If nuclear energy is to make a big dent globally, then we're going to have to be attentive to breaking the linkages between nuclear energy technology and nuclear weapons technology, and I think the administration will be attentive to how we can do that, as well."This statement is curious because it seems to suggest Mr. Holdren believes two things that are not obviously matters of fact. First there is the assertion that there is a linkage between nuclear energy technology and nuclear weapons technology that American policy seeks to break, it is not clear however what Dr. Holdren thinks that linkage is. For example in 1997 Dr Holdren wrote:
[Because] the isotopics are different, weapons using this plutonium would have to be redesigned, which would require nuclear tests. That means the path to reuse of spent fuel would be more difficult technically and politically — as well as easier to detect — than reusing weapons plutonium extracted from glass.This statement would tend to suggest a view that in the absence of bomb tests it would not be possible to build reliable nuclear weapons with reactor grade plutonium without bomb tests that could be detected. In the absence of such tests, it would appear that there would be no link between nuclear energy technology and nuclear weapons technology, since plutonium produced by civilian nuclear energy technology does not meet minimal standards for nuclear weapons technology.
The second curious aspect of this statement is that the postulates link is stipulated to effect global deployment of nuclear energy because this is United States policy. This smacks of the sort of unilateralism that damaged American foreign police during the last administration. i seriously doubt that the United States has the power to enforce its non-proliferation ploicy on Russia, China and India. Widespread deployment of nuclear energy technology is a matter of certainty regardless of Ameerican ploicy regarding nuclear proliferation,
What i find disturbing is that Holdern appears to be taking a position about link between nuclear energy technology and nuclear weapons technology that seems to contradict his own previously stated view. Further he seems to be offering an American policy towards large scale global nuclear deployment that appears to suggest that he believes that American views on proliferation will automatically prevail over the views of other countries.