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Banking Madness

Optimize Blog - January 8, 2010 - 0 comments

In 1953 President Eisenhower suggested that the then Superpowers of the US and Russia put aside some uranium from their respective stockpiles for “the good of humanity” in other words to fuel the nuclear power stations of those countries that could not afford the facilities to produce their own.  Of course in the 50’s the pursuit centred around MAD (mutual assured destruction) which looking back now seems quite ridiculous – “better we both lose than one of us win”.
Eisenhower was way ahead of his time with his proposal but it went nowhere.
So here we are in the second decade of the new century and Iran arrives on the scene, enriching its own uranium and consequently facilitating the potential production of nuclear weapons.  This makes the rest of the world slightly less comfortable despite Iran’s protestations about the innocence of its behaviour.  Now, if President Eisenhower’s proposal had been implemented, Iran and other developing countries like it could have been applying to Eisenhower’s Nuclear Stockpile Bank for enriched uranium for its power stations – without either the cost of investment in their own facilities which runs into the billions.  Of course the ability to be able to develop nuclear weapons of mass destruction would also not be possible.
Where, then, does the accountability lie for the control of enriched uranium globally and should we be concerned with controlling such a potentially lethal force?  Is it a global issue?  If the climate conference can at least get countries together discussing plans to save the planet should there not be equal motivation to ‘regulate’ the use of energy that could wipe out vast swathes of the world and humanity with it?
Clearly many of the concerns of countries like Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Turkey, Vietnam and Indonesia (along with the current hotly criticized countries of North Korea and Iran) is that once again the control of energy sources will be outside of their sovereignty and therefore put the wellbeing of their own people at a disadvantage.
The Uranium Bank seems a good idea in principle but it may be some time before any workable agreement could be reached and in the meantime many governments (some deemed as ‘hostile’) could be enriching their own uranium offering them the potential to create nuclear weapons.  In some developing countries the diversion of tens of billions of dollars to build facilities to enrich uranium seems almost surreal when many other parts of their welfare support and infrastructure are in dire need of investment.
Once again we see skewed priorities all in the name of sovereignty.

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