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close this bookCERES No. 072 (FAO Ceres, 1979, 50 p.)
close this folderCerescope
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View the documentThe price of a nuclear submarine
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The price of a nuclear submarine

How much does a nuclear submarine cost? According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the famous SIPRI, a little over $1.700.000.000. The mind boggles at such an order d magnitude, and it is not easy to make comparisons with anything tangible. Hence the table given below, which measures a certain number of economic aggregates, of great importance to the Third World, to agriculture, or to both, by a new standard, the Submarine Unit (SMU).

The figures speak for themselves. We might add that the GNP given are mere examples, and that in many developing countries the total goods and services produced over a year would not be sufficient to pay for even one nuclear submarine of this kind.

To bring the message home, SIPRI states that the first nuclear submarine became operational in 1960, and that today they number 278. With :the help of the UN Statistics Yearbook, we could continue measuring in SMU many world problems demanding urgent solution: worldwide eradication of some specific disease, the mounting of a world food security system, resettlement of all the world's refugees, and so on. What is astonishing is how few SMU are needed to accomplish all this.