Nuclear History | Wilson Center

Nuclear History

Nuclear Latency and Hedging: Concepts, History, and Issues

Announcing the publication of a new book, Nuclear Latency and Hedging: Concepts, History, and Issues from the Nuclear International History Project.

Edited by Joseph F. Pilat of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the book compiles the presentations from two workshops on nuclear latency in 2014 and 2017 with chapters from:

Michael Nacht, Ariel E. Levite, Andreas Persbo, Kory Sylvester, Leopoldo Nuti, Richard Nephew, Matias Spektor, Akira Kurosaki, Lyong Choi, Toby Dalton, Matthew Fuhrmann, Tristian A. Volpe, and Joseph F. Pilat.

The Past and Future of U.S.-Russia Cooperation on Nuclear Non-Proliferation

In this edition of Wilson Center NOW we speak with Kennan Institute Title VIII Research Scholar Jonathan Hunt. Hunt discusses his upcoming book Atomic Condominium, which examines the surprising level of cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation between the United States and Soviet Union during the Cold War. He also discusses the current approach to the nuclear question and its implications for broader US-Russia relations.


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.

Polish Perspectives on the Rapacki Plan for the Denuclearization of Central Europe

On October 2, 1957, speaking before the United Nations General Assembly, Polish Foreign Minister Adam Rapacki proposed the denuclearization of Central Europe. Specifically, Rapacki stated that if East Germany and West Germany denuclearized, so too would Poland. In a coordinated move, Czechoslovakia pledged its willingness to join the endeavor. Taken together, the proposal to denuclearize these four Central European states became known as the “Rapacki Plan.”[1]


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.