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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?

Yes, nuclear energy contributes to the creation of nuclear weapons Show more Show less

Enhancing uranium and creating the right plutonium can lead to a state having the capabilities to create nuclear weapons.
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Plutonium is produced from spent nuclear fuel

Pu-239 is incredibly easy to create from uranium used in nuclear power. Weapons-grade plutonium can be created from spent uranium in almost any country that has the capabilities for nuclear power.

The Argument

If a nuclear reactor is run normally for a prolonged period of time, the plutonium produced will be 19% or more Pu-240, with 80% or less Pu-239. Weapons-grade plutonium must have less than 7% Pu-240. Pu-240 cannot undergo nuclear fission, while Pu-239 can.[1] However, if a nuclear reactor is run just long enough to produce Pu-239 out of the uranium but not long enough to create Pu-240, the resulting spent nuclear fuel will have enough Pu-239 to be weapons-grade. Running a nuclear reactor for a short amount of time can easily create weapons-grade plutonium, where up to 93% of the plutonium created is Pu-239, leaving between 6 and 7% Pu-240. [1] The ability to create Pu-239 from uranium used for nuclear power means there is a connection between nuclear power and nuclear weapons. It is feasible for countries that have the necessary equipment for nuclear power to also produce, if nothing else, weapons-grade plutonium.[2]

Counter arguments

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Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/09/09/ask-ethan-how-can-a-nation-have-nuclear-power-without-the-danger-of-nuclear-weapons/#5be91e2839cd
  2. https://www.citizen-times.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/05/29/two-connections-nuclear-power-nuclear-weapons/28166479/
This page was last edited on Saturday, 31 Oct 2020 at 00:03 UTC

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