Monday, October 9, 2017

Queen Elizabeth and CIRUS: Canadian-Indian Reactor Uranium System

Canada 1962.  The official handbook of present conditions and recent progress. 
Ottawa:  Information Services Division, Dominion Bureau of Statistics, 1962.
"Whatever you do, your Majesty, do not push this button!"

(Prince Philip, in the background, looks to be doing his best anticipation of Charles Gray as the narrator in the Rocky Horror Picture Show ("Put your hands on your hips!"), even though that movie didn't come out until 1975. Amazingly prescient!)

The reactor first went critical in 1960. Sadly, the government of India broke its agreement with Canada to use plutonium from the CIRUS reactor only for peaceful purposes, and in 1974 the material was used in India's "Smiling Buddha" "peaceful nuclear explosions."  Both Canada and the US subsequently ended all nuclear cooperation with India, including Canadian fuel shipments. The reactor itself was shut down in 2010. In 2013, Canada resumed the sale of nuclear fuel to that country, this time with conditions that require monitoring of the use of those materials.

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