Nuclear History | Wilson Center

Nuclear History

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.

Nuclear Proliferation International History Project's (NPIHP) Nuclear History Boot Camp

Aimed at building a new generation of experts on the international history of nuclear weapons, the ninth-annual Nuclear History Boot Camp is an initiative of the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project (NPIHP). The continued proliferation of nuclear weapons is one of the most pressing security issues of our time.

“An Explosion Occurred in Power Unit No. 4”: The Story of Chernobyl in Documents

Image: The first photograph of Unit Four after the accident, shot from a helicopter by Chernobyl plant photographer Anatoly Rasskazov, at approximately 3.00pm on April 26 1986 (Anatoly Rasskazov/Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum).

Sources on China's Nuclear History

Introducing the many official publications, memoirs, and journals related to PRC nuclear history

It is not an easy job to do archival research on China's modern military history.

Due to the PRC's administrative policy of limiting access to its central archives, none of the original archives related to post-1949 military developments can be reached by civilian researchers—not to mention the military or nuclear archives.

Call for Papers: The Neutrals and the Bomb: Conference on the N+N States and Non-Proliferation

One of the gravest issues facing the international community today remains the problem of how to live with the most destructive weapon mankind has ever invented. With recent advancements in technology, and some of the Cold War arms control  agreements crumbling—like the INF treaty—we could be at the threshold of a new nuclear age. It is therefore even more important to understand one of the central agreements of the nuclear order we currently live in.