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ISSN: 2167-0374
Journal of Defense Management
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Nuclear Facilities and Nuclear Weapons as a Guarantee of Peace

Sergei V Jargin*

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, Russia

Corresponding Author:
Dr. Jargin SV
Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia
Clementovski per 6-82, 115184 Moscow, Russia
Tel: 7 495 434-53-00
E-mail: [email protected]

Received March 28, 2016; Accepted April 26, 2016; Published April 29, 2016

Citation: Jargin SV (2016) Nuclear Facilities and Nuclear Weapons as a Guarantee of Peace. J Def Manag 6:146. doi:10.4172/2167-0374.1000146

Copyright: © 2016 Jargin SV. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Introduction

The global peace is as old as the nuclear weapons (NW)-71 years. It would be an overstatement to describe the Cold War as a long peace since a number of local wars were fought but not between superpowers and not using NW [1]. The difference between nuclear and conventional weapons is well known: figuratively speaking, the use of the formers would spoil the winners’ triumph due to the extensive radioactive contamination. This is the probable reason why some bellicose leaders have advocated nuclear disarmament. Deterrence by credible threat of retaliation is another peace-preserving mechanism enhanced by NW [1]. Presence of NW has obviously contributed to responsibility of political and military decisions. The same is true for nuclear facilities such as the nuclear power plants (NPP): destruction of a NPP would cause a contamination by radionuclides accumulated in the reactor. Note that contamination after the Chernobyl accident resulted from destruction of only one reactor.

Nuclear power has returned to the agenda because of the concerns over increasing global energy demand, declining fossil fuel reserves and climate changes. NPP emit virtually no greenhouse gases in comparison to coal, oil or gas [2]. Moreover, nuclear research and technology employs many objectively thinking scientists: the laws of physics are not steerable by directives like man-made laws and mores. Militarism is generally known to be associated with suppression of independent public thought. It is not surprising that intellectual work has lost its priority status in Russia [3]. A new instrument against independently thinking individuals i.e. dissidents has come to the fore: mobbing, provocations and disadvantages in the everyday life, employment, health care etc. More international trust and cooperation would enable construction of NPP in optimally suitable places, notwithstanding national borders, considering all sociopolitical, geographic, geologic factors, attitude of workers and engineers to their duties, the latter possibly influenced by observance of human rights. Consideration of all these factors would make nuclear accidents improbable.

Ecological aspect

Since 2007, we have evaluated a series of scientific and supposedto- be scientific publications exaggerating ecological and medical consequences of Chernobyl accident [4-7]. When the truth is deliberately distorted, the question cui bono? (to whose profit?) should be addressed. The hypothesis defended in this article is that exaggerated ecological and medical concerns about minor anthropogenic increase in the radiation background are in agreement with the interests of militarists. Besides, such exaggeration contributes to the strangulation of atomic energy, the cleanest, and safest (if technology is on an appropriate level) and practically inexhaustible means to meet the global energy needs [8]. This would agree with the interest of fossil fuel producers. However, militarists and fossil fuel producers may be represented by the same actors. Probably not all writers, scientists and Green activists, exaggerating medical and ecological consequences of the anthropogenic increase in the radiation background, do realize that they serve the purposes of militarism. Some of them may have good intentions; others are ideologically biased or have conflicts of interest, may serve certain governments or companies and conform to some directives [4-7].

It is sometimes overseen that additional radiation doses due to the anthropogenic contamination have been generally insignificant compared to the doses from the natural radiation background. Given the evolutionary prerequisite of best fitness, it would be reasonable to assume that living organisms have been adapted to the background levels of ionizing radiation [9], or even to higher levels because the background radiation has been decreasing during the time of life existence on the Earth [10]. Worldwide annual exposures to natural radiation sources (total annual effective dose) would generally be expected to be in the range 1-10 mSv. The worldwide average annual exposure to natural radiation sources is 2.4 mSv. For individuals, annual exposures ranging from 1 mSv to two or three times the world average are frequently encountered [11]. The six million residents of the contaminated territories of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine received average effective whole body doses for the period 1986-2005 of about 9 mSv. For the 98 million people in the same countries, the average dose was 1.3 mSv, a third of which was received in 1986. This is a minor addition to the dose from the global average background for the same period, which is approximately 50 mSv [12]. The maximum annual dose from the global fallout was estimated to be 0.14 mSv in 1963, having decreased by almost an order of magnitude by 1979 in consequence of the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Reported annual individual doses from a number of reactor sites have been within the range 0.001-0.5 mSv [11]. For comparison, a single computed tomographic (CT) examination produces a dose 2-20 mSv, while doses from interventional diagnostic procedures usually range from 5-70 mSv [13]. Health risks have never been proven for these doses; an overview is in [14].

After the Chernobyl accident, numerous poorly substantiated reports have been published, where spontaneous diseases were a priori regarded to be radiogenic (some cited in [15], discussed in [7]). For an inside observer it is evident that behind some papers overestimating Chernobyl consequences was a directive, which has been not unusual for the Soviet science. Importantly, the extrapolations based on the linear no-threshold hypothesis and disregarding the natural radiation background have been used for speculations about millions of deaths (e.g. 15-17) [18] supposedly resulting from the anthropogenic increase of the radiation background. Speculations of that kind are used for the anti-nuclear propaganda. Anthropogenic releases of radioactive materials are likely to be of limited significance when set in the context of the ambient radioactive environment within which all organisms, including humans, have developed [19].

Today there are no alternatives to the nuclear power; especially for Europe, where large hydroelectric power stations cannot be built. The fossil fuels will become increasingly expensive in the long run, contributing to excessive population growth in fossil fuel-producing countries and poverty elsewhere. Natural energy sources like solar, geothermal, wind, hydroelectric power, electricity from combustible renewables and waste, will make a contribution, but their share in the global energy balance is too small to substitute for nuclear power. It can be illustrated by the figures of the world total primary energy supply (2013): fossil fuel (coal, oil, natural gas)-81.4%, biofuels and waste-19.2 %, nuclear-4.8, hydro-2.4, other (solar, wind etc.)-1.2 % [20]. Note that nuclear energy production has technically unlimited capability of growth; in certain countries it constitutes a considerable part of consumed energy e.g. 74.7% of electricity generated in France (Figure 1) [20].

Figure 1: Works at the purification facilities at the Kola NPP, June-July 1984 (left to right: Timur Dzhanashvili, Sergei Jargin). The same workers plus DmitriiGotlib and Mikhail Selivanov concreted the same summer the foundation of the 4th power-generating unit of the NPP. Photographs were submitted for publication but sequestered by the editor; details in [5,6].

Demographic aspect

Environmental damage is influenced by human industrial activities [21] that are proportional to the population size. Overpopulation leads to poverty, overcrowding, pollution of air and water [22]. Together with unemployment, food and fresh water shortages, these factors would deteriorate the quality of life for billions of people. Of potentially grave consequences is the unplanned industrial development of less developed countries because environment protection measures are observed less rigorously there and especially due to the large scale of this process, proportional to the population size. In the last quarter of the 20th century, population grew faster in less developed countries, and, compared to the population increase, the carbon emissions increased faster in developing countries than in developed ones [23].

Food production cannot increase infinitely without soil depletion, desertification, deforestation and other forms of environmental degradation. The humankind can choose between reduction of the birth rate and raising the death rate, warfare being a population control tool applied throughout the history. Humanity is in a demographic deadlock [24]; while no realistic solutions have been proposed. Such solutions would require a revision of certain ethical clichés and propagation of new principles, in particular, that no population group on a national or international scale, neither ethnic nor confessional minorities, may obtain advantages because of a faster growth, even if it would disagree with numerical democracy. On the contrary, those who have had many children should logically live in more crowded conditions. Acceptance of this principle could build a basis for international understanding and trust. Without procreative competition, different peoples would be more likely to live in peace. The equality principle would automatically affect populations with higher birth rates. Necessity of birth control has been befogged by conflicting national and global interests: the high birth rate has been regarded as an instrument helping to sovereignty and economic advance. In particular, high fertility has been propagandized to boost up military and labor resources [25]. It is sometimes argued that birth rates tend to decrease as living conditions improve. There is such tendency indeed; but the population of more developed countries growing due to the immigration.

Furthermore, in Eastern Asia, Caucasus and other regions, the sex ratio has skewed towards males, mainly due to the sex-selective abortions [26,27]. A similar phenomenon has been observed among immigrants to Europe and the USA [28,29]. In accordance with traditions, economic and social factors, many families prefer to have sons, which is a motive for the sex-selective abortions, abandonment of newborn girls, neglect of daughters, etc. [30]. In future, the gender imbalance will probably progress, in view of the developing prenatal sex-testing methods and their increasing availability. The growing excess of men is a fruitful soil for militarism.

Religious aspects

The Christian commandments of forgiveness and mercy are constructive in the multicultural world. However, religious attitudes towards contraception, sterilization and abortion are outdated. The principle of tooth-for-tooth retaliation known from Judaism is not constructive because different acts can be perceived as offences in different cultures, so that it would perpetuate conflicts. Buddhism and other teachings prevailing in the East are contemplative, regard the good and the evil predestined to exist and do not deem necessary to actively eradicate the evil. Finally, the atheism of the Soviet type was conductive to immoral behavior and lawlessness [31]. Preparing the end of the communist regime, the party functionaries sent their children to theological academies, some of them being transferred directly from Marxism-Leninism faculties.

Terrorism has been often associated with Islam. It is essential for the multicultural society, what kind of instructions are given with regard to adherents of other religions and the atheists. The Koran (Qur’an) [32] contains numerous instructions regarding unbelievers: “Smite at their neck at lengths; when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly on them” (47:4). It is not permitted to a Moslem to kill another Moslem (2:84; 4:92), but with regard to the unbelievers other recommendations are given: “Fight them on until there prevails faith in Allah altogether and everywhere” (8:39). About responsibility for murder, it is commented: “It is not ye who slew them, it was Allah” (8:17). Jihad, the holy war, is considered to be a religious duty. Many other contradictions between the Koran and contemporary law can be found, particularly those pertaining to the matter of murder: “The law of equality is prescribed: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the woman for the woman” (2:178) [32]. It can be understood that, instead of a criminal, an innocent individual from his kinship may be killed. Growth of political Islam and extremism can be partly explained by the excessive population increase and unemployment among young people. The main problem of the modern Orient is a relatively high birth rate. It is clearly visible in the desert areas, where people live predominantly from oil revenues or foreign aid, importing a major part of food and using desalinated water. Note that water desalination needs energy that comes mainly from burning of oil.

Confessional differences should not be exaggerated. However, it is known from the history that religious teachings and fanaticism have contributed to international conflicts. Conflicting laws and injunctions cannot be valid at the same time and place. Considering unpredictability and compromise-resistance [1] of criminals driven by religious motives, such motives must be regarded as aggravating circumstances. Finally, there can be no religious objections against contraception, sterilization and abortions because these methods are not mentioned in sacred texts.

International trust and reliability

Labor productivity is growing; few workers can produce means of subsistence for many people, the unemployment is increasing in parallel. In the past, similar conditions were terminated by wars. This has not happened long since, and we are waiting to see what happens, while the population and gender imbalance continue increasing. However, there are many things to do. Great projects could be accomplished by the unified mankind to preserve the life of billions: irrigation facilities for drought-stricken lands, worldwide development of nuclear energy as the only adequate alternative to the fossil hydrocarbons. In future, nuclear fission will be probably replaced by fusion, which is intrinsically safer [33]. Huge hydroelectric power stations could be constructed on Siberian and other large rivers for production of hydrogen-the most eco-friendly fuel. Scientific research should be purified from conflicts of interest and misconduct, better planned to avoid parallelism and unnecessary experimentation. New substances applied in the industry, nutrition or medicine should be tested for toxicity using large quantities of animals to achieve statistical significance and to register rare outcomes. Such projects would create jobs for many people, being a reasonable alternative to international conflicts. The exploration of outer space and ocean depth, poverty and obscurantism, ecology and other research, demand international attention, responsibility and cooperation. Most importantly, people must learn to trust each other. Only by concentration of authority in an international executive, based in the most developed parts of the world, can the vicious circle of international competition and conflicts be broken and priorities for addressing overpopulation created. Accordingly, propaganda should popularize the image of hardworking people as an identification pattern for younger generations. English should become official language worldwide. Strong and creative global leadership is urgently needed [34].

The global development of nuclear energy must be managed by a powerful international executive based in the most developed parts of the world. It would prevent from spreading of nuclear technologies to unstable regions, where wars and terrorism are not excluded. It would also permit construction of NPP in optimally suitable places, disregarding national borders, considering all socio-political, geological and other preconditions, quality of working by local workers [5], etc. In this way, nuclear accidents like in Japan (2011), caused by the formidable earthquake and tsunami, or in Chernobyl (1986), favored by disregard for written instructions [5,35-37], would be prevented. Note that Chernobyl accident coincided with destabilization of the Soviet society due to political and economic initiatives (uskoreniye, perestroika) and the anti-alcohol campaign (1985-88).

Considering the above, appeals to dismantle NPP are in agreement with the interests of fossil fuel producers and militarists. Displacement of power and wealth to the East would come along with losses of certain values such as independence of an individual, to say nothing of democracy and human rights. Some corruption will come instead. For example, the only thinkable way to peace in Syria and the surrounding region would be a direct rule by an international executive based in developed countries. Especially in the desert areas, the birth rate must be restricted. According to the author’s observations, there were almost no destroyed residential buildings in Baghdad during May-July 2003 on the contrary e.g. to Beirut in the 1990s, Abkhazia or Chechnya. Destructions and fires in Iraq were caused mainly by local marauders [38]. In Chechnya, according to witnesses, inhabitants had been notified about forthcoming bombardments and left their houses. Battles, victims, and dangers for civilians have been exaggerated by some publications e.g. about Ukraine [39-41]. All that, as well as baksheesh and extortion at frontier crossings, deceit at bazaars etc., have been damaging for the tourism, trade, international trust and cooperation. This is well understood by militarists because corruption e.g. at border crossings has been fostered or tolerated by military personnel who have sometimes participated in extortion and bribery. Considering all that, more civilian control of the military is needed [42], which is also logical in a country having a civilian government.

Obviously, the most important goal is prevention of a new East- West conflict. There are, however, reasons why the power should not be displaced to the East: inability of authorities to eradicate corruption and baksheesh, to properly organize health care and social assistance. For example, bribes have been taken in the process of importation of medical products to Russia, which has resulted in higher prices on the internal market and impeded availability for patients [43]. According to the information obtained in July 2014, patients of Donetsk regional oncologic center have paid for the diagnostics and treatment, many payments being equivalent to bribes [39]. Unfortunately, fraud and corruption in the international affairs seem to be spreading from the East to the West [44]. Here follow several examples known to the scientific community. Dubious presentations have been regularly accepted by renowned international meetings as long as registration fees were paid (e.g. [45,46], last discussed in [47]). Large series of doubtful research have been continued for decades being supported by grants despite conflicts of interest and published criticism. Unfair practices can be encountered in the publication process, for example, repeated invoices and reminders regarding article processing charges sent to some authors in spite of the waivers granted per e-mail. Other editors, apparently guided by ideological biases, modify accepted manuscripts and refuse publishing errata. Misquoting and alteration of original meaning of referenced publications can be found in the literature supposed to be scientific [6,48,49], to say nothing of scientific journalism applying derogatory idiom or unfounded allegations [50-52]; commented in [6,53]. This may be driven by an ideological bias [6] or hidden conflicts of interest e.g. by lawyers’ earnings from asbestos litigation or interests of construction firms performing asbestos removal associated with exposures of abatement workers [54]; more details are in [55]. Mistrust and suspicion can form a vicious circle of heightening tension potentially contributing to international conflicts (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Open letter to the President of the 84th EAS Congress informing on unserious presentations and conflicts of interest.

Finally, the conflicts and militaristic rhetoric are distracting attention from drawbacks of public health and assistance. Inflation favored by international conflicts and sanctions are separating people from their savings. Elevation of the retirement age is discussed now and again. The relatively low life expectancy in Russia especially in men (about 20 years difference compared to some countries of Western Europe [56]) is a strategic advantage: less health care investments, fewer pensions to be paid. Accordingly, middle-aged men are sometimes visibly unwelcome in governmental policlinics, if they are not war veterans. There are misgivings, however, that the veteran status, associated with advantages in everyday life and health care of Russian Federation, has been awarded gratuitously to some people from the privileged milieu. All those participating in the current conflicts, factually or fictitiously, will become war veterans. This is another motive both to participate in the conflicts and to exaggerate their dimensions [39-41]. In particular, more openness and international cooperation is needed in health care and medical education, which in Russia has been characterized by persistence of some outdated methods, use of invasive procedures without sufficient indications etc. [57-60] Some invasive methods with questionable indications were advocated by first generation military surgeons (e.g. Babichev, Meshalkin, Yudin) [61-64]; [57]. In the past, iatrogenic diseases were critically analyzed [65,66]; however, since 1990 such analysis has apparently become less comprehensive. Necessary measures for improvement of the public health in Russia must include the invitation of officially authorized foreign advisors, managers and experts as well as temporary practice of Russian physicians abroad: not the functionaries or their children, but those who have spent the most of their lifetime for professional engagements. Note that medical practice, education and research require hard and meticulous work leaving almost no leisure time. Some of the functionaries’ children are not prepared to it. In any case such programs presuppose not only peace but also international trust and cooperation. An example of confidence building measures that are already in use and include both bilateral and multilateral mechanisms is the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, which initiated a number of actions strengthening nuclear security at the national and international levels (Figure 3) [67].

Figure 3: Petition to dismiss VitalyKaloyev from his position of deputy minister. Kaloev had committed premeditated murder in Switzerland in 2004 and was released from prison in 2007.

Conclusion

NW is perceived as the ultimate tool for security [34]. In the author’s opinion, corroborated in this letter, the nuclear abatement would not contribute to prevention of large-scale wars that have repeated during the whole history. It might be more reasonable to preserve NW, to limit military expenditures as far as reasonably possible, and to foster international trust, cooperation and tourism. Unfair practices and fraud in international relations as well as scientific misconduct driven by ideological biases and hidden conflicts of interest must be exposed and eradicated. New moral principles, based on modesty, discipline, mutual help and birth control, aimed at preservation of as much life, wealth and human rights as possible, should be propagated instead. The best means against militarism is prevention of international conflicts and wars, while NW is one of the instruments used for that purpose. In conclusion, confidence-building measures, international trust and reliability are necessary for international cooperation and prevention of conflicts.

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