J. Phys. IV France 09 (1999) Pr7-159-Pr7-166
Changing relations between civil and military nuclear technologyW.B. Walker
Department of International Relations, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Fyfe KY16 9AL, Scotland, U. K.
Nuclear energy has inhabited two distinct environments since its inception - the environments of nuclear deterrence and of electricity supply. The relationships between the technologies and institutions inhabiting these environments have been both intimate and troublesome. As both nuclear weapons and nuclear power rely upon the fission energy of uranium and plutonium, and as both generate harmful by-products, they are bound to have technologies, materials and liabilities in common. However, nuclear deterrence belongs in the realm of high politics, whilst electricity production is part of the commercial world rooted in civil society. Establishing a political, industrial and regulatory framework that allows nuclear activities to develop safely and acceptably in both domains has been a difficult and contentious task.
© EDP Sciences 1999