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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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Rapid and prolonged enrichment of uranium can lead to weapons-grade uranium

Enriching U-238 to create U-235 can aid in the creation of nuclear energy. However, enriching uranium can also lead to the creation of something much more dangerous—explosive, highly volatile weapons-grade uranium.

The Argument

There are two main isotopes of uranium: U-235 and U-238. If a country starts to enrich uranium found in the ground—which is primarily U-238—it can create U-235. U-235 fissions, which means it can be used for nuclear power. However, if a country enriches U-238 rapidly or for prolonged periods of time, it can make enough U-235 to create a nuclear weapon.[1] Uranium in the ground is over 99 percent U-238, so enrichment is needed to get any useable amount of U-235. Ordinary nuclear reactors need about 5 percent of U-235 to work and create nuclear power, so a state only needs to enrich uranium a little bit to have it work in a nuclear reactor. However, if a state keeps enriching, it can get the uranium to about 80 percent U-235, which is enough U-235 to create explosive uranium that can be used in a nuclear bomb. [2] If a nation starts to enrich uranium to create nuclear power, it can also enrich uranium to a point where it can create a nuclear bomb.

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References

  1. https://www.citizen-times.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/05/29/two-connections-nuclear-power-nuclear-weapons/28166479/
  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=2b5d92a539cd
This page was last edited on Thursday, 12 Nov 2020 at 20:03 UTC

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