Despite the war in Ukraine demonstrates the hideous danger of nuclear power plants, the Japanese and British prime ministers, and now the French president, tell "we need new nuclear power plants". Does the need for tritium, an ingredient of nuclear bombs, explain rationally this apparent foolish?
I say no. Cyclotrons can provide enough tritium to maintain France's or Britain's nuclear bombs
. They are cheaper than nuclear power plants and not vulnerable. Both countries have more than enough plutonium, which doesn't disappear in a lifetime.
Tritium and deuterium make the booster of plutonium bombs (or of primaries in a multistage bomb). Each bomb is said to contain 2.5g tritium, according to nuke.fas.org
which decays by 5.5%/year due to radioactivity and must be replenished.
France has 300 bombs if believing then-president François Hollande, Britain is said to be in the same ballpark. Maintenance needs 42g/year = 14mol/year
I estimated that a 200MeV cyclotron of moderate size produces 1mol/year neutrons, which lithium converts to tritium chemicalforums
so just 14 cyclotrons suffice
, or even five 500MeV cyclotrons.
They produce far less radioactivity, so a direct hit leaves the country habitable. They need little cooling and can be buried. Their loss has no swift consequence so they are no targets. Several sites can host them.
Or could just deuterium make the booster
, without tritium? I don't know. After I suggested it, Pres. Trump considered conducting new tests of nuclear bombs.