Does nuclear power lead to nuclear weapons?

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Does nuclear power lead to nuclear weapons? That is, does development of nuclear power make it easier to acquire nuclear weapons? Does it contribute to nuclear proliferation? Is there some correlation between nuclear power acquisition and nuclear weapon acquisition?

The claim is not that nuclear power necessarily leads to nuclear weapons since that is obviously untrue.

Nuclear power leads to nuclear weapons[edit | edit source]

Pro[edit | edit source]

  • Argument for As a hint, "the UK’s first nuclear power stations were built primarily to provide fissile material for nuclear weapons during the Cold War. [...] In Britain, the civil nuclear power programme was deliberately used as a cover for military activities. [...] The first generation of British Magnox nuclear power stations were all secretly designed with the dual purpose of plutonium and electricity production in mind."[1] This is not conclusive, but is suggestive.
  • Argument for "[N]uclear power plants, and the education of those who design and operate them, spread both the technological know-how and the raw materials needed to build atomic bombs."[2]

Con[edit | edit source]

  • Argument against Britannica's expert analysis suggests there is not much connection between nuclear power acquisition and nuclear weapon proliferation.[3]
    • Objection Britannica's lists multiple pros and cons on the question, so the picture is perhaps not so simple as the particular referenced Britannica's article makes it seem.
      • Objection The has perhaps a slightly different methodology: choose some of the best or most professional or reliable sources for both sides and present them. Thus, in, Britannica perhaps becomes more relativist than it gets in the referenced article above, by applying a debate process that tends to be relativist.

References[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Further reading[edit | edit source]