Maybe you need a decoder ring

Michael Doran is one of Eventheliberal Brookings Institution’s Perpetual War Gang, so keep that in mind when reading the following:

OK, so, I’m not in the Bomb Bomb Iran fraternity, but speaking as a nominally thinking human being, it would seem to me that Iran publicly announcing its intention to build new nuclear plants is actually A Good Thing. If your concern is the proliferation of nuclear weapons, then, you know, they’re not gonna make weapons in the facilities that everybody knows about, right? It’s the facilities that a country doesn’t declare that are the problem, and that’s why a non-proliferation agenda requires a robust monitoring and verification system. Now, and again I’m not in the World War III Fan Club so I’m obviously not qualified to be addressing these important topics, the only way to get a robust monitoring and verification system really implemented in Iran is to negotiate a settlement with Tehran on the nuclear issue. And that’s why the nuclear talks that Michael Doran is constantly griping about are actually important. I realize that negotiating is an inconvenient roadblock on the Highway to Hell path to More War, but in my view it’s worth the sacrifice.

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2 thoughts on “Maybe you need a decoder ring

  1. While I am not a nuclear scientist I did use to work with some, and from what I understand it really does sound like “nuclear power plants for Iran” is a good way to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. That paradoxical conclusion rests on the two facts that the isotope of plutonium made in thermal reactors is largely useless for making bombs while low enriched uranium for energy production is but the first step in a long journey to making weapons grade high enriched uranium and – as you argue – the inspection regime can easily keep an eye on this.

    This has been another example of “if that is what the center-left believes, then fuck the center-left: I stand with Stalin and Mao.” Not really, but serious Brookings what is up with you guys?

    1. Doran’s not on the center-left personally, but yeah, Brookings. They’re not even liberal interventionist on foreign policy, they’re flat-out neocon.

      Your point on the reactors is right as far as I understand. Light water reactors have a longer burn time that renders their plutonium byproduct less useful for weapons than what heavy water reactors produce. Anyway, plutonium waste needs to be reprocessed to be used in weapons, and you have to build a special facility for that. It’s unlikely that Iran would be able to build a reprocessing facility without somebody noticing, at least so long as we have inspectors there.

      Nuclear plants also theoretically help lower the enriched uranium threat because the LEU they require has to be converted to pellets and then fuel rods for use in reactors. Once it’s been converted into rods the uranium is virtually useless for weapons making.

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