Weapons (NPT), Russia’s threat to withdraw from the Treaty on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, and an application of sanctions (including military) outside of the United Nations Security Council.188
Double standard policies are practiced more and more widely: the development of nuclear weapons by Pakistan and India and reasonable suspicion that Israel was developing nuclear weapons did not cause any serious sanctions compared with those applied to Iraq or those which may be applied to North Korea or Iran. Some countries develop nuclear technologies including uranium enrichment without hindrance, while other countries are refused these technologies.
Nuclear weapons may be attractive for many countries as a guarantee of their national security and higher status. Not even an absolutely reliable (or fully successful) test of nuclear weapons revived negotiations with North Korea. Nuclear weapons development by a country may turn it into a rogue state, causing international condemnation and sanctions, including military (Iraq, Iran, North Korea), but the authority and status of that country enhance once it has acquired nuclear weapons. The nuclear-haves maintain their nuclear stockpiles as a safeguard of their security and sovereignty, but they deny other countries the right of this safeguard. A mechanism of compensation to the countries that refuse nuclear weapons is still to be devised.
The nuclear “haves” did not pay considerable attention to protecting information on scientific principles and basic technologies required for nuclear weapons development. Many irresponsible publications made this information public. The unconstrained freedom of speech and freedom of information in this area degenerates into danger to all humanity.
Also the illegal market of nuclear material and technology constitutes a real danger. In some cases commercial and political interests interpreted unilaterally have facilitated proliferation. In this regard the attempt to punish the buyer (Iran) rather than the seller (Pakistan) for illegal export of the enrichment technology seems very odd.
In the realm of non-proliferation, as perhaps in no other realm, myths proliferate.
Nuclear power is often thought to be a key (and even unique) source of proliferation. But we forget that the first atomic bombs were built on either side of the ocean long before nuclear power came into being. Nuclear power seems to be the most expensive and irrational way to nuclear weapons. Suffice it to say that in order to manufacture a nuclear charge similar to that used in the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, one would need about 2-3 percent of the initial raw material natural uranium, and about 3-4 percent of the enrichment work required for the start of a nuclear power plant of the Buesher type.
Under the veil of non-proliferation it is required that accumulated plutonium (especially weapons useable Pu) should be disposed of as soon as possible. But already in the next decades plutonium will be needed to start fast neutron reactors. To burn (and burn ineffectively) plutonium as MOX-fuel in thermal reactors means to rob our future generations. The general path of nuclear power development is to change over to fast neutron reactors with the closed fuel cycle and breeding, but some nuclear countries (first and foremost, the United States) propose that countries not develop nuclear power in this way, a way that could increase nuclear fuel resources hundreds of times.
To read the text of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, see http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Infcircs/Others/infcirc140.pdf; accessed April 6, 2008. To read the text of the INF Treaty, see http://www.state.gov/www/global/arms/treaties/inf2.html; accessed April 6, 2008. To read the text of the Treaty on the Conventional Forces in Europe, see http://www.state.gov/t/ac/trt/4781.htm; accessed April 6, 2008.