The Origins of the Nonproliferation Regime

in , on March 12, 2023

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This online lecture, prepared using the open source software Xerte, introduces students to the technical foundations of the nuclear nonproliferation regime. The first half of this online resource covers the basics of nuclear technology, from the discovery of the atom to the two technical pathways states can use to generate fissile materials for a nuclear weapon. This information is intended to support and complement a broader understanding of the political origins of the regime, which students learn about through suggested readings.  

– Elisabeth Roehrlich (2016) The Cold War, the developing world, and the creation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), 1953–1957, Cold War History, 16:2, 195-212, DOI: 10.1080/14682745.2015.1129607

– Special Issue of the International History Review: The Origins of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime Edited by Roland Popp & Andreas Wenger, vol 36, 2014, significantly articles by Swango, Krige, Burr & Hilfrich.

– Albert Wohlstetter (1961) Nuclear Sharing: Nato and the N+1 Country, Foreign Affairs 39 (3).

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Total activity time 35
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Learning Objectives
  • Describe the main features of the nuclear fuel cycle, including the two pathways to making a nuclear weapon
  • Understand what uranium enrichment is and why it is necessary
  • Understand the problem of 'dual use’
  • Identify the major institutions,policy initiatives and treaties that form the foundation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime. Define the N+1 problem

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