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December 11, 2009


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Bernard Guerrero

"Also, the electricity went out in half (but only half) of my room an hour ago. This suggests a blown fuse, except that I haven't been doing anything that would blow a fuse? And I sent my laundry out two days ago, and nobody seems to know what happened to it.

God, listen to me. Let's talk about something else.

Okay: Kinshasa has a nuclear reactor. "

This was a deeply disturbing segue.


The nuclear reactor actually predates Mobutu. It was first built in the colonial era by a Belgian priest named Luc Gillon. He'd trained as a nuclear physicist, and well...Michela Wrong compared his nuclear reactor to a colonial official using his colonial days to complete his butterfy collection.

Of course, after independence, it became a matter of pride as Africa's first nuclear reactor, and nobody wanted to give it up no matter what a wreck it became. So they upgraded it with US help later.

(I actually had a post on SHWI about this ages ago; it's called "Zaire's Nuclear Bomb.")

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