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Project PlowshareThe Peaceful Use of Nuclear Explosives in Cold War America$
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Scott Kaufman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451256

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451256.001.0001

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From Moratorium to Test Ban

From Moratorium to Test Ban

(p.71) 4 From Moratorium to Test Ban
Project Plowshare

Scott Kaufman

Cornell University Press

This chapter demonstrates how President John F. Kennedy largely continued Eisenhower's Plowshare policy. Eager to see the test ban negotiations at Geneva achieve fruition, Kennedy did not want to permit any nuclear tests that might lead the Soviet Union to charge the White House with bad faith. The breakdown of the test ban negotiations in August 1961 also did not help Project Chariot's defenders. The two shots for which Kennedy approved, Gnome and Sedan, did not go as well as anticipated, thereby raising additional questions about Chariot. The Cuban missile crisis of 1962, which brought the superpowers to the brink of nuclear war, moved the administration to resume the test ban talks. The ratification in September 1963 of the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT), which placed prohibitions on radioactive fallout, added yet another roadblock to Plowshare tests.

Keywords:   John F. Kennedy, Plowshare, Eisenhower, nuclear test ban, Soviet Union, Cuban missile crisis, nuclear war, Limited Test Ban Treaty

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