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Turn to nuclear energy could herald "anarchy"

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The world could descend into an "unregulated state of nuclear anarchy" unless new safeguards against expanding stocks of plutonium are put into place, security experts have warned.

A submission to the IPPR thinktank's commission on national security warns of latent nuclear states, more warheads and an increased potential for nuclear materials falling into the hands of rogue states or terrorist groups.

Frank Barnaby, emeritus consultant at the Oxford Research Group, says urgent global action and a new strategy to prevent a nuclear renaissance are needed.

Professor Barnaby, who believes countries are looking to nuclear as a 'green' non-carbon source of energy, said: "Unless governments work together to safeguard nuclear energy supplies, the rise in unsecured nuclear technology will put us all in danger."

By 2075 enough plutonium will have been produced to make one million warheads, Prof Barnaby added.

Dr Ian Kearns, deputy commissioner of the Institute for Public Policy Research's commission on national security said that an offshoot of combating climate change should not worsen the international security environment.

"A global nuclear renaissance, if badly managed, could bring enormous complications in terms of nuclear non-proliferation and terrorism," he said.

"Policymakers need to be alert to the dangers and to construct policies that bring both secure low carbon energy and a stable nuclear weapons environment."
© Adfero Ltd
16 March 2009 01:01 GMT

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