Will Canada remain a credible nonproliferation partner?

Will Canada remain a credible nonproliferation partner?

Postby Oscar » Wed Jul 28, 2021 4:14 pm

Will Canada remain a credible nonproliferation partner?

[ https://thebulletin.org/2021/07/will-ca ... n-partner/ ]

By Susan O’Donnell, Gordon Edwards | July 26, 2021

PHOTO: AMBER WAVES OF GRAIN. This field of ceramic nose-cones represents, in miniature, all the warheads in the US nuclear arsenal at the height of the Cold War, along with the nuclear submarines, bombers, and ballistic missiles designed to deliver them. Estimates put the warhead count at around 25,000. Denver sculptress Barbara Donachy created this installation to show what such a concentration of nuclear weaponry would look like all in one place. Her display contains 33,561 pieces representing 31,000 warheads, 1,799 ballistic missiles, 324 intercontinental bombers, and 37 nuclear submarines. Amber Waves of Grain installation by Barbara Donachy, Boston Science Museum, Boston, Massachusetts. February 13, 1985. Photograph copyright by Robert Del Tredici, The Atomic Photographers Guild. Used with permission. AMBER WAVES OF GRAIN. This field of ceramic nose-cones represents, in miniature, all the warheads in the US nuclear arsenal at the height of the Cold War, along with the nuclear submarines, bombers, and ballistic missiles designed to deliver them. Estimates put the warhead count at around 25,000. Denver sculptress Barbara Donachy created this installation to show what such a concentration of nuclear weaponry would look like all in one place. Her display contains 33,561 pieces representing 31,000 warheads, 1,799 ballistic missiles, 324 intercontinental bombers, and 37 nuclear submarines. Amber Waves of Grain installation by Barbara Donachy, Boston Science Museum, Boston, Massachusetts. February 13, 1985. Photograph copyright by Robert Del Tredici, The Atomic Photographers Guild. Used with permission.

The recent effort to persuade Canada to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has stimulated a lively debate in the public sphere. At the same time, out of the spotlight, the start-up company Moltex Energy received a federal grant to develop a nuclear project in New Brunswick that experts say will undermine Canada’s credibility as a nonproliferation partner.

Moltex wants to extract plutonium from the thousands of used nuclear fuel bundles currently stored as “high-level radioactive waste” at the Point Lepreau reactor site on the Bay of Fundy. The idea is to use the plutonium as fuel for a new nuclear reactor, still in the design stage. If the project is successful, the entire package could be replicated and sold to other countries if the Government of Canada approves the sale.

On May 25, nine US nonproliferation experts sent an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressing concern that by “backing spent-fuel reprocessing and plutonium extraction, the Government of Canada will undermine the global nuclear weapons non-proliferation regime that Canada has done so much to strengthen.” [ http://ccnr.org/Open_Letter_to_Trudeau_2021.pdf ]

The nine signatories to the letter include senior White House appointees and other US government advisers who worked under six US presidents: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama; and who hold professorships at the Harvard Kennedy School, University of Maryland, Georgetown University, University of Texas at Austin, George Washington University, and Princeton University.

Plutonium is a human-made element created as a byproduct in every nuclear reactor. It’s a “Jekyll and Hyde” kind of material: on the one hand, it is the stuff that nuclear weapons are made from. On the other hand, it can be used as a nuclear fuel. The crucial question is, can you have one without the other? . . . .

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Re: Will Canada remain a credible nonproliferation partner?

Postby Oscar » Wed Jul 28, 2021 5:19 pm

Non-proliferation experts send letter of concern over New Brunswick nuclear project

[ https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/0 ... ar-project ]

By Cloe Logan | News, Energy, Politics | July 28th 2021

QUOTE: "The experts also cite environmental concerns, which Gordon Edwards, nuclear expert and co-founder of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, shares. . . . .

Proliferation, the environment and all the risk associated with plutonium make a project like this worrisome for Edwards.

“For Canada to start separating plutonium at this stage in the game, is really upsetting ...

There is a long-standing caution from people in the non-proliferation field, people in the nuclear disarmament area, that this is just sending a bad signal,” said Edwards.

“That if Canada is going to be separating plutonium, then why couldn't any country in the world do it?”"
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