[ RadSafe ] Article: Are adverts revealing nuclear secrets?

John Jacobus crispy_bird at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 22 15:18:25 CST 2006

>From Nature 440, 389 (23 March 2006) at

Graphic detail: Are adverts revealing nuclear secrets?
Geoff Brumfiel, Washington DC

Abstract: Indian newspaper clippings request special

When US President George W. Bush was asked recently
whether he thought India — with whom he had just
announced a deal to export nuclear technology — was a
responsible nuclear nation, he responded simply: "I
do." But critics say a scan through the local papers
is all it takes to show that New Delhi is blatantly
circumventing US and European export controls, and
publicizing nuclear secrets.

[Picture showing a sketch of a gas centrifuge with
advertisements and their implicatons.]

In a report released on 10 March, David Albright and
Susan Basu of the Institute for Science and
International Security in Washington DC reveal that a
Mumbai-based company has frequently placed
advertisements in Indian newspapers; the ads are for
corporations to supply items that seem to be
components of a uranium gas centrifuge.

They analysed almost 200 public advertisements placed
since 1984 in The Times of India by Indian Rare
Earths, a mineral-extraction company that they suspect
is helping to further the government's
uranium-enrichment programme.

Gas centrifuges are spinning canisters that can be
used to produce uranium that is enriched in the
fissile isotope uranium-235, for use in reactors or
weapons. The technology is currently being pursued by
nations such as Iran (see Nature 432, 432–437; 2004).

Not everyone is in agreement over how to respond to
the ads. Arjun Makhijani, president of the non-profit
Institute for Energy and Environmental Research based
in Takoma Park, Maryland, points out that India never
signed the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear
weapons. So it is technically allowed to further its
enrichment programme. "India is not breaking any
rules," he says.

But Albright says the technically detailed
descriptions being published in newspapers show
India's lax control over its nuclear technology. "It's
gotten ridiculous," he says. "India just can't turn
its back on this, and neither can the United States."

"Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse."
Adlai Stevenson

-- John
John Jacobus, MS
Certified Health Physicist
e-mail:  crispy_bird at yahoo.com

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