Topic: Nuclear Reactors in Conflict Zones
Delegate Name: Logan Ellis
A very important thing to consider is the protection of nuclear power plants in armed conflict. Nuclear reactors can be very dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken. These dangers can be drastically increased if in armed conflict zones. This is a very important issue to solve, especially when nuclear energy is becoming more and more common. We need to take action so we don’t repeat unfortunate events, like the catastrophe at Chernobyl.
Nuclear reactors can be a danger to people and the environment in conflict zones both directly and indirectly. For example, a reactor can be hit by a shell from nearby fighting (a direct cause), or an operator of the reactor could make a mistake from increased stress of the fighting nearby (an indirect cause). Once a nuclear reactor is damaged the consequences would be quite fatal. Gamma rays can pass through the human body and will result in major cell damage to anyone nearby. Not only will the gamma rays harm humans, they will also harm the environment. This shows how big of a threat damaging nuclear reactors really are.
France is one of the biggest countries when it comes to utilizing nuclear energy. France has 56 operable nuclear reactors, making protection for them a priority. France and many other countries in Europe approved of the 2009 IAEA General Conference entitled “Prohibition of armed attack or threat of attack against nuclear installations, during operation and under construction” which showed the importance of safety and security of nuclear material and facilities with peaceful purposes. This shows that France supports keeping nuclear power plants safe and secure. France also agreed with the IAEA Director General’s “Seven Indispensable Pillars of Nuclear Safety and Security. In the meeting where France agreed with these things, they stated, “We, the ministers of Foreign Affairs of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and senior officials from the Republic of Korea, Switzerland, the United States of America, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy wish to express our grave concern regarding the threats posed to the safety and security of nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful purposes…”.
France believes that to help keep nuclear power plants safe in conflict zones, we should first, propose a treaty to keep battlegrounds away from nuclear power plants. France believes this because if a nuclear reactor, for example, explodes because of fighting nearby, then it will affect everyone for many kilometers and stay uninhabitable for years. France thinks they should also put physical protection around nuclear power plants in case nations don’t sign off on said treaty. For example, concrete walls to protect from ground forces. Also, there should be radars to detect aircraft. There should also be anti-aircraft defenses for each nuclear power plant. Finally, in case of armed conflict, there should be access to armed forces for the defense of the nuclear power plant.