Nuclear threats are more and more prevalent these days with North Korea having tested a nuclear bomb in October of this year. Iran is also reported to be developing a weapons program, something its leaders deny. Terrorists are reportedly in search of nuclear capabilities; last year, Russian dissident Boris Berezovsky was quoted as saying that Chechen rebels were missing a small component to create a dirty bomb.

Obviously this is making world powers worried and they are increasing their pressure against potential nuclear proliferation. The US and Europe have been insistent on stopping Iran’s nuclear program. When North Korea tested its new capability, one of the first statements made by President Bush was a warning against passing the technology on to rogue states or terrorists. Understandably so, the West is worried.

Unfortunately, nuclear technology will not go away, and with the development of developing nations, it will be more and more present, because of its effectiveness. Not every country is blessed with the hydro-resources of Canadian province Quebec and not every country has the space required for wind-mill technology to produce electricity. Nuclear technology is compact and with the proper safety measures in place, one of the best ways of producing electricity.

Today in Jakarta, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei reminded that one of the initial reasons for going to Iraq was to dismantle Hussein’s reported WMD, notably a nuclear weapons program. Thusfar, no proof of any WMD activity has been brought forward in Iraq.

ElBaradei spoke of Iran and said that there is no urgency to act in Iran, because the state has no atomic reactor in operation and consequently can’t even go ahead with a weapons program.

“Nuclear energy alone is not a panacea, but it is likely in the near future to have an increasing role as part of the global energy mix,” said ElBaradei.

The nuclear chief at the UN was alluding to the expanding role nuclear energy is playing in Asia, with China and Indonesia undergoing a big nuclear energy surge as the countries reach a new developmental stage.

Iran may be looking for a nuclear weapons program, but it also may just be looking to power its country more effectively. That’s why its leaders hired Russian experts to build the country’s first nuclear power plant in Bushehr.

Dmitri Marine blogs on Blogue North

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