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Why sell plutonium to the US?

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  • Why sell plutonium to the US?

    http://www.thelocal.se/40510/20120427/

    Whoops!

    Carl Bildt, the foreign minister of Sweden, has managed to cause some controversy these last couple of years.
    He is a popular moderate party politician over here (that is left leaning for americans, right wing for swedes) who used to be on the board of directors for Lundin Petroleum.
    Lundin Petroleum is a company that has been accused of violating human rights in Sudan, by participating or supporting in burning of villages and other unsubstantiated claims which include killing civillians to secure oil rich locations.
    I say unsubstantiated since I have not checked the source where these claims come from (Affärer i blod och olja: Lundin Petroleum i Afrika), I feel however that there is something weird about the whole thing.
    There is a vocal minority over here demanding his resignation, after reading articles like this I feel more inclined to join them.

    Why sell the plutonium when Sweden has a developed plan for handling nuclear "waste", in the bedrock that lies beneath most of our country?
    The safest place to store radioactive material is in Scandinavia, in the middle of a large tectonic plate spared from extreme weather. I mean the worst earthquake we ever get here is about a 3 on the richter scale, the worst storm? Well once every 50 years a storms comes and levels about 3 million trees, big whoop?

    Why sell plutonium to the US, it's not like the US needs it, right? :)

    Maybe someone can explain why this is happening, I want to know more about this.
    "Nemo Saltat Sobrius, Nisi Forte Insanit"

  • #2
    Re: Why sell plutonium to the US?

    From what it looks like, it wasnt nuclear waste. It was active plutonium. Now, why they would ship it to us to destroy it (or how we would go about doing that) is beyond me. I'm no physicist. But I believe the goal, as expressed in the article, is to get rid of all weapons-grade plutonium (which is why they said it would serve as a starting point to rid the world of nuclear material).

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    • #3
      Re: Why sell plutonium to the US?

      At least three of Sweden's reactors are PWR (Pressurized water reactors) and one of their side effects is to produce plutonium. I suspect someone in Sweden didn't want “high grade” plutonium stored as nuclear waste. It was shipped under the GTRI (Global Threat Reduction Initiative) not sold.

      High grade plutonium is mixed with various other materials to hinder its weaponizing and stored for eternally in a hopefully safe place. The US has millions of tons of nuclear waste and contaminated material. From the reactors of nuclear cruisers (and subs) to soil from Spain, Greenland and anywhere else SAC accidentally dropped H-bombs plus the contamination from mining, refining and using nuclear power. Adding three kilograms from Sweden to the pile is hardly news. We have taken nuclear material from other countries including the former USSR.

      Found this:
      http://www.thelocal.se/39912/20120327/


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      • #4
        Re: Why sell plutonium to the US?

        Thanks guys for your input and clarification, it just did not sit right with me when I read it. I suppose I should try and read some more about it before posting :)
        Sweden would not in any way benefit from having weapons grade plutonium.
        Isn't the US dismantling nuclear missiles though, so I guess it is just about Sweden getting rid of the plutonium and the US disposing of it properly?
        If so, please buy all of it.
        "Nemo Saltat Sobrius, Nisi Forte Insanit"

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Why sell plutonium to the US?

          The US has a large fleet of nuclear reactors and it will probably be mixed with Uranium to make fuel for them.

          At the bottom of this link they explain what they do:
          http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-co...plutonium.html
          Viking

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