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Nuclear History

India's Department of Atomic Energy: A Page in History

On 3 August 1954, almost 65 years ago, India’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) was created under the direct charge of the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru through a Presidential Order. Subsequently, in accordance with a Government Resolution dated 1 March 1958, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was established in the Department of Atomic Energy. Nehru laid a copy of this Resolution on the table of the Lok Sabha (The Lower House of Indian Parliament on 24 March 1958.

Atomic Condominium: The Soviet Union and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, 1958-1970

For all the discord that has historically characterized U.S.-Soviet and later U.S.-Russia relations, limiting the further spread of nuclear weapons has been reliably common ground. Since the mid-Cold War, both powers have remained staunch champions of nuclear nonproliferation, even as relations between them have grown increasingly fraught elsewhere. How should we account for this joint campaign against new nuclear powers?

Political Authority or Atomic Celebrity? The Influence of J. Robert Oppenheimer on American Nuclear Policy after the Second World War

To download this paper as a PDF, please click here.

NPIHP Working Paper #14
August 2019

Political Authority or Atomic Celebrity? 
The Influence of J. Robert Oppenheimer on American Nuclear Policy after the Second World War

Marco Borghi


28 Newly Translated Documents on Chernobyl, 1973-1991

Image: A helicopter sprays a decontamination liquid nearby the Chernobyl reactor in 1986. Source: IAEA Imagebank #02790036, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Nuclear Weapons and Their Pride of Place in North Korea

Visiting my colleague Van Jackson’s office in New Zealand last week, I spotted a classic North Korean souvenir on his shelf: commemorative stamps, packaged as a booklet and sold to the tourist who brought it back for him as a gift last year. These stamps are not of the iconic Juche Tower or the Arch of Triumph (which every North Korean will point out is taller than its counterpart in Paris).

Responses to the INF Treaty Crisis

The Nuclear Proliferation International History Project is pleased to present the final report from the European INF Initiative Project. Coordinated by Polina Sinovets and colleagues and staff at the Odessa Center for Non-Proliferation and supported by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, the report contains a country-by-country assessment of the European governments' reactions to the INF treaty crisis.

Remembering and Recreating Chernobyl

In this edition of Wilson Center NOW, Craig Mazin, the writer, creator, and executive producer of the HBO’s miniseries Chernobyl, discusses his approach to creating a dramatized account of the historic 1986 nuclear accident in Ukraine which was then part of the Soviet Union. The critically-acclaimed miniseries tells the story of the men and women who made sacrifices to save Europe from an unprecendented disaster while battling the USSR's culture of disinformation.



How the Carter Administration Pursued Non-Proliferation Policies: A View from Apartheid South Africa

Records of meetings between diplomats and officials from South Africa and the US from November 1978—obtained from the Archive of Contemporary Affairs in Bloemfontein and now available on—shed light on how the Carter Administration tr

Chernobyl: Memory, Meaning, and Legacy

In this edition of Wilson Center NOW we speak with Joseph Dresen, Senior Program Associate with the Kennan Institute. He recalls his travels to Kyiv and the Soviet Union during the week of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 and previews the Kennan Institute’s upcoming screening of the first episode of the HBO miniseries “Chernobyl.”  That June 26 event will feature a conversation with writer, creator, and executive producer Craig Mazin.