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The Independent Nuclear State
 
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The Independent Nuclear State
The United States, Britain And The Military Atom
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
 
24 Nov 1983
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£80.00
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9780333238301
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DescriptionContentsAuthors

The Independent Nuclear State: The United States, Britain and the Military Atom is a chronological account and overview of the 40-year history of British military research, development and production work in atomic energy. The United Kingdom's efforts in this field have always had close links with equivalent activities in the United States, and have often been conducted on a mutually co-operative basis. Through its description of these secret Anglo-American interactions, this study serves to highlight the degree to which the public debate in Britain over nuclear weapons has been conducted in a vacuum, as has American public policy-making over its nuclear links with the United Kingdom.
This book contains descriptions of the technical evolution of British nuclear weapon designs and production models, estimates of annual output figures for fissile material and weapon types, and indications of the nature of the weapon-testing programme. Decision points are charted, such as the H-bomb development, and the factors that led to existing plans being changed are identified. The demonstrative nature of the programme until the late 1950s is illustrated, together with the rapidity with which the stockpile targets were met at the turn of that decade. The impact of the agreements with the United States, both upon weapon development and production programmes and upon stockpiling is analysed, as well as their effects upon the nuclear submarine programme. The consequences of the mid-1960s termination of weapon development are discussed, as it the later decision to restart it for the Chevaline programme. The impact of these events upon Anglo-American relations is identified, together with the recent British attempts to move to a closer political association with Europe.
The study concludes by evaluating the essential nature of four decades of United Kingdom military nuclear development, and identifying the practical limits imposed by past policies upon any attempt by a British government to implement a policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament.


Description

The Independent Nuclear State: The United States, Britain and the Military Atom is a chronological account and overview of the 40-year history of British military research, development and production work in atomic energy. The United Kingdom's efforts in this field have always had close links with equivalent activities in the United States, and have often been conducted on a mutually co-operative basis. Through its description of these secret Anglo-American interactions, this study serves to highlight the degree to which the public debate in Britain over nuclear weapons has been conducted in a vacuum, as has American public policy-making over its nuclear links with the United Kingdom.
This book contains descriptions of the technical evolution of British nuclear weapon designs and production models, estimates of annual output figures for fissile material and weapon types, and indications of the nature of the weapon-testing programme. Decision points are charted, such as the H-bomb development, and the factors that led to existing plans being changed are identified. The demonstrative nature of the programme until the late 1950s is illustrated, together with the rapidity with which the stockpile targets were met at the turn of that decade. The impact of the agreements with the United States, both upon weapon development and production programmes and upon stockpiling is analysed, as well as their effects upon the nuclear submarine programme. The consequences of the mid-1960s termination of weapon development are discussed, as it the later decision to restart it for the Chevaline programme. The impact of these events upon Anglo-American relations is identified, together with the recent British attempts to move to a closer political association with Europe.
The study concludes by evaluating the essential nature of four decades of United Kingdom military nuclear development, and identifying the practical limits imposed by past policies upon any attempt by a British government to implement a policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament.


Contents

Acknowledgements
Preface
List of Abbreviations
PROLOGUE: THEMES FOR ANALYSIS IN BRITISH NUCLEAR ENERGY POLICY
Introduction
Distinguishing Nuclear Swords from Atomic Ploughshares
Who Makes What Type of State Decisions?
Why a Weapon Cannot be Developed Overnight
When is Independence not Independence?
CONCEPTION: 1940-6
The Manhattan Transfer
United States Policies towards Control over Atomic Energy
A British Independent Nuclear Programme
THE AMERICAN NUCLEAR WEAPON PROGRAMME: SCARCITY TO ABUNDANCE
Second Generation Atomic Weapons
The United States Decision to Develop a Hydrogen Bomb
GESTATION: THE PROGRAMME TO EXPLODE A BRITISH ATOMIC DEVICE, 1947-52
British Military Requirements and Civil Possibilities
Constructing the First British Atomic Device
Atomic Energy Negotiations with the United States
TRANSLATING THE ART INTO THE ARTICLE: INITIAL BRITISH NUCLEAR WEAPON TESTING AND PRODUCTION
Producing Blue Danube
Expansion and Acceleration
Developing New Types of Nuclear Warhead: the Thermonuclear Demonstration Programme
THE MAKING OF AN ATOMIC ALLIANCE
Hopes, Disappointments and United States Domestic Political Intrigues: Anglo-American Nuclear Negotiations, 1953-6
Submarines and Sputniks
The Ideas behind the Nuclear Alliance
Amending the 1954 United States Atomic Energy Act
THE NUCLEAR ALLIANCE IN OPERATION, 1959-63
Initial Exchanges and Arms Control Negotiations
The Revised British Nuclear Weapon Development and Production Programme
Atmospheric Testing and the Search for a Comprehensive Test Ban
THE MATURE TECHNOLOGY: FROM POLARIS TO CHEVALINE
Polaris and the Termination of Active Nuclear Weapon Development
Rebirth through Chevaline
REACTORS, THE TRADE IN MILITARY NUCLEAR MATERIALS AND TRIDENT
Submarine Reactors
Anglo-American Disputes over Civil Nuclear Activities
The Negotiations to Continue Anglo-American Nuclear Cooperation into the 1970s
The Impact of Carter's Non-proliferation Policy
Trident and the Future
OLD AGE? THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE ANGLO-AMERICAN MILITARY EXCHANGE AGREEMENTS FOR THE NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT OF BRITAIN
Introduction
A Nuclear State without Dedicated Strategic Weapons
A Non-nuclear Weapon state with NATO
A Nuclear Weapon-free State outside of NATO
Britain as a Nuclear-free Zone
History and Future Policy
THE UNITED STATES, BRITAIN AND THE MILITARY ATOM: RETROSPECT AND EVALUATION
Introduction
Chronological Stages and Dependency/Interdependency Relationship
The Civil/Military Dichotomy and Anglo-American Agreements for Cooperation
Decisions and Policy-making
Weapon Development Processes
Retrospect and Prospect
Appendix 1 British experimental nuclear explosions, 1952-81
Appendix 2 Numbers of British strategic nuclear delivery vehicles, 1955-70
Appendix 3 The calculation of plutonium production in natural uranium reactors
Appendix 4 (a) Estimates of output of weapon-grade plutonium from British military reactors, 1951-82
(b) Estimates of plutonium available for weapon production, 1951-82
(c) Estimates of nuclear weapon inventory, 1953-82
(d) Estimates of fuel-grade plutonium produced in British Military Reactors, 1965-9
Appendix 5 (a) Estimate of plutonium produced in CEGB and SSEB Magnox reactors, 1962-9
(b) Estimate of cumulative plutonium production from CEGB/SSEB magnox reactors, 1962-81
Appendix 6 Nuclear submarines and submarine reactors
Appendix 7 Quantities of material traded across the Atlantic under the military agreements
Notes and References
Bibliography
Index


Authors

JOHN SIMPSON is Programme Director and Co-founder, Programme for Promoting Nuclear Non Proliferation, Director, Mountbatten Centre for International Studies, and Professor of International Relations, University of Southampton