The Delicate Dance Between Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Arms

Obama and Medvedev's entente at the G-20 produced the most fruitful conversation in years on how to reduce the 24,000 nuclear weapons siloed in the US and Russia. Nuclear energy, however, is still on the table.

The details are still being fleshed out, but the joint statement from London signals definitive steps to get beyond the fricative Bush-Putin years.


But since every nuclear reactor is potentially an arms factory, one of the thorniest parts of any binding agreement will be the specifics on how to manage nuclear facilities for safe purposes moving forward.

Both countries envision nuclear power as a large part of their energy profiles in the coming years, and, anticipating potential conflicts between nonproliferation promises and energy needs, the two countries also agreed to implement Global Energy Security Principles proposed at the 2006 G-8 meeting in St. Petersburg.

When Parah Khanna of the New America Foundation spoke with Big Think last year he said:

"I don't think we can uninvent nuclear weapons. I think we can get to a situation where...a number of powers had only a couple of hundred total each and that would be the limit. I think that that would be a very positive step. I don't think it's worth talking about grand proposals for abolition unless we can get to that point and have the political will internationally to get to that point."


Further Viewing:

A recent Carnegie Endowment forum on the future of nuclear power

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Love in a time of migrants: on rethinking arranged marriages

Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.

Culture & Religion

In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.

Keep reading Show less