Do Ho Chi Minh Heirs Also Want a Bomb?

This is to be not ordinary, but a nuclear bomb
At the time while the leading world countries suggest their plans for settlement of the North Korean crisis, one more Asiatic country declares its desire to have its own nuclear power plant, and if possible, even several plants. The intention was recently declared by Vietnam. Until recently, this country was associated with America’s unsuccessful war and cheap mass consumption goods that have flooded Russia’s markets. However, it is an open secret that within several years already, Vietnam has been experiencing economic transformations similar to that ones held in China, i.e. the preservation of the monopoly on the ruling party’s authority. The transformations made in Vietnam certainly differ from those held in China, and the differences are significant.

Irrespective of the economic situation in the country, Vietnam’s scientific and technical potential will allow it soon to have its own nuclear reactor (and all consequences that it may entail).

As scientists of the Hanoi Institute for radioactive waste management inform, as of today, Vietnam’s uranium reserves make up 230 tons, which is quite enough for a regular operation of a nuclear power plant within 24 years at least. But at the same time, it doesn’t mean that an active reactor may appear in Vietnam within the nearest time. As Agence Associated Presse informs, the Vietnamese authorities plan to construct a nuclear power plant by 2015-2020. Especially for this purpose, a special committee for working on construction of a nuclear power plant was set up on March 5, 2002. Vietnamese are famous for their persistence, that is why we can be sure that they will be a success with construction of a nuclear power plant of its own. And it is not ruled out that the objective will be achieved ahead of the fixed terms.

It is certainly very annoying for the old nuclear powers (Russia, the USA, France, Great Britain and China) to realize that the problem of nuclear technologies’ spreading is getting uncontrollable. And it is no use to put barriers to this process. Although the USA strictly criticized Russia for cooperation with Iran on this problem, North Korea perfectly coped with its own resources. At least, if someone helped Koreans with this problem, he doesn’t declare it openly. As was already mentioned, the level of technical development of many countries allows them to create a nuclear reactor independently, India and Pakistan may serve a vivid example to this fact.

To all appearances, within the nearest time the number of countries wishing to have nuclear power plants of their own will be speedily increasing. Last week, Brazil Minister of Science and Technologies, Roberto Amaral declared Brazil’s intention not only to have a nuclear reactor of its own, but even a nuclear bomb. It is strange but the statement caused a stormy reaction in neighboring Argentina only, other countries paid no special attention to the words of the Brazilian minister. Are they used to information of this kind? Do other countries think that such countries as Brazil or Vietnam are too far away from development of nuclear weapons of their own? In fact, it may take a rather short period to make a nuclear bomb.

Popularity of the idea of nuclear power plant construction can be easily explained: there is no source of energy that could be as cheap and effective as nuclear power plants. Nuclear power plants are certainly not impeccable from an ecological point of view; many states think that against the background of reducing reserves of oil, coal and gas nuclear reactors are a good alternative to the traditional energy resources.

It is quite natural that as soon as some country gets a nuclear reactor of its own, its leadership may start thinking that it also needs a nuclear bomb of its own as well. They may believe that nuclear bombs are wonderful for the sake of their own security and for bargaining with other economically developed countries on disputable problems. It is highly likely that the example of North Korea may become catching for other countries. If Pyongyang manages to get concessions from the USA, other countries will like to employ the same tactics.

What can be a way out in the situation? It’s hopeless to appeal to the countries planning to build nuclear power plants and ask them not to do so (especially that the example of North Korea is vivid enough: the USA promised to build easy hydrogen reactors for North Korea, and where are the reactors?). It is less effective to threaten them with use of military force or to introduce sanctions. There is only one way out: the economically developed Western states must provide the developing countries with access to modern energy saving technologies. At that, it is desirable that the access must be free from both, political and economic points of view. It is certainly a very expensive problem, while security certainly costs much more. To tell the truth, we can hardly believe in altruism of the West.

Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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