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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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Oversight committees and treaties prevent countries from creating nuclear weapons

International oversight agencies like the International Atomic Energy Agency and treaties like The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons keep companies from developing nuclear weapons—even if they have the means to do so.
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The Argument

The countries with the ability to create nuclear weapons don't want to use them. They also don't want other countries to use them. So, if a country gains the ability to create nuclear weapons—as North Korea and Iran have done in recent years—the rest of the world will step in and regulate the country's nuclear supply. The International Atomic Energy Agency is an international agency tasked with the promotion of safe nuclear energy usage, as well as dissuading and preventing foreign entities from using their nuclear energy for military purposes.[1] In order for countries to have access to the benefits of nuclear power, but not have access to the destruction of nuclear weapons, we need agencies like the IAEA. With experts at the helm and buy-in from countries around the world, regulation is possible.[2] The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is another viable way to regulate nuclear weapons capabilities. The treaty has been signed by 190 countries and attempts to prevent the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons.[3] The treaty itself is reviewed every five years and changed or updated on an as-needed basis. While the treaty has not been as successful at decreasing the world stockpile of nuclear weapons, it's certainly a start.[4] Nuclear weapons don't just pop up in countries around the world, and with regulatory commissions and bi-lateral treaties, the global community can stop the development and spread of warheads with exceptional ease.

Counter arguments

The NPT is not perfect, and a growing number of countries are concerned that the US and Russia aren't taking their nuclear disarmament seriously. There is a growing sense of distrust within the NPT countries, and the distrust is laying the groundwork for countries to pull out or for new countries to refuse entry to the agreement. Our current nuclear treaties and agencies do nothing to prevent the creation of nuclear weapons, and might, if anything, encourage countries to create them.[5]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.iaea.org/
  2. https://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/energy-environment/333329-time-to-stop-confusing-nuclear-weapons-with-nuclear
  3. https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/nuclear/npt/
  4. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2020/03/03/experts-assess-the-nuclear-non-proliferation-treaty-50-years-after-it-went-into-effect/
  5. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2020/03/03/experts-assess-the-nuclear-non-proliferation-treaty-50-years-after-it-went-into-effect/
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 17 Nov 2020 at 19:15 UTC

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