New Uranium Enrichment Technology Might Lead to Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons


Published Date : Jun 28, 2016

Post World War II, countries have worked on their arsenal of nuclear weapons even though it is well known that a third world war with nuclear weapons will completely destroy the whole world as well as the human race. Yet, in a competition of weapon show-offs, a number of companies have acquired rights to access nuclear weapons or have stealthily devised technologies to develop such weapons. For example, Iran has been at loggerheads with the U.S. and other nations for defying complying with the regulations regarding the production of nuclear weapons. Now, a novel laser-based uranium enrichment technology might make it harder to detect a pathway to the production of nuclear weapons.

Accessing Key Laser System will be Main Hurdle for Countries working on the Technology

According to a upcoming research paper to be published in the Science and Global Security by a physicist from the Princeton University, it will be difficult to detect the manufacturing of nuclear weapons through the laser-based uranium enrichment technology. This third-generation laser enrichment process was originally developed by Australia to separate isotope through laser excitation. The technique was further licensed in 2012 to the U.S. for the deployment in commercial scale. Furthermore, research on such laser systems is ongoing across countries such as India, China, and Russia.

Though the technology will directly impact the detection methods that rely on the energy usage and size of a plant to determine its footprints, accessing the key laser systems will be the major hurdle for countries trying to work on the new enrichment technique. It will be interesting to see that how the future of the nuclear weapon market will be shaped with the introduction of this process.