The Deadly ConnectionPublisher: Regina Group for a Non-Nuclear Society, Regina, Canada
Year Published: 1980
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX2133
Abstract: The Deadly Connection makes the historical links between the development of nuclear power and that of nuclear weaponry. It claims that 'peaceful' uses of the atom were developed to justify military ends.
The development of nuclear weapons and their deployment systems became the foundation of U.S. defense policy a few years after the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945. This occurred shortly before Russia had begun developing atomic and hydrogen bombs. The United States' defence strategy was accelerated as Russia became a threat to American world dominance.
The pamphlet states that there was no 'peaceful' nuclear industry in the U.S. until after 1953. The 'peaceful' use of the atom was first instituted "to wipe the horrible consequences of its military use from the conscience of mankind".
The United States government has used every means of subsidy to support the proliferation of nuclear power plant operations. The largest corporations controlling nuclear power operations are also the major producers of nuclear weapons parts. "The key connection between power and weapons: a 1000 megawatt nuclear power reactor produces enough plutonium for 20 nuclear weapons (per year)."
The Deadly Collection claims that it is through civilian technology that most countries have attained nuclear bomb capability, for example, India. The pamphlet outlines three ways in which this has occurred. First, the proliferation of nuclear power plants has produced easy access to large amounts of plutonium. Second, the technology to build reprocessing plants simply and quick (four to six months), provides the capability to produce enough plutonium for the production of one nuclear bomb per week. The CANDU reactor is ideally suited for this function. Third, insufficient material control systems result in the unaccounted-for loss of plutonium and enriched uranium; as an example of this, the pamphlet states that the United States cannot account for 3600 kilograms of weapons-grade material. This amount, worth $20000 per kilogram on the black market, is enough to produce 300 bombs.