May 13, 1997

To the Editor:

As a reactor physicist, I can assure you that Paul McKay's description of the CANDU reactor as a "bomb factory", which forms the technical foundation of his entire piece ("Hell-bent-for A-bomb countries love CANDU", May 13/97), is an outright falsehood. Most of the article's assertions fall apart accordingly, the more outrageous of these being: (1) that India used its CANDU reactor to make bomb material, (2) that CANDU reactors can produce weapons-grade plutonium in the first place, and (3) that the US a dapted the CANDU design for their bomb-production reactors (!). Such silliness is not uncommon, but Mr. McKay's article makes serious accusations that should have been vetted before publication. I hope the editorial board will review this matter.


Jeremy Whitlock