Nuclear Weapons and Nonproliferation

A Reference Handbook, 2nd Edition

by Sarah J. Diehl and James Clay Moltz


When it was first published, Nuclear Weapons and Nonproliferation provided an urgently needed analysis of the history and current events in nuclear armament and disarmament around the globe. But in just a few short years, developments in Asia, the Middle East, and South Asia have produced some of the most serious nuclear challenges ever faced by the United States and the international community.

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Cover image for Nuclear Weapons and Nonproliferation

August 2007


Pages 335
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Security Studies/Science, Technology, and Security

An updated edition of ABC-CLIO's classic reference book on nuclear arms programs and proliferation in nations around the world.

Fully updated and revised since its initial publication, Nuclear Weapons and Nonproliferation, Second Edition explores all key issues related to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and efforts to curb them, from the U.S. atomic bomb project during World War II to current debates on nuclear terrorism, North Korea's nuclear test, and Iran's enrichment program.

Nuclear Weapons and Nonproliferation, Second Edition clarifies weapons-related policy debates from both U.S. and international perspectives, offering a detailed look at current technologies, arsenals, weapons tests, and nonproliferation efforts. Readers will find expert analysis of such crucial recent events as Libya's disarmament, the failed WMD search in Iraq, A.Q. Khan's nuclear technology black market, "dirty bombs," developments in North Korea and Iran, and the U.S. plan to aid India's nuclear program—plus recent progress (or lack thereof) on a range of treaties and initiatives.


  • Primary documents include an excerpt from the 1945 U.S. report on the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the text of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and the UN resolution sanctioning North Korea for its nuclear test
  • A detailed and updated chronology highlights major events between 1939–2007 pertaining to the buildup of nuclear weapons and the efforts to control and dismantle them


  • Explains current U.S. policies on the deterrent and military roles of nuclear weapons and on the steps that U.S. and international organizations are taking to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and materials
  • Analyzes both U.S. and international perspectives on the important debates over nuclear proliferation, arms control, terrorism, health and environmental implications, and other issues related to nuclear weapons
  • Includes biographical sketches of 21 important individuals involved with nuclear weapons technologies, including international scientists, spies, antinuclear activists, policymakers, and military officials
Series Description

Contemporary World Issues

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

24-hour cable news. Millions of Internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about.


  • Subject coverage spans six main categories:
  • Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that supports statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, Web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
Author Info

Sarah J. Diehl is senior editor at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, CA.

James Clay Moltz, PhD, is a research professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, CA, where he also teaches at the Naval Postgraduate School. From 1993 to 2007, he held various positions at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, serving as deputy director from 2003 to 2007 and as founding editor of The Nonproliferation Review from 1993 to 1998. He worked previously in the U.S. Senate and has consulted for the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense.

Table of Contents

Nuclear Weapons and Nonproliferation: A Reference Handbook, Second EditionTable of ContentsPrefaceChapter 1: Background and History Early Scientific Developments Military Uses of Nuclear Fission U.S. Use of Atomic Weapons Against Imperials Japan Early Efforts to Control Nuclear Weapons Expanding the Nuclear Club and Weapon Arsenals Renewed Efforts at Control Under Eisenhower Development of Delivery Systems: Bombers, Missiles, and Submarines Efforts to Halt Atmospheric Nuclear Testing The Cuban Missile Crisis and the Limited Test Ban Treaty New Nuclear Powers and the Evolution of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty The Early 1970s: Détente and the Beginnings of the U.S.-Soviet Nuclear Arms Control Efforts to Halt Horizontal Proliferation to New Countries The Late 1970s and 1980s: From Arms-Racing to Negotiated Reductions New Threats to the Nonproliferation Regime: Iraq and North Korea Successes in International Nonproliferation Efforts in the Early to Mid-1990s New Threats to the Nonproliferation Regime: The Late 1990s to March 2003Post-Iraqi Invasion Nonproliferation EffortsConclusionReferencesChapter 2: Problems, Controversies, and Solutions Nuclear Weapons and Their Role During the Cold WarWhat Is the Role of Nuclear Weapons Today?Are Nuclear Weapons Safe?How Many Nuclear Weapons are "Enough"?How Serious Is the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism?Environmental and Health Effects of Nuclear Weapon ProductionWhy Haven't Nuclear Weapons Spread to More Countries?The Debate on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban TreatyCivilian Nuclear Energy Promotion Versus Nonproliferation GoalsEfforts to Eliminate Nuclear WeaponsFinal ConsiderationsReferencesChapter 3: Special U.S. Issues The Status of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons ComplexU.S. Nuclear Weapons PolicyTreaties and Verification U.S. Missile Defenses and Efforts to Defend against Nuclear AttacksIntelligence and Nuclear Nonproliferation and CounterproliferationU.S. Policy toward New Nuclear-Weapon-Free ZonesU.S. Public Opinion and Nuclear WeaponsConclusion: U.S. Politics and NonproliferationReferencesChapter 4: ChronologyChapter 5: Biographical SketchesBethe, HansBhabha, Homi JehangirBlix, HansBohr, NielsCaldicott, Helen BroinowskiElBaradei, MohamedFuchs, KlausGroves, General LeslieHeisenberg, WernerKhan, Abdul QadeerKurchatov, IgorLawrence, ErnestNie Rongzhen, MarshalOppenheimer, J. RobertPauling, LinusRotblat, JosephSakharov, AndreiStrauss, Lewis L.Szilard, LeoTeller, EdwardVanunu, MordechaiChapter 6: Facts, Data, and Documents Facts Nuclear Materials and Technologies Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Weapons: An Introductory Guide Worldwide Nuclear Weapon Stockpiles Nuclear Testing Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones Documents Letter from Albert Einstein to President Roosevelt The U.S. Military Order to Drop the Atomic Bomb on Japan Official U.S. Report on the Atomic Bomb's Effects in Hiroshima and NagasakiThe Founding Document of the Nonproliferation Regime: The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty The U.S.-Russian Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (Moscow Treaty, 2001)United Nations Resolution 1540 (2004)UN Sanctions on North Korea for Nuclear Test (2006)Chapter 7: Directory of Organizations International Organizations U.S. Government Agencies Nongovernmental OrganizationsChapter 8: Print and Nonprint Resources Print Resources Books Nuclear Weapons Issues: United States Nuclear Weapons Programs: Worldwide Nuclear Weapons Proliferation and Nonproliferation: General Topics Periodicals Nonprint Resources CD-ROM DVDs and Videos WebsitesGlossaryIndexAbout the Authors



"This work is recommended for public and academic libraries."ARBA

"An essential one-stop resource on a timely subject; recommended for political science collections."Library Journal

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