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A multinational fuel consortium: Obstacles, options, and ways forward via The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

The harnessing of the atom to develop a nuclear bomb 70 years ago unleashed a magnitude of terrifying destruction the world had never witnessed before. The same atomic power also resulted in an “atoms for peace” program, which gave the world nuclear power as a clean source of energy and benefited humanity in the development of nuclear medicine, agriculture, and sciences.

Since its establishment in 1968, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has recognized the need to promote the peaceful purposes of nuclear power while concurrently ensuring that its destructive nature is not proliferated. The brute fact remains that the same fuel-cycle technologies, uranium enrichment and reprocessing that are essential to power a nuclear reactor can, with adjustments, produce material to fuel the core of a nuclear explosive. The challenge remains in controlling the spread of such dual-use nuclear technologies that can be developed and used both for civilian and military purposes. The risks of not managing this process properly are consequential and dire.

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