Topic: Nuclear Reactors in Conflict Zones
Delegate Name: Aidan Zipperer
United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency
The Role of Nuclear Energy in Reducing Fossil Fuel Reliance
Plurinational State of Bolivia
Forest Hills Northern High School
As the delegate representing Bolivia, it is my position that nuclear reactors should not be built or operated in conflict zones. Bolivia strongly believes that the risks associated with operating nuclear reactors in such areas far outweigh any potential benefits, and that such actions could have devastating consequences for both the local population and the wider global community.
Nuclear reactors can pose immense risk. The fuel used by these reactors, if not handled correctly, can cause major health risks, such as Acute Radiation Sickness. These risks are largely mitigated by the stringent safety measures imposed by the IAEA on nuclear reactors. War, however, threatens those safeguards, and thus the population living in proximity to the plant.
Conflict zones are inherently unstable and unpredictable environments, often characterized by ongoing violence and insecurity. Building and operating nuclear reactors in such areas not only puts the safety of workers at risk, but also endangers the lives of local residents who are already vulnerable to violence and displacement. In the event of an accident or attack, the consequences could be catastrophic, leading to widespread radiation exposure and long-term environmental damage.
Furthermore, operating nuclear reactors in conflict zones could exacerbate tensions between conflicting parties, potentially leading to further violence and instability. The presence of nuclear reactors in these areas could be seen as a provocative act by some, and could be used as a justification for further conflict or attacks. Additionally, any accidental combat operations against surrounding areas or even the plant itself could lead to even more serious disagreements.
Nuclear reactors can affect combat in another way too, in the form of nuclear weapons Bolivia is strongly opposed to the production and use of nuclear weapons. The damage that they cause can be achieved with a similar cost in conventional weapons, whilst not causing radioactive fallout to be spread across the targeted area, affecting civilians nearby.
It is important to note that nuclear energy is not the only source of energy available, and that there are a number of alternative energy sources that can be used to meet the energy needs of conflict zones. Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power offer safe and sustainable alternatives that do not pose the same risks as nuclear energy.
Bolivia believes that nuclear plants in conflict zones should be limited wherever possible. This includes careful locating of reactor build sites, and also an effort from combatting parties to avoid fighting in the proximity of active plants. Should these protocols fail, shutdown of nuclear reactors that have become the focuses of combat should be a priority for this agency.
In light of these concerns, Bolivia strongly urges the international community to prohibit the building and operation of nuclear reactors in conflict zones. We call on all member states to prioritize the safety and well-being of local populations, and to work towards sustainable and safe energy solutions that do not pose a risk to the environment or exacerbate existing conflicts. Only through such actions can we ensure a safe and sustainable future for all.