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Power Government Hardware Science Technology

NRC Accused of Ignoring Proliferation Risks With SILEX Enrichment 128

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the an-enrichment-facility-with-a-freaking-laser dept.
Harperdog writes "Scott Kemp has a disturbing look at SILEX, a new technology that 'happens to be well suited for making nuclear weapons.' There are many disturbing aspects the this article, not least that the NRC, which is required to consider the critical question of proliferation, has so far punted when it comes to examining that question. 'The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has refused to consider the proliferation risk in its decision to issue a license for the first commercial SILEX facility, despite a statutory obligation to do so. Only a few weeks remain for Congress to intervene.'" Not everyone agrees that SILEX poses a real proliferation threat. Kind of a shame that its environmental benefits (lower power consumption and a smaller waste stream than existing processes) are what increase the proliferation risk.
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NRC Accused of Ignoring Proliferation Risks With SILEX Enrichment

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  • Re:The NRC? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot @ h a c k i s> on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @08:17AM (#40827151)

    I recall some of these debates around breeder reactors [] (which also have significant dual-use possibilities), and the arguments there were that, although obviously the U.S. already has nuclear weapons, it should nonetheless not use a dual-use-prone technology for its civilian reactors, because doing so: 1) sets a precedent that this is normal civilian nuclear technology and makes it harder to argue against other countries also using it; and 2) may bring the cost down and improve the practicalities so that it's easier for other countries to get one.

    Not sure it's a good argument, but I think the arguments around SILEX would be basically the same.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @08:51AM (#40827333) case you were wondering. An energy-efficient means of enriching uranium, worrisome because it would be harder to detect its use than older methods.

You know you've landed gear-up when it takes full power to taxi.