The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Unlike fossil fuel-fired power plants which burn commodities (coal, oil, or gas), nuclear power reactors require a highly engineered product to generate thermal power, which is then converted into electricity. The process of creating nuclear fuel and then dealing with its waste products is a complicated sequence of industrial activities which have come to be called the nuclear fuel cycle.
In order to sustain a critical nuclear reaction, it is necessary to have an abundance of fissile atoms; however, the same atoms that are used to create a controlled nuclear reaction in a nuclear reactor can be used to make a nuclear explosive device. An understanding of each step in the nuclear fuel cycle is necessary if we are to "manage the atom" for peaceful purposes and preclude its misuse for the purpose of creating weapons of mass destruction.
Coffee and tea provided. Please join us - Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.