Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

It’s All About the Bomb. Civilian nuclear power is merely a cover for producing more nuclear weapons.

Presenting civilian nuclear power as the answer to climate change, as clean and safe electrical generation, or as energy “too cheap to meter” is simply a sales pitch. What is actually delivered by a robust nuclear energy fleet is the capacity for nuclear weapons and a nuclear Navy.

It does not matter if nuclear power can really solve climate change, it just has to be seen as an essential part of the solution to attract bright, young talent into what is made to appear as the cutting edge of technology and climate solutions, even though the civilian nuclear power industry worldwide has been in decline since 2002.

Why civilian nuclear power is merely a cover for producing more nuclear weapons. BY ALFRED MEYER , NOVEMBER 25, 2022

“……………………………………………………………………. the United States wanted to be recognized as the leader of the “free world” in the postwar years. In the early 1950s, the military needed to recast nuclear enterprise activities to appear to be peaceful, beneficial parts of our modern life, very distant from the wartime horrors.

…………….In a now famous speech on December 8, 1953, titled “Atoms for Peace,” Eisenhower proposed to the U.N. General Assembly an international program of sharing “peaceful” nuclear materials and know-how for untold bounty, to encourage development of nuclear programs around the world.

……… one should also recognize that the IAEA’s bluntly stated mission is to promote nuclear technology. The first leaders of the IAEA were from the United States, to ensure that U.S. interests were protected.

Nuclear enterprise infrastructure is an outgrowth of World War II. These new endeavors drew international interest in creating the huge nuclear marketplace now in existence. Atoms for Peace—a plan to share nonmilitary nuclear technology with other countries to “win hearts and minds”—placed nuclear materials and reactors in more than forty countries, including Iran. This generated ongoing business for many American nuclear enterprise companies while supporting and expanding the U.S. military’s nuclear infrastructure and capacity in the United States.

Having nuclear activities under the auspices of the United Nations conferred upon them the legitimacy and respect of that international body………………………………….

The generally favorable response to Atoms for Peace was a trifecta for the nuclear enterprise. U.S. nuclear activities were repackaged as the “peaceful” atom and given the patina of social acceptance through United Nations oversight. Eisenhower was lauded as a good leader for sharing the atom with the world, and the U.S. nuclear infrastructure got new business and growth, which supported more U.S. nuclear weapons and nuclear Navy programs.

Atoms for Peace also served geopolitical ends. For instance, one reason the United States provided Iran with a research reactor in 1967 was to saddle that country with significant financial obligations, including paying for ongoing parts, services, and technical support from American companies. 

The Atomic Energy Commission was created in 1946 to promote and regulate the development of this new industry. With the commission led by Wall Street banker Lewis Strauss for five critical years, it is not surprising that the scales heavily favored promotion over regulation. Encouraging private investment in these risky reactor projects was assisted by minimizing regulatory safety and operational demands upon the private operators.

But why was it so important for the U.S. government to develop and subsidize civilian nuclear power? Because it allowed the military, in essence, to spin off its nuclear reactor activities to private financing and corporate operations. Like Atoms for Peace, this repackaging of a military activity as a civilian one succeeded in making the endeavor socially acceptable and somewhat self-funding—although government subsidies are still perennially needed to carry on, and taxpayers are still covering the liability insurance costs of the private corporations.

Most importantly, as detailed in a 2017 report by former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, civilian nuclear power is an “essential enabler” of our national security. The Atlantic Council calculates the value of this contribution to national security to be $42.4 billion a year. Businesses contributing to the nuclear Navy’s supply chain are in forty-four U.S. states.

……………. Being the biggest nuclear enterprise on earth encourages the circular, self-sustaining dynamic of the nuclear arms race. The United States is busy modernizing its nuclear weapons infrastructure to be “strong enough” to negotiate the elimination of nuclear weapons. This is presented as official doctrine in the nonproliferation world. In reality, the United States is actually driving the growing international nuclear arms race.

…………… Presenting civilian nuclear power as the answer to climate change, as clean and safe electrical generation, or as energy “too cheap to meter” is simply a sales pitch. What is actually delivered by a robust nuclear energy fleet is the capacity for nuclear weapons and a nuclear Navy.

Over the decades, there have been numerous expert critiques of nuclear power, authoritatively debunking these misleading and false promises, yet these critiques seem to have no effect on the trajectory of the nuclear enterprise. I suggest that these sales pitches are diversionary techniques aimed at sapping our energy.

It does not matter if nuclear power can really solve climate change, it just has to be seen as an essential part of the solution to attract bright, young talent into what is made to appear as the cutting edge of technology and climate solutions, even though the civilian nuclear power industry worldwide has been in decline since 2002.

To protect ourselves from the dangers of the nuclear enterprise, we need to stop the nuclear weapons and nuclear power reactor programs—a tall order, for sure. But if we seek success in our efforts, we are well advised to understand the forces we are engaging with. It is all about nuclear weapons.

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December 19, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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