Shellenberger: For Nations Seeking Nuclear Energy, The Option To Build A Weapon Remains A Feature Not A Bug. Under the rules of the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty, nations are allowed to have facilities to enrich uranium, and extract plutonium from spent fuel, which could be used to build a weapon. Using enrichment or reprocessing facilities to create weapons-grade materials would require expelling international inspectors and risking trade sanctions — or worse. In 1981 and 2007, for instance, Iraq and Syria, respectively, suffered bombing attacks carried out by Israel on their nuclear facilities. But when push comes to shove, nations that feel they need a weapon will take those risks. In the 60 years of civilian nuclear power, at least 20 nations* sought nuclear power at least in part to give themselves the option of creating a nuclear weapon. The flip side also appears true: nations that lack a need for weapons latency often decide not to build nuclear power plants, which can be more difficult and expensive than fossil fueled ones.
Forbes 29th Aug 2018 read more »