Nuclear Power has been a front for nuclear weapons since the dawn of the so-called ‘peaceful’ atom.
Technology, materials, education, personnel, and importantly – funding – overlap.
Without the “legitimization” of the industry, education and jobs would be entirely about the bomb. The possibility of extinguishing life on earth makes for difficulties with public relations and the recruitment of potential scientists and personnel.
Once nuclear power was established in the U.S., all uranium mining and milling was transferred to the civilian budget, as was much of enrichment, fuel fabrication and “cleanup”. In other words, most of the Front (nuclear fuel) and Back (nuclear waste) Ends of the nuclear industry are now classified as civilian, making the true cost of nuclear weapons far beyond the published numbers.
Nuclear nations are intent on selling nuclear power technology abroad. Developing nations (perhaps with or subject to dictatorships or military rule) become obligated to the U.S. (or France, Russia, etc.) for fuel, maintenance, and other necessities of operation. This forces them to become political allies of the “parent” nuclear supplier. Never mind that civilian technology, particularly with the advent of more highly enriched fuel, is subject to being used by recipient nations to develop nuclear weapons.
Comingling makes for a dangerous nuclear weapons proliferation risk.
* High Level “Low” Enriched Uranium (HALEU) is the new civilian fuel being subsidized by the Inflation Reduction Act. At 25% U-235, HALEU can relatively easily be further enriched to weapons grade. HALEU (and in some cases, its technology) is poised to be exported widely.