Turkey’s Nuclear Move: Deciphering the Developments

A recent article of mine was posted at the international relations-focused blog, Duck of Minerva. [It is one of the sites that I read daily]

The article argues that Turkey is not currently position itself similarity to Iran in terms of illicit proliferation models. A brief excerpt:

Not all plutonium is created equal. Having impure plutonium in a nuclear arsenal, an arsenal that a nation would use to deter attack by other states, would be extremely dangerous. When uranium (particularly civilian reactor-grade uranium) is used in a power reactor, plutonium-239, the fissile material used for the production of nuclear weapons, is created. However, other by-products and isotopes of plutonium are also generated. The ratio of these by-products depends on the type of fuel you start with and how long the fuel is used in a power reactor. The longer it is in there, the less pure the plutonium output.

For a state that wishes to have a nuclear arsenal that will be able to deter the use or proliferation of nuclear weapons, a stable arsenal is critical for reliable use if necessary and for the warheads not to detonate on your own territory.

This is by far one of my favorite activities: examining the intersection of international relations theory and technical realities.


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