Article | 1980

Nuclear Power and Nuclear Bombs

By Amory Lovins

In this influential paper from Foreign Affairs, the authors argue that the nuclear proliferation problem is insoluble. At the time, all policies to control proliferation assumed that the rapid worldwide spread of nuclear power is essential to reduce dependence on oil, economically desirable, and inevitable; that efforts to inhibit the concomitant spread of nuclear bombs must not be allowed to interfere with this vital reality; and that the international political order must remain inherently discriminatory, dominated by bipolar hegemony and the nuclear arms race. The authors focus not on marginal reforms but on basic assumptions. They argue that the collapse of nuclear power in response to the discipline of the marketplace is to be welcomed, for nuclear power is both the main driving force behind proliferation and the least effective known way to displace oil.