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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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Nuclear Weapons Remain Elusive, 1982–1989

Nuclear Weapons Remain Elusive, 1982–1989

(p.169) Chapter 7 Nuclear Weapons Remain Elusive, 1982–1989
Unclear Physics

Målfrid Braut-Hegghammer

Cornell University Press

This chapter presents contemporary International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports, statements from scientists attempting to lay the foundation for nuclear research and development, and the interviews with senior officials from the former Libyan regime, which elucidate how the erosion of the Libyan state affected the nuclear establishment as it prepared to launch a nuclear power program. These sources show how the reactor program was stymied by the absence of planning and preparations prior to the collapse of the Soviet reactor deal in 1986. This helps to explain why the Libyan program was so vulnerable to the loss of foreign assistance, and why the decade-long research and development program focusing on centrifuges failed to launch.

Keywords:   IAEA, Libyan regime, Libyan state, Soviet reactor deal, centrifuges, nuclear power program, nuclear research, nuclear development

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