Nuclear Proliferation

nuclear energy vs weapons

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 February, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 February, 2010, 12:00am

Reading comprehension

Answer the following questions:

1 Where can uranium be found?

a. in the sea

b. in the ground

c. in plants

2 What per cent of uranium needs to be enriched to make a nuclear bomb?

a. 45%

b. 89%

c. 90%

3 Why does Iran not want to send its uranium abroad?

a. It is too expensive to do so

b. It does not like dealing with the Western countries

c. It does not want to depend on another country for its fuel

4 When did the Islamic Revolution take place in 1979?

a. January 7

b. February 11

c. August 26

4 What does IAEA stand for?

5 The nuclear enrichment project is seen as part of moves by Ahmadinejad to...

a. strengthen his presidential position amid opposition

b. provoke Western countries

c. increase Iran's bargaining power in diplomatic talks

Think about

1 Is it ethical to stop Iran from enriching its uranium?

2 What effects do you think former US president George W Bush's 'axis of evil' speech had on Iran?

3 Why do countries think nuclear weapons can raise their international status?

4 What do you think of governments using weapons projects to drum up internal support? Do you think it can help people develop a sense of unity and is good for a country as a whole?

5 What will neighbouring areas do in response to a country's launch of a nuclear project? Will they launch similar projects, resulting in an arms race? Take Iran and its neighbours for example and think about the consequences.

Follow-up activities

1 Research the background of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and how he came to power. Make a presentation of what you found to your class.

2 Debate: Every country has the right to pursue its own nuclear energy programme.

3 Research online the rise of pan-Muslim sentiment since the Soviet-Afghanistan war.

Answers on the website next Thursday. Log on to yp.scmp.com. Go to 'Learning' > 'Answers'