Plutonium and Bombs

  • Bernard L. Cohen


The very existence of plutonium is often viewed as the work of the devil.* As the most important ingredient in nuclear bombs, it may someday be responsible for killing untold millions of people, although there are substitutes for it in that role if it did not exist. If it gets into the human body, it is highly toxic. On the other hand, its existence is the only guarantee we have that this world can obtain all the energy it will ever needforever at a reasonable price. In fact I am personally convinced that citizens of the distant future will look upon it as one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity. Between these extremes of good and evil is the fact that if our nuclear power program continues to be run as it is today, the existence of plutonium will have no relevance to it except as a factor in technical calculations.


Power Reactor Nuclear Weapon Spend Fuel Isotope Separation Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
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© Bernard L. Cohen 1983

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  • Bernard L. Cohen

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