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President Obama’s Next Nuclear Disarmament Move? Enriched Uranium Handouts … Update

11 April 2010 No Comment

President Obama is convening a Global Nuclear Security Summit in Washington beginning on Monday. “The purpose… would be to achieve the highest levels of nuclear security, which the president believes is essential for enhanced international security and for the peaceful development and the global expansion of nuclear energy…”(italics mine)

How would the peaceful development and the global expansion of nuclear energy be accomplished? By Americans supplying enriched uranium to other countries.

Sound far-fetched? Not if President Obama intends for American to bankroll an international nuclear fuel bank to dissuade countries from building their own uranium enrichment facilities.

We know that the creation of an “international nuclear fuel bank” is a distinct possibility on President Obama’s agenda by reviewing legislation he sponsored and introduced in the Senate during his tenure as a U.S. Senator. According to S. 1977, The Nuclear Weapons Threat Reduction Act of 2007, Obama’s policy would “provide for sustained United States leadership in a cooperative global effort to prevent nuclear terrorism, reduce global nuclear arsenals, stop the spread of nuclear weapons and related material and technology, and support the responsible and peaceful use of nuclear technology.” (Italics mine) Sound familiar?

According to Obama’s S. 1977, the “responsible and peaceful use of nuclear technology” is accomplished by creating an “international fuel bank” at an opening cost of “$50 million to American taxpayers to “support the creation of a low enriched uranium reserve… that would help guarantee the availability of fuel for commercial nuclear reactors.” The reason why Americans would fund enriched uranium handouts to other countries is because Obama presumes his “international fuel bank can play an important role in dissuading countries from building their own uranium enrichment facilities.” This policy, the President evidentially believes in, would serve as an important deterrent.

Who would administer this international nuclear fuel bank? It would not be the United States but the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which is part of the United Nations that “works to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.”

According to published reports some of the countries that have overtly or inadvertently expressed interest in developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes includes: Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Saudi Arabia has denied having any nuclear energy intentions. Global expansion of nuclear energy would ostensibly be used for powering water desalination plants, or to satisfy growing energy demands, but quietly and significantly, with the growing threat of a nuclear Iran in the region, the reasons may ultimately be for defense purposes.

Critics of what has been described as “enriched uranium diplomacy” argue that the expansion of the nuclear energy industry could inadvertently lead to state proliferation. Others contend that it is too risky to engage in with some countries; especially those with minimal regulatory capabilities or histories that point to nuclear materials and technology smuggling.

To ostensibly safeguard against those dangerous risks, Obama would authorize additional funding for the “IAEA’s Department of Safeguards to improve its ability to conduct effective inspections.” The world has witnessed the IAEA’s effectiveness in dealing with Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs.

Obama would also authorize “to be appropriated to the Secretary of Energy $15,000,000 for fiscal year 2008 and $10,000,000 for fiscal years 2009 through 2012, in addition… establish a national technical forensics program to develop the best practicable technologies and procedures for determining the origin of nuclear materials, whether seized while still intact or collected after the detonation of a nuclear bomb (emphasis mine).

Read Obama’s Nuclear Weapons Threat Reduction Act here.

Last week President Obama signed a new START agreement with Russia’s President Dmitri Medvedev that shook up America’s nuclear disarmament policy. Under this new treaty, the United States and Russia have mutually agreed to reduce the number of warheads in their respective arsenals. However, only the United States has promised to freeze its technology. In doing so, the Obama Administration has opened the door for Russia to modernize its way to nuclear dominance. This week it looks like President Obama will shake up America’s nuclear disarmament policy again.

Cross-posted at Biggovernment.com.

Update. With all the happy-talk out of the Obama Administration on nuclear disarmament, Ralph Peters writes:
Nukes gone wild: The future just got uglier

The world changed this week and we yawned. Our government and media utterly failed to grasp the meaning of the Iran-Brazil-Turkey nuke deal.

Undercutting the sanctions-lite bargain Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thinks she has with Russia and China was the least of it…

Let’s connect a few of the Iran-Turkey-Brazil dots:

* Iran and Brazil share close ties to Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and support other left-wing movements in Latin America.

* Russia sells arms to Iran and Venezuela. Iran supplies weaponry to Hezbollah and Hamas. Venezuela equips Latin narco-terrorists and guerrillas — to which Brazil turns a blind eye — and backs Islamist terror.

* While artfully dismantling Turkey’s once-secular constitution, Ankara increasingly supports radical-Muslim causes abroad. Turkey’s new embrace of Iran is paralleled by a growing intimacy with Russia, as well.

* After flirting with Israel, Turkey chose Syria (whose regime also seeks nukes) as its neighborhood partner. Syria cooperates with Iran in support of Hezbollah and Hamas — and has deep ties to Russia.

* China’s working hard to strengthen its strategic ties with Brazil and Venezuela, and Beijing’s already Iran’s staunchest defender on the international stage.

* What do Iran, China, Russia, Venezuela, Brazil, Syria and even our “NATO ally” Turkey have in common? They’re all resentful of American power and want to see Washington taken down several notches.

In the depths of the Cold War, the Non-Aligned Movement was a sorry joke in which rhetorical grandstanding and leftist economics stopped development in its tracks for decades. Member countries hurt themselves far more than they annoyed us.

The emerging constellation of alliances will mean a lot more trouble. Not least, because so many countries will have nukes.

Several years ago, I wrote that, despite the end of yesteryear’s superpower confrontation, our military’s going to find itself on a nuclear battlefield, after all — either smack in a war, or running a gruesome cleanup operation. The odds of that happening will soar as proliferation worsens.

And we are not prepared.

Rising and troubled states alike are embracing nuclear arms, power alignments are shifting profoundly, and our national priority is to provide electricity to Afghan hovels.

The consolation is that Afghanistan, at least, will never be a nuclear power. It will simply be surrounded by them.

Read it all.