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Unclear PhysicsWhy Iraq and Libya Failed to Build Nuclear Weapons$
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Målfrid Braut-Hegghammer

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702785

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702785.001.0001

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Ambiguity and Ambition, 1973–1981

Ambiguity and Ambition, 1973–1981

(p.46) Chapter 2 Ambiguity and Ambition, 1973–1981
Unclear Physics

Målfrid Braut-Hegghammer

Cornell University Press

This chapter shows that as Saddam Hussein worked behind the scenes to increase his power and influence, he instructed a group of scientists to launch a nuclear power program and explore the nuclear fuel cycle. This was an ambitious, but also ambiguous, project, whose long-term objectives (i.e., nuclear power or nuclear weapons) were largely undefined. The implementation of this project was left in the hands of the nuclear scientists, and much of their work was treated as secret. Saddam placed new managers in charge of administering this program and made sure that the best scientists were hired and placed in leading technical positions.

Keywords:   Saddam Hussein, technical positions, nuclear scientists, nuclear power, nuclear weapons, nuclear fuel

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