Nuclear History

Avoiding the Translation Trap

To understand Iran’s behavior, look to the original sources      

As the Trump administration reviewed its Iran policy in August 2017, Iranian officials made statements that, as they were reported in Western media outlets, seemed to question the future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Hawks and Doves: China’s First Nuclear Test and Indian Nuclear Thought

What responses to China’s 1964 nuclear test tell us about the origins of India’s nuclear weapons program

Despite more than 40 years passing since India’s first nuclear test, the genesis of New Delhi’s nuclear decision-making remains shrouded in mystery. Who were India’s nuclear hawks and who were India’s nuclear doves? Who made the most forceful cases for a nuclear weapons program? What shaped their views, and why?

The CIA and the Soviet Heavy Water Project

Why the CIA failed to accurately predict the first Soviet atomic test

The Soviet Union conducted their first atomic test on August 29, 1949—nearly three years sooner than US experts had predicted.

Tracking Down Oral History Sources

Seven ways to find and contact your interviewee

In a recent post on running oral history projects, Elisabeth Roehrlich shares recommendations for conducting effective interviews. Yet the interview is only half the battle—simply contacting interviewees from elite political and government backgrounds can be a serious challenge.

Sino-Soviet Nuclear Relations: An Alliance of Convenience?

China backed Soviet disarmament proposals in exchange for technical assistance in nuclear weapons development. When Soviet aid stopped, so did China’s support.

India’s Nuclear History, Frozen in Time

Above: Portion of a recovered document. Courtesy of Ms. Francoise Rey.

The melting Bossons glacier is revealing Indian government documents buried since the crash that killed Homi Bhabha in January 1966

Documenting accidents and disasters surrounding nuclear politics is always a challenging, uphill task. It is further complicated when the evidence has been buried under a glacier on Mont Blanc for fifty years.

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