Timeline of nuclear security

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This is a timeline of nuclear security.

Sample questions

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Big picture

Time period Development summary More details
1970s "In addition to that, Zuberi notes that “by the late 1970s the defni�tion of proliferation changed from acquiring nuclear weapons or other explosive devices to developing a ‘nuclear explosive capability’”, and “consequently, the objective of safeguards changed from early detection of diversion of signifcant quantities of nuclear materials from peaceful to military pursuits to ‘prevention of development of nuclear explosive 4 ON NUCLEAR (DIS-)ORDER 121 capability’” (Zuberi 2003, p. 44)."[1]
2000s "many countries began expressing a newfound interest in nuclear energy during the early 2000s."[2]

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details Country
1946 Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Canada
1950 Organization Federal Protective Forces
1952 June 13 Organization Israel Atomic Energy Commission Israel
1955 Organization UK Atomic Energy Authority Constabulary United Kingdom
1959 A reactor in Italy becomes the last nuclear project financed by the World Bank.[2] Italy
1960 The first Israeli nuclear reactor goes on line, with the second in 1962.[2] Israel
1968 July 1 The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is signed.
1973 February 27 Organization Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission Bangladesh
1974 Using a reactor provided by Canada for “peaceful” purposes, India conducts a test of a nuclear explosive device. Nuclear materials were supplied by the United States, and the Canadian reactor was used to produce plutonium for the nuclear explosive. This case can be seen as an example of how early civilian nuclear assistance could lead to the foundation of nuclear weapon programs.[2] India
1974 The Nuclear Suppliers Group is formed.
1975 January 19 Organization Nuclear Regulatory Commission United States
1975 Taiwan receives nuclear assistance from France.[3][2] In the same year, the CIA reports, “Taipei conducts its small nuclear program with a weapon option clearly in mind, and it will be in a position to fabricate a nuclear device after five years or so.”[4] Taiwan
1976 Iraq signs an agreement for nuclear cooperation with France, which provides Osiris-class nuclear reactor.[2] Intended for peaceful scientific research[5], in 1981 it would be destroyed by the Israelis, who believe it was designed to make nuclear weapons. Iraq
1977 "The subsequent administration of President Carter launched the International Fuel Cycle Evaluation in 1977 to discuss the options the establishment of joint regional fuel-cycle facilities and prac�tical aspects of multilateral cooperation on storage of plutonium (cf. Skjoldebrand 1980)."[1]
1978 The United States Congress passes the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act to put further restrictions on US nuclear exports.[1] United States
1979 Peak of the nuclear power sector’s growth in the world. At this time, there are 233 power reactors being simultaneously under construction, a number had fallen to 120 by 1987.[2] Worldwide
1981 The Israeli Air Force destroys the unfinished Iraqi Osirak reactor during the Operation Opera.[6] This attack would be widely viewed to be a stopgap measure, delaying but not preventing Iraqi nuclear aspirations.[2]
1982 South Africa develops and builds its first nuclear explosive device,[7] with its scientists having been trained by the United States as a result of government-backed programs.[2] South Africa
1982–1983 India smuggles Chinese heavy water through German nuclear-materials broker Alfred Hempel, who manages to ship 60 tons of heavy water to Bombay.[8][2] India
1983 Argentina announces having built a "medium-sized" uranium-enrichment plant.[9] Argentina
1983 November 15 Organization Atomic Energy Regulatory Board[10] India
1984 India buys beryllium from a German company.[11][2] Beryllium is a neutron reflector used in nuclear weapons.[12] It is a substitute for gold or natural uranium reflectors in early devices, with the purpose of saving much weight and money.[13] India
1984 Iran receives nuclear assistance.[2] Iran
1985 Atomic Energy Licensing Board
1986 April 26 The Chernobyl disaster occurs. This incident would have a devastating effect on nuclear industries around the world, as a result of decline in demand for nuclear power.[2] Ukraine
1991 July 18 Organization Brazilian–Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials[14] Argentina, Brazil
Early 1990s Many nuclear smugglers are thought to be moving directly from the former Soviet Union to Western Europe by road or rail.[2]
1992 Program launch The Cooperative Threat Reduction Program begins.[2]
1995 Customs officials catch a man trying to smuggle highly enriched uranium through a land checkpoint in Bulgaria.[2] Bulgaria
1996 The World Bank adopts a more official policy proscription against loans for nuclear power plants.[2]
1996 (July) Wassenaar Arrangement is formally established.[15]
1997 January Organization International Nuclear Regulators' Association
2000 February 2 Organization Strategic Plans Division Force
2000 13 steps
2001 The Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority is formed.[16] Pakistan
2001 Organization Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency
2001 September 11 Al-Qaeda considers flying airplanes into nuclear facilities in the United States as part of the September 11 attacks[17][2]
2005 April 1 Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
2005 April 1 Civil Nuclear Constabulary
2006 June 13 Autorité de sûreté nucléaire
2006 July 16 Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin jointly announce the organization of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT).
2007 An armed attack on the Pelindaba nuclear facility in South Africa occurs when four armed men break in and head towards a control room in the eastern block, and manage to deactivate several layers of security, including a 10,000-volt electrical fence, suggesting insider knowledge of the system.[18][19] This incident highlights that even single points have security weaknesses and can be subject to concerted attacks.[2] South Africa
2007 September Israel destroys a nuclear reactor under construction in Syria. The facility was not under IAEA safeguards and it is unclear whether its purpose was military or civilian.[2]
2008 Research According to Hastings, when smuggling goods, illicit nonstate actors face a trade-off between the security and efficiency of the route.[2]
2009 The United States and South Africa sign an agreement on cooperation on nuclear energy research and development related to pebble bed modular reactor and Generation IV technologies that do not include a conditionality clause.[2] United States, South Africa
2009 The Obama administration mothballs the permanent disposal site of Yucca Mountain by reducing funding of the site to almost negligible levels.[20][2] United States

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

Base literature

  • The Nuclear Renaissance and International Security, by Adam N. Stulberg and Matthew Fuhrmann.[2]
  • Nuclear Deviance: Stigma Politics and the Rules of the Nonproliferation Gameby Michal Smetana,[1]


The initial version of the timeline was written by FIXME.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

Feedback and comments

Feedback for the timeline can be provided at the following places:

  • FIXME

What the timeline is still missing

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Smetana, Michal (1 August 2019). Nuclear Deviance: Stigma Politics and the Rules of the Nonproliferation Game. Springer. ISBN 978-3-030-24225-1. 
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 Stulberg, Adam N.; Fuhrmann, Matthew (23 January 2013). The Nuclear Renaissance and International Security. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-8530-3. 
  3. KROENIG, MATTHEW (2009). "Exporting the Bomb: Why States Provide Sensitive Nuclear Assistance". The American Political Science Review. 103 (1): 113–133. ISSN 0003-0554. 
  4. Mizokami, Kyle (12 September 2019). "China's Greatest Nightmare: Taiwan Armed with Nuclear Weapons". The National Interest. Retrieved 9 August 2022. 
  5. The 1982 World Book Year Book. World Book Inc., 1983. p. 350.
  6. Tucker, Spencer C. (20 August 2014). Persian Gulf War Encyclopedia: A Political, Social, and Military History: A Political, Social, and Military History. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-61069-416-2. 
  7. "South Africa: from nuclear armed state to disarmament hero". ICAN. Retrieved 7 August 2022. 
  8. Milhollin, Gary (10 June 1990). "Asia's Nuclear Nightmare: The German Connection". Washington Post. Retrieved 9 August 2022. 
  9. Benjamin, Milton R. (19 November 1983). "Argentina Claims To Build Plant for Enriched Uranium". Washington Post. Retrieved 9 August 2022. 
  10. "About Us". www.aerb.gov.in. Retrieved 10 August 2022. 
  11. Perkovich 1999: 242, 250, 271
  12. "Smuggling of Beryllium | Iran Watch". www.iranwatch.org. Retrieved 9 August 2022. 
  13. "Beryllium use at Los Alamos" (PDF). cdc.gov. Retrieved 9 August 2022. 
  14. "30th anniversary of Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC): A unique contribution to the world". www.cancilleria.gob.ar. Retrieved 10 August 2022. 
  15. "The Wassenaar Arrangement at a Glance | Arms Control Association". www.armscontrol.org. Retrieved 9 August 2022. 
  16. USA, IBP (20 March 2009). Pakistan Nuclear Programs and Projects Handbook - Strategic Information and Regulations. Lulu.com. ISBN 978-1-4387-3728-7. 
  17. Holt and Andrews 2007
  18. "The Pelindaba Break-In of 2007". large.stanford.edu. Retrieved 9 August 2022. 
  19. "Pretoria News". www.iol.co.za. Retrieved 9 August 2022. 
  20. Farrell 2010)