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Does nuclear energy contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons? Show more Show less
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A growing number of nations are gaining the tools and abilities to utilize nuclear power. Should we concerned about the possibility of those tools being used for nuclear war?

No, nuclear energy does not contribute to the creation of nuclear weapons Show more Show less

Nuclear weapons are incredibly difficult to make. The engineering needed to make nuclear weapons, combined with heavy regulation of nuclear material by oversight committees and other countries makes the proliferation of nuclear weapons extremely unlikely.
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Nuclear weapons are difficult to manufacture

Even if a country can enrich uranium to a high enough level to be used in a nuclear weapon, and even if they can separate the plutonium from the spent nuclear waste, there are still several barriers to creating a nuclear bomb.

The Argument

There is a lot more to a nuclear bomb than uranium and plutonium. Containing a volatile nuclear reaction and compressing the uranium to create a nuclear bomb is not an easy task and is something that took the US years to engineer.[1] A country's ability to enrich uranium does not immediately mean they have the ability to make a nuclear weapon. First, extracting uranium from the nuclear power plant is a tedious, costly, and dangerous task, as is the extraction of the correct plutonium from spent nuclear waste.[2] Then, a country must create a bombshell capable of containing the nuclear reaction without detonating, and surround the uranium with enough explosives to compact and explode the nuclear material. Even then, it would take years of refinement for a country to make a powerful nuclear weapon and several rounds of testing that would surely be noticed by the broader global community.[1] Some experts' concerns that nuclear bombs can be readily available from countries that have nuclear power are, by and large, unfounded and gloss over the realities of the materials needed to create such weapons.

Counter arguments

While the creation of nuclear weapons is increasingly difficult and costly for a country, a terrorist organization could very easily attempt to make a dirty bomb using spent material from a nuclear waste plant. There is the danger that, if a country has nuclear energy sites, an organization could use the material to craft a poorly engineered yet still effective nuclear weapon. [3]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf5Vk6t2yMI&ab_channel=MITK12Videos&t=362s
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/09/09/ask-ethan-how-can-a-nation-have-nuclear-power-without-the-danger-of-nuclear-weapons/?sh=182e2c5539cd
  3. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/12/how-to-get-a-nuclear-bomb/305402/
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 17 Nov 2020 at 19:13 UTC

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