NUCLEAR POWER AND GLOBAL REGULATION
We live in a nuclear world. China is helping Pakistan build plants for nuclear energy. Russia and India are involved in a joint effort to set up nuclear power plants in India. Many who want to avoid nuclear war care whether or not the countries involved in these cooperative efforts are members of the Nuclear Supplier Group, a global body seeking to reduce nuclear proliferation by controlling who exports radioactive materials to whom. Others who want to avoid nuclear war are concerned about the focus on – often toothless – global bodies to attempt to regulate the world.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Pakistan over the weekend, and the two nations have agreed to cooperate on civil nuclear energy along with other energy-related areas.
“The energy cooperation mechanism will be established to push forward bilateral cooperation in conventional energy, renewable energy and civil nuclear energy,” a joint statement issued late Sunday said. The “cooperation mechanism” is still unknown.
What is known is that the Nuclear Supplier Group, of which China is a member, has rules against providing nuclear power and technology to countries – like Pakistan – that have not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. China is like most humans, it seems, and feels the rules don’t apply to it. Along with the two power plants almost completed in Chashma, Pakistan owes China a debt of gratitude for the two additional plants China is planning to set up. Hydro and thermal energy plants are also in the works, and Pakistan will be making itself especially friendly to Chinese businessmen who want to invest in the country.
China is not alone in its nuclear benevolence and cooperation. Russia seems to want to help everybody build nuclear plants. The Bushehr plant in Iran is well known, because it is the first such plant to go live in the Persian country. India is another of Russia’s proteges. The two countries are preparing to launch the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in southern India. Russia wants to help India join the Nuclear Suppliers Group and plans to build a total of 18 nuclear reactors in India.
Russia knows well enough what happens when a nuclear power plant melts down, and the ramifications of the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 are still felt in the Kiev province of the Ukraine 24 years later. Besides the melt-down potential, one of the biggest problems with nuclear plants is the difficulty of where to dispose the waste. Waste can be (and has been) spilled, stolen, inappropriately dumped, and is basically a massive mess to deal with. Deep geological storage of waste is an option, but while down there, the materials actually decompose to grades more readily available as weapons-grade fuel, ready and able to be mined for that purpose one day.
Ultimately, the concerns involved with nuclear power have given international groups like the NSG and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) more power to keep tabs on everybody – if a country is willing to be ‘tabbed’. The international push for more global policing and the resistance of certain nations to being policed is a dynamic of constant interest. The international push for more global government as a whole, and the constant weakness of such global governance, keep our attention as we anticipate the events of Revelation 13 in, perhaps, the not-so-distant future.
• Pakistan, China to Step Up Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation – iStockAnalyst
• Russia, India Ready to Develop Nuclear Cooperation – RiaNovosti
• Russia welcomes India’s Decision to Set Up Global Centre for Nuclear Energy – Sify News