Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: extend or change?

Share
Related Topics
From Mr Martin Jones

From Mr Clive Bates

Sir: Gerald Clark, of the Uranium Institute, acknowledges that the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has "contributed greatly" to the development of nuclear power in 30 countries (Letters, 23 February). He cheerfully concludes that "leaving arms control aside, this is good reason in itself to support indefinite extension of the treaty". The purpose of the NPT is to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and to secure nuclear disarmament, but in doing so it promotes nuclear power.

These aims are contradictory and the treaty ultimately self-defeating. There is no longer any doubt that nuclear reactors designed to produce electricity can be operated to produce plutonium for weapons. Reprocessing plants, waste management facilities, fuel enrichment centrifuges, glove boxes, technicians and engineers can all be switched from civil to military deployment.

The NPT is flawed precisely because much of the civil nuclear infrastructure it promotes is "dual use" and can be readily applied to the nuclear weapons- building it seeks to prevent. An aspiring nuclear weapon state can simply leave the NPT when its programme can no longer be concealed.

In April, the Government, apparently backed by Labour, will argue for an indefinite unconditional extension to the NPT, thus setting this absurd arrangement in concrete. The NPT should be redesigned to recognise that civil and military nuclear technologies are indivisible.

Instead of promoting nuclear power, the NPT could be changed to guarantee access to clean, secure and economic supplies of energy. Without a new approach to energy, the treaty's eventual and catastrophic failure is inevitable.

Yours sincerely,

CLIVE BATES

Greenpeace

London, N1

24 February

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Property Sales Executive / Administrator - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent Sales Executive an...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Team Leader - Clothing / Footwear

£18000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Does this sound like you? - Fri...

Recruitment Genius: Head Chef

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an indepe...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Team Leader

£18000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Channel 4's Married at First Sight  

Married At First Sight is the social experiment that proves we've forgotten how to fall in love

Ruby Thomas
Dolphin Square where Lord Sewel allegedly took drugs with prostitutes  

Lord Sewel's real crime was joining the House of Lords in the first place

Boris Corovic
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food