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June 02, 2004

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SaveFarris

So when we demand that every soverign nation w/ nuke capabilities and/or raw materials (including the good folks in, say, Niger) to unilateraly hand it all over, and they then tell us to go to Hell, what then Mr. Kerry?

J_Crater

I would wonder how the Ketchup lady would feel if some Russian bureaucrat came in and took away 56 of her varieties claiming it was a mutlilateral decision to speedup convergence to a single ketchup ?
Well that's roughly the way the Russian feel about running off with all their nuclear material. They know it is dangerous, but it is theirs. Offering to help remove their problem is one thing, to impose a timetable is sure to cause problems.

Mitch H.

I love the bafflegabbing about how money isn't an issue, followed immediately by an admission that the flack had no actual idea of the costs involved. Way to be prepared, poindexter.

Wasn't there some sort of corruption and accountability issue with the current program?

Lord Whorfin

To paraphrase Bill Whittle:

1. Kerry says, "Turn over all your nuclear materials and equipment to US!"

2. A miracle occurs

3. World peace breaks out, and Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon perform "Kumbaya" together in Tel Aviv.

submandave

Iraq: we must work with France, Russia, Germany, etc. to achieve a "multilateral" solution

DPRK: we must be prepared to have unilateral talks with them to address issues of concern to us and our allies

I'm sure ROK, Japan and PRC (an ally?) are happy we're willing to negotiate unilaterally for how their neighbor will handle/dispose of their nuclear devices. Oh, I forgot, they're just Asians, not Europeans, right?

DANEgerus

Anybody know we, the American Taxpayers, are already spending $Billions to help the Russians clean up their NuclearBiologicalChemical mess made behind the tissue of treaty-lies they signed to gain advantage?

Diggs

If he has a plan to make the world safer, and he has kept it hidden, hoping to use it in this campaign, then he has uneccesarily endangered the lives of his fellow Americans. That alone should show the true Kerry character - don't do something good because you should, only do it if it gets you something in return. Kind of like a foreign policy gigolo, one could say.

paul

I thought Al Gore was all over that whole pay-the-Russians-to-secure-their-nukes as Veep back in the early 90's. Apparently it didn't result in any kind of nuclear "Lock Box," but the Russians sure pocketed quite a handsome sum.

An ineffective and expensive "multilateral" solution--no wonder Kerry gives it lip service.

Buddy Larsen

If there were no war on, and nothing much in particular at stake in this election, then all the tortured tweakings of tenuous propaganda lines that have issued forth from the senator's campaign would be less destructive and more laughable. But, just for argument, forgive them, for a moment, and forget all that, and pretend otherwise; that he believes what he says, and that what he says is truthful, and that the foreign policy people around him are not worn smooth as river stones from eight years of being rolled by every problem they couldn't duck or hide for the next folks to woefully discover, and furthermore accept their charge that GWB and team are in all things stupid, mean, venal,greedy, perfectly inept yet somehow highly successfully manipulative, and, then, you STILL have to choose between a team that entitles itself to change positions at whim, versus a team that doesn't.

Forbes

OK, call me stupid. I thought we already did the unilateralist tap dance with the Norks. Remember, Clinton sent over Jimmy C, and the "treaty" (Agreed Framework) became a joke, in what, 3 or 4 days.

Oh, now I get it, this is nuance. We maintain 6 party talks, but also, on a parallel track, hold direct talks with the Norks. (What, has Kerry been taking night classes at Georgetown?)

We're going to negotiate an agreement that addresses our allies concerns?

Who can possibly take this guy seriously with a proposal like this?

Tim

Sheesh. Kerry, desperate to prove his "security" credentials, seeks to change the subject. It's as if he was a councilman, telling folks to ignore the serial arsonist (that the local fire and police chief just cannot seem to catch) because, after all, rampaging wildfires could destroy the entire town. Sure, the threat is real enough, but it isn't exactly the threat right now.

JosephMendiola

The key words-phrase(s) in Kerry's speech is "...WORST KINDS OF...", which for me strongly infers or alludes that he is willing to allow nations to keep some level of nuclear weapons; and "STARTING WITH THE US", read PRO-LEFTIST ABSOLUTIST, SOCIALIST [SHHHHHHHHHH,COMMUNIST] GLOBAL GOVERNMENT with the US no longer a sovereign, independent nation, but a mere world state and CANTON! Recall Bill Clinton, whom wants a world, and "warns" Americans to prep for, "THE DAY WHEN AMERICA IS NO LONGER THE 'BIG BOY' ON THE BLOCK - ala Clintonian alleged "CENTRISM", in ClintonSpeak is the same as saying that mainstream, allegedly Bush/FASCIST-led America is ALREADY MAJORITY, PREDOMINANTLY, OR MINIMALLY COMMUNIST and LEFT-BASED SOCIALIST, no different than post-1989 RUSSIA in having a Communist-controlled, Communism-centric or focused, allegedly FASCIST-RIGHTIST-NATIONALIST, ANTI-COMMUNIST COMMUNIST, Government!Any POTUS KERRY admin. is meant or intended to FAIL, and FAIL WHILE ALSO BEING HARMFUL OR DESTRUCTIVE TO AMERICA, in order to justify an America under anti-sovereign Global Government and Socialism, read COMMUNISM and COMMUNIST WORLD ORDER, with Global Government affairs being dominated by Russia-China, read ORIENTAL, ASIAN, and ASIAN COMMUNIST AGENDAS! Communist Absolutism is for Global Government, while FASCIST SOCIALISM is for ECONOMICS, read DE-REGULATED "COMPETITIVE" COMMUNISM i.e LIMITED/COMMAND CAPITALISM. subread COMMUNIST ASIAN WARLORDS NEED THEIR TRIBUTE AND TO BE FED BY GLOBAL PEONS-SLAVES!

Joseph Somsel

One little known fact is that ~10% of the US electricity production is today fueled from former Soviet Union nuclear warheads (and submarine cores). We're making pretty good progress. Putin gets world market prices on the enriched uranium he is selling us. What he does with the dollars is his business.

The next challenge is bigger - what to do with the Russian plutonium. US reactor owners are fine with burning uranium fuel but don't want the extra hassle and expense of using plutonium fuel (aka "MOX fuel" for Mixed Oxides).

I wonder if Kerry would launch a massive building program for new US nuclear power plants to be fueled with surplused Russian (and US) plutonium? Would Jane Fonda still vote for him?

Of course, perhaps he intends to ban French uranium enrichment sales in the US - that would double the rate of burnup of Russian special nuclear materials.

Tim Worstall

Joseph hits the nail on the head. Uranium is being worked on at the maximum rate technically possible. Plutonium is the problem. MOX is the only reasonable solution, so to solve the warhead problem we need an expansion (or a restart) of the nuke building power plant program. Not something that the tree huggers will approve of.

Pouncer

Tim W, forgive me if I misremember, but aren't the French world-leaders in both percentage of national energy-production by nukes, AND percent of nukes using PuO and MOX cores?

IF so, it would seem the unspoken but plausible Kerry position is that the US would pay for plutonium from everybody else, then give it to the French. Or pay them to take it.

I mena, it's crazy, but it might work...

Mitch H.

Er, we're using uranium from Soviet nukes in domestic power production? At those levels? Do you have any links on that? It sounds kind of wild in a gonzo-Neal-Stephenson-Wired-article sort of way.

Forbes Tuttle

I've got to second the motion from Mitch H. Most nuclear plants run on something like six year refueling cycles. Manufacturers/fabricators of fuel rods are usually contracted with under with long term contracts. So the plant in Ohio--US Nuclear (I think is the name)--buying the Soviet nuclear materials, is reprocessing and selling the material to fuel rod fabricators, and it's already found its way into US nuclear plants? Call me skeptical. Sources backing up such assertions would be helpful. Thanks.

Joseph Somsel

Here's a link to the United States Enrichment Corp. (USEC); the US agent for the "Megatons to Megawatts" program.

http://www.usec.com/v2001_02/HTML/megatons.asp

To arrive at the ~10% figure (I'm guilty of rounding up my earlier estimate of 8+%), you need USEC's marketshare (50%) times USEC's use of Russian enriched uranium (about 100%) times the percentage of US electricity from nukes (~20%). A second order effect is any further downblending USEC does to match individual customer orders. USEC is a spin-off (privitization) of the US Government's uranium enrichment facilities.

This program was intitiated during the mid-Clinton years. There was a recent WTO flap about the Europeans dumping SWUs in the US market (separator work units for isotopic enrichment) that got me digging. Also a flap about our rejecting a shipment because the Russian stuff wasn't clean enough of a specific neutron-absorbing isotope. The Russians mix highly enriched uranium with natural, unenriched uranium in Russia then ship to USEC in the US.

So if Kerry is really serious, he would indeed ban EuroSWUs and increase USEC's (and hence the Russians) market share to 100%, thereby doubling the rate of Russian highly enriched uranium consumption by US electricity consumers. That would really PO his French friends but better achieve his stated goals.

BTW, the "Megaton" program has my complete support but I wonder if Senator Kerry voted for it?

Joseph Somsel
Nuclear engineer/MBA

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