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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Israeli scientists develop way to 'de-claw' plutonium

Israeli scientists at Ben Gurion University have developed a way to ensure that plutonium can only be used for peaceful purposes. If the method is adopted by all of the world's plutonium-selling countries (US, Russia, Germany, France and Japan), there is a good chance that countries like Iran could be allowed to develop nuclear reactors without developing nuclear weapons. And if they refuse, then their intent will be clear to all.
Engineers from Ben-Gurion University have developed a technique to "de-claw" plutonium created in large nuclear reactors, making it unsuitable for use in nuclear arms. The addition of americium, a form of the basic synthetic element found in commercial smoke detectors, "denatures" the plutonium, ensuring it can be used for peaceful purposes only. Americium is meant for pressurized water reactors, like the one being built in Iran.

The news release explains this method could take the sting out of more than a dozen countries currently developing nuclear reactors if the U.S., Russia, Germany, France and Japan agree to add the denaturing additive to all plutonium, because these countries also provide the nuclear fuel for the reactors they sell. Among those developing reactors are Bahrain, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Namibia and Libya. The client countries would then "have to use it for peaceful purposes rather than warfare," says Professor Yigal Ronen of Ben-Gurion University, who headed the project. However, countries that make nuclear fuel could decide not to denature it for themselves, he says.

And, of course, the technique won't help when it comes to the countries suspected of selling nuclear know-how.

Why are those Jooooos so smart? Heh.


At 7:55 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

There's NO chance the mullahs will accept anything "made in Israel."


At 8:11 PM, Blogger LB said...

I'd like to think their (future, but expected)refusal to use non-"weaponable" radioactive material would convince much of the suicidal left in the US and maybe even Europe.

I'm not holding my breath.


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