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ElBaradei and nuclear future ElBaradei and nuclear future
by Thanos Kalamidas
2006-10-22 10:50:47
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Despite North Korea claiming that it is not preparing for a second nuclear weapon test and has definitely become the ninth country with knowledge and ownership of nuclear weapons, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei pointed that the international treaty for the control of atomic energy needs reforms.

Mr. ElBaradei was not the first to point out the problem and it didn't happened lately, it has been a question for the last twenty years, but the latest events with North Korea and Iran have brought attention back to the question. The difference that Mr. ElBaradei made was saying that in the next few years the number nine will most likely become thirty.

We could have thirty countries with nuclear bombs, which could be launched at the push of a button instantly producing thirty Hiroshimas within minutes. So we are back to the period of the Cold War where peace was a result of fear.

Again, who can guarantee that these dictators holding this power will not press the button at the first chance? In the name of peace, of course. After all, even the USA used the bomb in the name of peace and when there was not a necessity. Japan was actually crawling on its knees waiting for the end, plus Hiroshima was not exactly a military target - the American's other bombs had already accomplished that in the former industrial city. Truman's target was never Japan; his real target was Russia. He wanted to show power. So what makes us think that North Korea will not hit Taiwan for example?

Perhaps that thought has made China sit up and pay attention for the first time. They are having second thoughts about the constant support and backing they have shown to the North Korean regime over the last few decades. The balance in this part of the world is very sensitive, especially with two more nuclear powers and one rising star. India and Pakistan have had nuclear weapons for some years and Iran is obviously going to be the next.

But ElBaradei's point did not stop there. In the years of the energy crisis, with oil prices escalating to unbelievable heights, how can you stop any country trying to solve this problem and moving to nuclear plants? Most European countries have done so without necessarily creating nuclear bombs, for example Finland is building its fifth nuclear plant right now.

In addition, if President Putin continues with his blackmail and dirty games with natural gas it is more likely that others will follow. The difficulties that ElBaradei wants to address stems from the margin between building a nuclear plant and developing weapons because the technology to start both is very similar.

What are these changes going to be? According to Dr. ElBaradei, the first step is for more countries to sign the protocol for improved investigations because only 78 of the 142 country members of the treaty have signed it. More money, that's another big issue. The IAEA needs far more funds if they want to improve their research and investigation capabilities. In my opinion, the UN and IAEA should make people more aware of what nuclear power actually means and what the possession of nuclear weapons means for humanity.

As a principal, I am against the use of any kind of nuclear power, there are many other natural and environmentally friendly methods, but there is always a 'but'. All these ways demand global understanding and cooperation, something that obviously will take long to come, especially when we still need the fear of a nuclear war to keep peace.

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eva2006-10-22 01:58:28
Very frightening development.

Thanos2006-10-22 14:30:50
It does scare me. Since when we stopped thinking that nuclear weapons should not exist at all and we started thinking how to cotrnol them?

eva2006-10-22 14:56:44
Well the game changes all the time, doesn't it?
And then it goes round back to the same thing again. "Nothing new under the sun" they say...

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