New India - US agreement...the nuclear hypocrisy?

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Today a new agreement between the US and India was announced about nuclear policy.

Quote by News Article on MSNBC.comNEW DELHI, India - Reversing decades of U.S. policy, President Bush ushered India into the world's exclusive nuclear club Thursday with a landmark agreement to share nuclear reactors, fuel and expertise with this energy-starved nation in return for its acceptance of international safeguards.

While I understand the need for energy in many countries including India that calls for nuclear power, this news brings up the ongoing question about nuclear weapons...as in which countries have them and which countries are "allowed" to have them. The controversy exists because India is not one of the countries that has signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

By the terms of the non-proliferation treaty, only 5 countries (US, Russia, France, Britain, China) are allowed to have nuclear weapons but they are supposedly committed to: "nonproliferation and disarmament."

Personally I don't take issue with the spread of nuclear technology for the use of power and if Indians will benefit from the increase of energy resources, I'd have no problems with this new agreement.

What bothers me more is the terms of the original treaty...is it really for the benefit of the world at large that 5 countries are the only ones technically permitted to have nuclear weapons? (Ignoring the fact that many countries violate the treaty...including India)
It seems to be merely a case of might makes right...
Also...I am not convinced that even the countries that have signed the treaty are really committed to disarmament...despite some actions on the part of the US and Russia, not much has really happened in recent years.

I'd be interested in hearing what people think about this new agreement between the US and India (good for world/India?) and also whether the original non-proliferation treaty should be revised or discarded altogether.
Should having nuclear weapons be legal for any country?


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I guess you have here a nice example of what you can call 'politic.'

India already has nuclear weapons, just as its neighbor and a few other countries. Honestly, you can't honestly force them to get rid of their bombs with a smile...

Now, don't forget there are other kind of weapons that are not really any better than nuclear weapons: bacteriological, chemical,...

  • Mar 03, 2006
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Quote by gnoel
Now, don't forget there are other kind of weapons that are not really any better than nuclear weapons: bacteriological, chemical,...

This is true...it's easy to focus on the obvious problem of nuclear weapons, but you're right...those are equally dangerous weapons that should not be supported by any world government as well...the likelihood of those being destroyed though is even lower than with nuclear weapons... :(

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... so having more chance to have nuclear accidents (well we arlready have Chernobyl), more chance than to have more nuclear weapons coming to groups other than countries... and also to unfriendly countries.

Wasn't there an indian scientist that gave to a "unfriendly" country the way to have nuclear weapons ?

I think one of the main downsize of a nuclear weapon is it makes the place dangerous even long after it has been used. After all, people could come near Ground zero... but visiting a irradiated place like Chernobyl even now is... -_-

But anyway why care about anything (treaties, laws, hasards...) when the only thing that matters is money ?

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  • Mar 03, 2006
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If that were the case then why have people repopulated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Over half a century after the dropping of Little Boy and Fat Man, no residual radioactivity or residual effect remain.

While radiactive material is dangerous, the fact of the matter is that out of more than 400 nuclear facilities already online to date, only four have had serious accidents. Because of these well publicized accidents, the eco-nuts have painted nuclear energy as evil. However nuclear powerplants actually run cleaner than coal fire, natural gas, or oil-buring powerplant. Furthermore, breeder reactor technology can allow spent nuclear fuel to be reprocessed into usable fuel. Reducing the amount of nuclear waste that muct be stored on site or transported to other storage facilities.

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  • Mar 04, 2006
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I agree with what griffon said. Nuclear energy is probably the only clean, powerful and feasable energy for mankind until nuclear fusion is usable. A lot of environmentalist are just blowing up the problem based on few accidents.

About the new US-India nuclear agreement, I simply look at it as a strategic partnership. US needs a strong ally in Asia that can rival against China. Other US ally like Japan, Singapore are loyal but not strong enough. India has a population that can rival China and has nuclear weapon. China and India relationship were never too smooth anyways. I can see why US would form this agreement with India

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Quote by almina... so having more chance to have nuclear accidents (well we arlready have Chernobyl), more chance than to have more nuclear weapons coming to groups other than countries... and also to unfriendly countries.

Wasn't there an indian scientist that gave to a "unfriendly" country the way to have nuclear weapons ?

I think one of the main downsize of a nuclear weapon is it makes the place dangerous even long after it has been used. After all, people could come near Ground zero... but visiting a irradiated place like Chernobyl even now is... -_-

But anyway why care about anything (treaties, laws, hasards...) when the only thing that matters is money ?

You're being ridiculous. Chernobly was the only extreme incident of its time. Nuclear meltdowns or accidents of any sorts are extremely rare, especially within the United States.

The chance of an event like Chernobyl ever happening again is unlikely, and the cause of Chernobyl isn't what you think. It started with a fire and an explosion that strewed radioactive material around. Nuclear energy is actually really safe, but only under the right regulations and guidelines. Anything good can be turned bad if it's neglected, as was the case of Chernobyl.

Try not to use that incident as your sole reason for hating anything nuclear. I don't think you understand the reasons behind Chernobyl nor the safeness in nuclear energy enough to have such an opinion about it.

okayillgonow

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That's all BullS**t! They'll become nuclear threats in no time!

''From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need.'' (Karl Marx)

  • Mar 05, 2006

EternalParadox

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EternalParadox

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The problem with nuclear energy isn't whether the powerplants are safe. It's that there is no real environmentally friendly way to dispose of the nuclear waste. The half-life of depleted uranium waste coming out of nuclear powerplants, U-238, is 4.5 x 10^9 years (that's 4 500 000 000 years, if you want to see how many zeros.) *Simply put, half-life is the length of time for the amount of radiactive material present in the same original material to be reduced by half through radioactive decay.*

Currently, we dump it in some isolated part of the ocean or burry it deep in isolated mountains. But neither of these are real solutions.

Quote: That's all BullS**t! They'll become nuclear threats in no time!

They already have nuclear weapons, fyi.

Signing a nuclear energy deal with India does not add anymore to the problem of nuclear proliferation. The agreement signed is for civilian nuclear energy. India doesn't need the US to provide nuclear weapons secrets; they have already developed the weapons. So the dangerous side of nuclear proliferation has already been present long before President Bush's visit. After all, India and Pakistan have on numerous times threatened nuclear holocaust on each other over Kashmir.

I would actually say that providing a modernized energy infrastructure to India would actually reduce the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation. India's rapidly growing economy is energy starved. Without viable and sustainable sources of energy, India cannot sustain its growth and its economy will stagnate, and possible head in the reverse direction towards a recession.

Economic hardships is the most dangerous social condition because with high employment and massive discontent, it becomes much easier for those in India with access to nuclear know-how to sell that knowledge for money. Therefore, by aiding India in sustaining its economy which will continue to increase the size of its stable middle class, which will continue to foster its democracy, the US is I believe reducing the threat of nuclear knowledge leaking from India into dangerous hands.

EternalParadox
Previously the Forum, Vector Art, and Policy Moderator

  • Mar 05, 2006
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Quote by EternalParadoxThe problem with nuclear energy isn't whether the powerplants are safe. It's that there is no real environmentally friendly way to dispose of the nuclear waste. The half-life of depleted uranium waste coming out of nuclear powerplants, U-238, is 4.5 x 10^9 years (that's 4 500 000 000 years, if you want to see how many zeros.) *Simply put, half-life is the length of time for the amount of radiactive material present in the same original material to be reduced by half through radioactive decay.*

Currently, we dump it in some isolated part of the ocean or burry it deep in isolated mountains. But neither of these are real solutions.

While I agree that nuclear waste is a serious problem that needs to be considered...I'd argue that the energy sources it would replace cause equally many if not more problems with pollution and contamination
Many countries still run on coal plants...coal is not only dangerous and environmentally destructive to mine but contributes to highly to pollution
While countries like the US have some restrictions that require companies to filter pollutants out before releasing coal smoke I'd imagine many other countries do not...and even the US restrictions are still rather weak
Current energy sources that do not pollute...such as solar power and wind power still do not produce enough energy for any real power contribution
Because nuclear plants produce so much energy, I'd prefer countries shift in that direction while also focusing more attention on how to destroy/decontruct the radioactive waste

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Breeder reactors....the technology already exists to reprocess nuclear waste materials back into fissable fuel. And added bonus to such technology is that breeder reactors can also generate electicity while it reprocess fuel....more bang for the buck.

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  • Mar 07, 2006

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