Trump Energy Secretary Rick Perry gave 6 secret authorizations to sell nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/28/trumps-u-s-energy-secty-ri.html

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#2

trump doesn’t care if its good policy - he sees his presidential power as personal capital to be traded for future favor from the saudis even if it fucks up the middle east and compromises the US.

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#3

What’s a little contravention of international law between friends, amirite?

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#4

8hUA

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#5

A greedy confidence artist and his crew handing powerful and potentially apocalyptic technology to a medieval monarch who’ll kill his enemies over a personal slight and who’s being constantly extorted by hateful and violent religious fundies: this is like an episode of Star Trek set in the mirror universe.

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#6

So, a bunch of Saudis did 9/11, at least they’re not Iranians, amirite?

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#7

But “Uranium One Deal!!! Something something”

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#8

Republicans and their self fulfilling prophecies amirite?

200%20(1)

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#9

It’s not illegal if the President does it.

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#10

Is it me or does the Trump administration feel like we have an American fire sale going?

Crazy Trump’s bargains are INNNNNNNSANE!

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#11

What sort of nuclear power technology are we talking about here? The watchword we need to know is “proliferation resistance”.

In general, the more efficient and modern tech is much less proliferation resistant and cannot be used to build more nuclear weapons. The technology is also designed now to be a lot safer than the Fukishima nuclear reactors that used technology from the 60’s and which required safety systems that were “actively powered”.

There is the kind of reactor that makes weapons grade plutonium and the kind of reactor that cannot. The question here is how “Proliferation resistant” the technology is. We should be much less terrified of low proliferation power generating nuclear tech than they are of “this makes bomb-ready plutonium” nuclear tech.

If the Saudi’s are getting the kind of nuclear power technology that allows them to build pebble bed reactors, Candu reactors, or liquid metal thorium salt reactors that are extremely proliferation resistant, then I would be less worried about them getting that set of nuclear power related technologies. I would then be super vigilant on monitoring what sort of reactor they would be building and what sort of fuel they are buying. I would also do a lot of monitoring for uranium enriching equipment.

Remember that
a) The Saudi’s would prefer to sell their oil outside of Saudi Arabia than use it themselves (they make more money that way, reasonable strategy). This is why they are going big on solar city designs and energy efficient air conditioning systems (SNC Lavalin built one of those for them).

b) Saudi society is vulnerable to collapse if the power goes out

c) People die if the air conditioning goes off

d) Their population is growing and if they want electricity and drinking water and industry, they have to keep building the infrastructure for it… Desalination plants take a LOT of power.

I can see why the US would not want to make it very public that they did this, but I cannot see it being kept a secret if they are using it for public infrastructure.

The case for why someone would give them the dangerous stuff though is
a) Christian apocalypse nuts trying to welcome the rapture over the incineration of the middle east.
b) Greedy idiots trying to make money.
c) Somebody has an endgame for a Saudi Arabia that can take out Iran, without figuring out what that Saudi Arabia would do afterwards.
d) “Diplomacy”??? (Please do not ignore the sarcasm).
e) Lack of appreciation for past experience or forethought about the future.

So, what is the nuclear tech being provided?

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#12

I have worked in the nuclear industry before, and I think that it is ultimately a good thing if modernized and if the right technology is used.

That being said, I am terrified that Trump and his array of cronies would not use good judgement (in favour of bribes) and Trump himself has shown both an active disregard for “expert judgement”, ethics, and conflicts of interest.

I am Jewish and I do not want Israel being used as “ablative shielding” for someone’s fantasy of an incoming rapture.

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#13

Shouldn’t that read “much more proliferation resistant”?

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#14

Remind me again why we couldn’t trade with fricking Cuba for 50 years but America loves to do bidness with China and the House of Saud? Oh, right: Because there are no mass movements of American-based pro-democracy Chinese immigrants, or pro-reform Saudi Immigrants, and if there were, they still wouldn’t all be in a gerrymanderable section of Florida that could be appeased in order to keep that state Republican.

The GOP: Not just, crap, but crap and inconsistent.

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#15

There are also a lot of rich expat Cubans who donate heavily to the Republicans to keep up that embargo.

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#16

The race to self destruction. I wonder who’ll win?

#17

Via World Nuclear Assoc.:

“Nuclear Power in Saudi Arabia”

(Updated January 2019)

  • Saudi Arabia plans to construct two large nuclear power reactors. This is scaled back from building 16 over the next 20-25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion.
  • It projected 17 GWe of nuclear capacity by 2040 to provide 15% of the power then, along with over 40 GWe of solar capacity.
  • Plans for small reactors for desalination are well advanced on two fronts.

In December 2006 the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Oman – announced that the Council was commissioning a study on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. France agreed to work with them on this, and Iran pledged assistance with nuclear technology.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-o-s/saudi-arabia.aspx

trumpworld or others seem to have left out the part about Iranian nuclear assistance.

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#18

Why are we rewarding such a corrupt, murderous regime at all? ($$$)

I really wonder what Israel thinks of this.

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#19

Wasn’t it Rick Perry who ran on “doing away with 3 major regulatory agencies. The department of energy, the EPA, and… Uuuuuh. There’s a third one. I know there’s a third one”

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#20

Now that’s strange. I thought Trump was not just getting marching orders from Putin, but also a word every now and then from Netanyahu.