor: Will It Bomb?

The principal reason for preferring fast reactors, historically the only reason, is to gain the ability to breed plutonium. Thus, the reactor would make and reuse massive quantities of material that could also be used as nuclear explosives in warheads. TerraPower, the nuclear company founded by Bill Gates, just announced an agreement with private funders, including Warren Buffet,…

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Small military nuclear reactors: In need of global safeguards

The US Defense Department recently awarded three contracts totaling $40 million to kick off a design competition to build small mobile nuclear reactors that can “be forward deployed with forces outside the continental United States,” including at “remote operating bases.” The notion of small reactors accompanying troops in battle raises all sorts of military, logistical, and international…

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The Hidden Nuclear Risk of the Pandemic

The coronavirus crisis highlights the resilience problem of civilian nuclear power plants. The coronavirus crisis has revealed a significant Achilles’ heel in civilian nuclear power: The plants can’t operate if their relatively few highly skilled operators get sick or become contagious and have to be quarantined, a situation that, according to news reports, some plants are…

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Nuclear Proliferation Treaty Troubles Remain Unaddressed Amid a Global Pandemic

It is vital that would-be bombmakers be disabused of any notion that they could evade tough international sanctions. We need a country-neutral, reasonably predictable, more-or-less automatic sanction regime that puts all countries on notice, even friends of the powerful. Just as we’ve had to discard business-as-usual thinking to deal with the current worldwide health emergency;…

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The Little-Known Loophole in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

The State Department should use the upcoming conference as an opportunity to concentrate on its most immediate concern: closing the gap in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty system which makes possible the overly lax provision for a withdrawal and eliminating the uncertainties about the continuation of IAEA inspections. Read more at The National Interest

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