In 1993 the Clinton administration signed an accord with the Russian Federation for a continuous supply of enriched uranium to fuel U.S. reactors. Astonishingly, this trade has never ended. In the last year, U.S. nuclear energy companies are estimated to have paid to Rosatom (the enormous Russian marketing monopoly) around USD one billion for material which could have been produced in its own planned centrifugal plants; of these only one, in Ohio, is anywhere near completion. In Europe, Germany and France gladly bought Russian over-production to the tune of €450 million during 2022 while four other EU states - Bulgaria, Finland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic – operate a total of fifteen Russian made nuclear reactors but have not contracted a separate, authorized alternative to this source of fuel. It brings little profit in itself to Rosatom which relies on the sale of hardware and Russian technical expertise to pile up the roubles.

Therefore, it seems nonsensical and hypocritical for the current eleventh round of sanctions to suggest that imports by the West of Eastern enriched uranium should be suspended and, even more so. to order neutral countries to cease acting as intermediaries. The development of the global industry for nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuel is fundamental for the urgent combat of climate change and should not be confused with the eventual elimination of the known 12,500 nuclear warheads held by the USA, Russia and seven other countries.

Meanwhile, across the Pacific Pond, China is surging ahead in the field of nuclear energy by licensing for full production the hitherto experimental molten-salt thorium reactor located in the Gobi Desert. The radioactive properties of this white metallic element (Th) were discovered in 1898 but its early industrial applications were restricted to the use of its dioxide for the manufacture of incandescent gas mantles. Recent research has shown that the mineral monazite, which is abundant throughout China, is a primary source of thorium and the much sought-after rare-earth elements. Improvements in the techniques for extraction and processing have now brought these raw materials into focus as being essential components of the 21st century environmental survival programme.

Thorium is not without its problems of mining, storage and usage but its potential as an alternative to pre-eminent uranium is well appreciated by the Chinese as an almost unlimited national asset. This is much to the chagrin of U.S. scientists who are confined, by their country´s lack of foresight, to dependence on uranium.

The massacres of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are only eighty years behind us and should be a constant reminder that the power of nuclear fission in all its forms should be controlled by a global authority. Russia and the U.S. cannot be allowed to continue as the privileged players in a perpetual war-game of nuclear poker. And China must prepare responsibly and peacefully for its forthcoming role as leader of the Eastern nuclear hegemony.