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Cuba and Nuclear-Weapons Proliferation

In the opinion-page article "Cuba Goes Nuclear," June 3, the authors unjustifiably conclude that Cuba "is in the process of becoming a renegade nuclear nation."I have the drawings of the two VVER-400 reactors being built at Juragua. They are of the latest type, with the best safety improvements. In addition, unlike the VVER-400 reactors in the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries, they are being built with containment vessels satisfying Western standards. If properly constructed and operated, these reactors should be as safe as those in the Western countries. As for nuclear-weapons proliferation, these reactors are not suited for making fuel for nuclear weapons. However, Cuba has accepted international safeguards agreements on the operation and the fuel ensuring that crude bombs will not be fabricated. Cuba's agreements for cooperation with other third-world countries must be examined carefully. The authors state, without presenting any evidence, that Iran and North Korea are developing nuclear weapons. I believe that is untrue, although their leaders may want to possess them. The situation with Argentina and Brazil is more complex. Both have had nuclear-weapons programs in the past, but these progressed very slowly and essentially went nowhere during their 30 years of existence; thus each country recently canceled them. Also, neither country will sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty because it is discriminatory. (It gives special status to the US, the USSR, and Great Britain). However they are in the process of negotiating full-scope safeguards agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Richard Wilson, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University

Quotas and civil rights Regarding the editorial "Bush's 'Quota' Politics," June 3: Whatever one may think about the current civil rights bill, the issue of quotas is real, and cannot be dismissed as a "political sideshow." The bill obviously creates powerful incentives for business to adopt hiring quotas. The Supreme Court's Griggs decision of 1971, which this bill seeks to restore, led to the widespread use of quotas by businesses and municipal governments. There were numerous court challenges to such systems, which the courts upheld until 1989 when the Supreme Court realized that Griggs conflicted with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Restoring the Griggs standard would clearly cause a return to the use of quotas. Mark Wylie, Los Angeles

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A remedy for boredom Regarding the article "Boredom - Who's to Blame?" June 4: Anyone who enjoys nature, who bird-watches, hunts, fishes, or studies plants and animals is painfully aware that our world is being drained of meaning. As we lose species, subspecies, populations, and entire ecosystems such as prairies and old-growth forests, our lives steadily turn a featureless gray-brown, the texture of concrete and asphalt. John M. Anderson, Abbeville, La.

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