Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

The problem with nuclear goes back to the beginning. The original reason for nuclear research, and even the first reactors, was to breed bomb material. Nuclear power was an extension of "atoms for peace" which was originally political cover to continue weapons programs.

Some commercial reactors are secretly used for this purpose even today.

Nuclear may have a bright future but it's extremely difficult to cleave energy from the state interest in weapons. And I'm not just talking about the US, this is an issue with nuclear power worldwide.

The biggest blunder was using nuclear technology for bombs first. I'm afraid the word is forever tainted by history.

I don't understand why this would have any effect on domestic nuclear power production in the nations that already have nuclear weapons. Probably the most important question: why don't the US and China get more of their domestic power from Nuclear?

Also, I need to some source for the claims that Atoms for Peace was meant as a cover to transfer nuclear technology. I believe the program was created as a way to provide civilian nuclear generation capabilities to friendly nations, in return for a guarantee that nations would not use the technology for making nuclear weapons (India was probably the most famous "rogue": they used the know-how from the research reactors to build an actual nuclear weapon).

TRIGA type research reactors, probably the most popular model, are specifically designed to be "pulse reactors" that can produce rapid power spikes of 20,000+MW. I don't see how you could argue that the main purpose isn't simulating nuclear detonations.

Same with Sandia Z Pinch machine and NIF. It's all dual purpose tech to simulate bombs since actual testing isn't done anymore.

You won't find anyone that says it outright but the government interest in pulsed power is awful suspect.

Do you have a source for your claims?

Applications are open for YC Winter 2020

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact