Stevenson III, Adlan E.
October 1974
Foreign Affairs;Oct74, Vol. 53 Issue 1, p64
This article discusses the presence of nuclear reactors in many countries and its dangerous impact on world peace. In 1954 the United States began, innocently enough, to share its nuclear resources with the world. Since the start of the Atoms for Peace program it has supplied nuclear technology and materials to 29 countries in an effort to extend the benefits of peaceful atomic power to all mankind. All told today, over 500 nuclear reactors are in operation in 45 countries. The implications for world peace and stability are momentous. Atoms intended for peace can also be used for war. A nation with a functioning nuclear reactor and a reprocessing facility can produce plutonium for the manufacture of explosive devices. Small reprocessing plants for weapons-grade plutonium can be built fairly quickly, at moderate expense, and are difficult to detect. The weapons technology is readily available, and once plutonium is acquired, nuclear arms can be fabricated with relative ease. The nuclear club, which recently counted only the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, France and China among its members, is already losing its exclusivity. The recent Indian explosion, despite its "peaceful" label, has set its doors ajar.


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