Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Denatured Plutonium

This is a pleasant piece of rather good news. This innovation allows us to effectively take bomb grade plutonium out of the market forever. At least we hope so.

Inspection and vigilance has been largely successful but still allows for a rogue state to pursue a bomb agenda. Not very well, it must be observed and the rogue arsenals are small but still dangerous and unacceptable. This will outright remove the temptation.

It will still take time to implement but we have the time, and I believe the will to bring this beast under control once and for all. The ideological wars have subsided and strangely enough, the Islamic dream is slowly fading and will be fatally impacted by the end of the oil age and the establishment of modern economies, however long it takes. In the meantime the rest of the world has learned how to confront and contain the treat.

In time, perhaps the atomic bomb can and will become a museum exhibit without ever seeing another one set of in anger.

Scientists learn to 'declaw' plutonium

by Staff Writers
Beer-Sheva, Israel (UPI) Mar 9, 2009

Engineers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel say they have developed a way to "declaw" nuclear fuel, ensuring only peaceful plutonium use.

The engineers said their technique "denatures" plutonium created in large nuclear reactors, making it unsuitable for use in nuclear arms. They said that by adding Americium, a form of the basic synthetic element found in commercial smoke detectors and industrial gauges, plutonium can only be used for peaceful purposes.

Professor Yigal Ronen, who led the research, said if the United States, Russia, Germany, France and Japan agreed to add the denaturing additive into all plutonium, it would affect other nations now developing nuclear power.

"When you purchase a nuclear reactor from one of the five countries, it also provides the nuclear fuel for the reactor," said Ronen. "Thus, if the five agree to insert the additive into fuel for countries now developing nuclear power -- such as Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Namibia, Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen -- they will have to use it for peaceful purposes rather than warfare."

The research is to be reported in next month's issue of the journal Science and Global Security.

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