academic freedom, atomic weapons establishment, military industrial complex, molten salt reactor, non-proliferation, nuclear power, nuclear weapons, Oak Ridge Lab, the buying of academia, the buying of universities, thorium, thorium and proliferation, thorium reactor, UK, UK universities, universities
Could this be why it appears virtually impossible to get serious academic work regarding dangers of nuclear, etc.? The buying of academia?
“Atoms For Peace: The Atomic Weapons Establishment and UK Universities
Nuclear Information Service and Medact have undertaken a two-year study to investigate research links between British universities and the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), which is responsible for designing and manufacturing the UK’s nuclear weapons. This report presents the executive summary and key findings from our study.
We found that approaching half of British universities have research links with AWE. Much of the work funded by AWE qualifies as ‘blue skies’ research which is not aimed at any particular application. However, some of the research funded by AWE may have ‘dual use’ potential – the capability to be used for both benign, peaceful purposes and military purposes contributing to the development of weapons of mass destruction.
Our study highlights the need for increased transparency over the nature of university research funded by AWE, and the need to strengthen the framework for considering the ethical implications of such work and its impact upon the research environment.
To help universities and researchers navigate ethical issues arising from participating in research work funded by AWE, Nuclear Information Service and Medact have prepared a set of model ethical guidelines which are presented in the main report for the study.” See summary report here: http://www.medact.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Atoms-For-Peace-Summary-Report-Web-Low-Res.pdf
See also, “Over fifty British universities funded by Atomic Weapons Establishment” http://nuclearinfo.org/article/awe-aldermaston/atoms-peace-investigation-int-links-between-uk-universities-and-atomic http://nuclearinfo.org/sites/default/files/Atoms%20For%20Peace%20Ethical%20Guidelines.pdf http://nuclearinfo.org/sites/default/files/Atoms%20For%20Peace%20Full%20Report.pdf
What is the relationship between Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power?
“The links between nuclear power and nuclear weapons go back to the very beginning of the development of atomic energy. Over time the nature and strength of these links have varied.
• Any country that has nuclear power has the potential to make nuclear weapons.
• The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) enshrines the right of member states to have nuclear power as long as they promise not to develop nuclear weapons.
• The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) promotes the spread of nuclear technology as part of its remit, as well as trying to ensure that civil nuclear material is not used for military purposes. Both the NPT and the IAEA, who are responsible for controlling nuclear proliferation, also have a brief to spread the use of nuclear power.
• The inspection and safeguarding roles of the IAEA are somewhat limited, in the official nuclear weapons-states as well as in others. Accounting for fissile materials is very problematic – Russia being a case in point, but not a lone case.
• The U.K. is a leading exporter of nuclear technology (for example, in the field of uranium enrichment).
• The U.K. could contribute significantly to world safety and security by not building more nuclear power stations, by working to create a Fissile Material Control Treaty, and by phasing out its nuclear exports“.
From: “A CND briefing by Davida Higgin, April 2006”
Read more here: http://www.cnduk.org/campaigns/anti-war/item/download/45
“The Link Between Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons: Nuclear Reactors Create the Material and Technological Expertise to Make Nuclear Weapons
From the dawn of the nuclear age, it has been recognized that nuclear power and nuclear weapons are inextricably linked. The 1946 Acheson-Lillienthal report on the control of atomic energy recognized that, ‘the development of atomic energy for peaceful purposes and the development of atomic energy for bombs are in much of their course interchangeable and interdependent.’ It is no coincidence that the United States, the Soviet Union, France and Great Britain all developed commercial programs in conjunction with their bomb building efforts. Civilian programs sprang from the perceived need to produce plutonium.
Civilian nuclear programs have led to the proliferation of nuclear weapons in India, Pakistan, Israel and South Africa. India’s nuclear program began in 1960 with a research reactor provided by Canada and run with heavy water supplied by the United States. According to the New York Times, American technicians trained Indian scientists to reprocess plutonium from the radioactive fuel. Indians then used the plutonium for a nuclear bomb in 1974. The Indian government called the use of this nuclear device ‘a peaceful nuclear explosion.’
The inextricable link between the ‘peaceful atom’ and nuclear weapons has never been more evident. The United States has helped to blur the line between nuclear power and nuclear weapons by using the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar reactor to produce tritium for nuclear bombs. American, Canadian, German, Russian and French nuclear corporations continue to circle the globe attempting to sell nuclear power technology to anyone who will buy it. While nuclear sales may benefit the corporate bottom line, the spread of nuclear technology and ultimately nuclear weapons undermines our national security and the security of the planet“. http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/nuclear/safety-and-security/the-link-between-nuclear-power/
Excerpt from “Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons” by the Nuclear Energy Information Service:
For as long as there has been federal control of nuclear research and materials, there has been an interest in using commercial nuclear reactors as a source of materials to make weapons. In the early 1950’s it was recognized that the weapons program would require more plutonium than could be furnished by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). One suggestion, made by Dr. Charles A. Thomas, then executive vice-president of Monsanto Chemical Company, was to create a dual purpose plutonium reactor, on which could produce plutonium for weapons, and electricity for commercial use.
A 1951 study undertaken by the AEC concluded that commercial nuclear reactors would not be economically feasible if they were used solely to produce electricity; they would be, however, if they also produced plutonium which could be sold. Utilities themselves were only mildly intrigued with the notion of being able to produce ‘too cheap to meter electricity,’ and only so long as someone else took over the responsibility for the waste products, and indemnified them against catastrophic nuclear plant accidents….
The connections linking nuclear power and weapons is more than political or historic. Consider: l FISSIONABLE MATERIALS: It is the same nuclear fuel cycle with its mining of uranium, milling, enrichment and fuel fabrication stages which readies the uranium ore for use in reactors, whether these reactors are used to create plutonium for bombs or generate electricity. In the end, both reactors produce the plutonium. The only difference between them is the concentration of the various isotopes used in the fuel. Each year a typical 1000 mega-watt (MW) commercial power reactor will produce 300 to 500 pounds of plutonium — enough to build between 25 – 40 Nagasaki-sized atomic bombs…” http://www.neis.org/literature/Brochures/weapcon.htm (emphasis ours)
Oak Ridge National Lab Discusses Relationship Between Molten Thorium Reactor And Weapons:
“By 1954, the Laboratory’s chemical technologists had completed a pilot plant demonstrating the ability of the THOREX process to separate thorium, protactinium, and uranium-233 from fission products and from each other. This process could isolate uranium-233 for weapons development and also for use as fuel in the proposed thorium breeder reactors.
Molten-salt reactor experiments continued at the Laboratory through the 1960s and into the early 1970s. In 1969, Keith Brown, David Crouse, Carlos Bamberger, and colleagues adapted molten-salt technology to the problem of breeding uranium-233 from thorium, which could be extracted from the virtually inexhaustible supply of granite rocks found throughout the earth’s crust. When bombarded by neutrons in the molten-salt reactor, thorium was converted to fissionable uranium-233, another nuclear fuel.
In December 1960, the AEC directed the Oak Ridge Laboratory to “turn its attention to developing a molten-salt reactor and thorium breeder“.
http://web.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/rev25-34/chapter4.shtml (Emphasis Added)
Further, as you can see, there is nothing really “new” about molten salt thorium reactors other than marketing. As in all fashion the same old stuff gets rehashed. We need new energy innovation and investment instead.
More Reading of Interest Regarding Thorium Reactors and Weapons Proliferation: http://wmdjunction.com/121031_thorium_reactors.htm https://www.princeton.edu/sgs/publications/sgs/pdf/9_1kang.pdf