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Nuclear Townhall
December 23, 2010


In today’s Townhall Q&A with Matt Bennett and Josh Freed of Third Way, there’s a paragraph worth committing to memory: 
“Given the enormous geopolitical risks associated with nuclear technology falling into the wrong hands, Americans should be demanding that this nation continue to lead the world in the development of civilian nuclear power and not cede that territory to other countries. China not only is our economic rival, it has a profoundly different view of the relative risks of nuclear proliferation – witness its actions toward North Korea and Iran. We want the U.S. to remain in the nuclear energy driver’s seat.”
To see what this means in real life, take a look at today’s headlines:  “The United States has imposed a highest ever penalty of nearly $4 million on a Chinese subsidiary of an American company for illegally exporting high-tech coatings to Pakistan’s under-construction Chashma 2 nuclear reactor. The firm, PPG Paints Trading in Shanghai, a wholly owned subsidiary of an American firm PPG Industries, was fined after pleading guilty to having illegally exported high performance coatings. It would have to pay $3.75 million as penalty, US Justice Department said.”
Here’s the situation. Pakistan already has a nuclear weapon. It has two nuclear reactors and is just completing its third, Chashma 2. The Chinese have been their main source nuclear technology since the 1980s and the two countries have already signed an agreement to build two more reactors, Chashma 3 and 4. Pakistan, along with India and Israel, has refused to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty but it did sign a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Association with regard to its current construction.
The U.S. will have no role in Pakistan’s future nuclear development. China has sewed them up. However, one little American-owned company, a subsidiary of Pittsburgh Paint and Glass, did sell them some paint, making $32,000 on the transaction. For that we fine them $4 million.
Does that sound like a robust anti-proliferation policy or what?

Read more at the Times of India

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