Med tanke på att Frankrik blivit den ledande europeiska nationen som arbetar emot Iran som en kärnteknologi nation med motivet att man vill förhindra spridningen av kärnvapen hör det till paradoxerna att Frankrike samtidig säljer kärnteknologi eller reaktorer till snart alla länder i mellanöstern utom möjligen Iran.
Den enkla sanningen är att det finns inga länder som kan garantera att teknologi inte läcker ut eller att någon gång i framtiden den inte kommer att missbrukas. Men business går före säkerhet och kärnkraftsindustrin är stor i frankrike. Liksom oljeindustrin.
Sen var det ju förövrigt Frankrike och tyskland som byggde upp det som var Iraks enda kärnkraftverk. Innan Israelerna bombade det.
The recent war games in the Gulf with France, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are connected to French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s nuclear diplomacy. Sarkozy has been leveraging France’s leading civilian nuclear technology to gain diplomatic, commercial and military advantages with countries in the Middle East, as well parts of Africa and Asia.
In response, nonproliferation experts have voiced their unease at the idea of exporting potentially nuclear bomb-usable technologies to proliferation-prone regions. In particular, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, recently expressed concern that Sarkozy’s aggressive sales campaign in the Muslim world was moving ”too fast.” A number of German politicians have advised France to ”weigh the risks,” especially when it comes to nuclear deals with the Libyan regime of Muammar el-Qaddafi.
Despite these fears, Sarkozy’s nuclear energy proselytizing will not convert any new countries to acquiring nuclear weapons any time soon, if ever, and France will face financial and technical hurdles in building many nuclear power plants in these countries.
Since taking office last May, Sarkozy has signed deals worth billions of dollars to build nuclear power reactors or offer technical advice to a number of Arab states, including Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Indonesia and Turkey also have considered the purchase of such technology from France. Although the French nuclear group Areva reported strong annual profits in 2007 and pledged to double in size within the next five years, serious constraints limit the realization of the global promises made by Sarkozy and Areva’s chief executive, Anne Lauvergeon. Aside from the obvious political and financial barriers that complicate the construction of nuclear power plants, many practical difficulties stand between France and its ambitious goals in the developing world.
Nicolas Sarkozy has been raising quite a few eyebrows since he assumed the presidency, not least by leveraging French civilian nuclear expertise to gain diplomatic advantage in the Middle East. This week, the International Herald Tribune noted ”unease” among nonproliferation experts ”at the idea of exporting potentially nuclear-bomb usable technologies to proliferation-prone regions.” The article also notes that, even putting proliferation concerns aside, obstacles to the large-scale spread of nuclear power exist — some of which include high infrastructure costs, waste management issues, and personnel shortages.
France is not the only country seeking ways to surmount such obstacles, though. The U.S.-led Global Nuclear Energy Partnership is one of the best known of these initiatives. The core proposal behind GNEP is to employ advanced reprocessing technology to close the nuclear fuel cycle as much as possible. This entails recycling burnt nuclear fuel over and over until it is no longer useful for producing electricity or weapons. In so doing, GNEP aims to increase effective fuel supplies, decrease the amount of waste produced by nuclear power plants, and reduce the danger of nuclear proliferation. As initially conceived, existing nuclear exporters would (exclusively) perform enrichment and reprocessing services and provide them to any GNEP partner that agreed to refrain from enriching or reprocessing fuel on its own.