Paul Flynn MP: Cameron has lamely echoed Obama’s warning on nuclear terrorism. On the 18th of June 2015 I had a debate on nuclear power. The Tory minister’s response was woeful. She did not mention the dangers of nuclear terrorism. Hinkley Point C, she claimed would be a financial success. Her arguments are collapsing now. Older nuclear power stations were not built to withstand terrorist attacks by drones and all the means by which people could attack them.
Paul Flynn 2nd April 2016 read more »
The fourth Nuclear Security Summit will admit we are in a hole, but there appears to be no recognition that we need to stop digging. What often goes unsaid is that the likelihood of nuclear terrorism is considered extremely small. This erroneous perception accounts for government unwillingness to take even the most obvious steps to get us out of the hole we are in, or even to stop digging. North Korea calculated a decade ago that it was a good idea to build a plutonium production reactor in Syria, where terrorist groups abound. Next, security standards vary alarmingly from country to country, as do the capabilities of terrorists. And while much has in fact been done to meet concerns about highly enriched uranium in the civilian sector (that one is true), the argument calling plutonium useless is technical nonsense. Indeed, plutonium and its vulnerability to theft are increasing, and this alone promises soon to utterly change the calculation about the probability of nuclear terrorism. Reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel for reasons of waste management or recycling will not take place in the United States any time soon. But the same cannot be said of Japan or China. The Japanese reprocessing plant at Rokkasho will be separating more than 6,000 kilograms of plutonium annually – enough for more than a thousand nuclear weapons – when it begins operation. And France has contracted to build a similar reprocessing facility in China. The stark fact that the economics of reprocessing and mixed oxide fuel fabrication are horrendous should be a persuasive argument against them, independent of international security implications. But so far it has not carried the day. What should move the Obama administration to take on the diplomatic mission of pushing against reprocessing plants anywhere in Northeast Asia, however, is the equally stark fact that keeping to the current path will legitimize the use of plutonium.
Huffington Post 31st March 2016 read more »
One of the scientists who spoke at the Savannah River Site’s Citizens Advisory Board meeting in Augusta this week has proposed a new use for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site, if the MOX program is terminated. Dr. Edwin Lyman, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, who is an expert in nuclear safety and security, published a blog Thursday that the MOX facility, which is still under construction, could become an international training center where nuclear security guards would be taught the skills they need to do their jobs effectively.
Aiken Standard 1st April 2016 read more »
Barack Obama was grim as he described the doomsday ¬scenario the world dreads – Islamic State as a nuclear power. The US President told the 50-nation security summit in Washington DC: “If these mad men ever got their hands on a nuclear bomb or nuclear material, they would certainly use it to kill as many people as possible. “The single most effective defence against nuclear terrorism is fully securing this material so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands in the first place.” He did not say that the other most effective defence is to wipe IS off the face of the planet. And if that is to be achieved it will need the overwhelming firepower of Western boots on Middle Eastern ground to do it.
Mirror 3rd April 2016 read more »
City AM 2nd April 2016 read more »