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Atomic AssistanceHow "Atoms for Peace" Programs Cause Nuclear Insecurity$
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Matthew Fuhrmann

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450907

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450907.001.0001

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Who Builds Bombs?

Who Builds Bombs?

How Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Facilitates the Spread of Nuclear Weapons

(p.180) Chapter 8 Who Builds Bombs?
Atomic Assistance

Matthew Fuhrmann

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines whether and how peaceful nuclear cooperation increases the likelihood that states will successfully build the bomb. Using qualitative historical analysis, it considers ten cases of nuclear weapons acquisition and another six cases where states did not build the bomb despite having an interest in developing nuclear weapons. The findings show that most of the states that built nuclear weapons after 1953, in the era of Atoms for Peace, benefited from atomic assistance, albeit to varying extents. Some countries used aid they received for peaceful purposes directly to enable bomb production, while others harnessed the knowledge base established as a result of assistance to build military facilities. These cases demonstrate that receiving large amounts of peaceful nuclear assistance does not necessarily translate to bomb acquisition.

Keywords:   peaceful nuclear cooperation, nuclear weapons acquisition, nuclear weapons, Atoms for Peace, military facilities, peaceful nuclear assistance, nuclear bomb production

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