Nuclear Safeguards

November 15, 1974

Report Outline
Proliferation of Nuclear Material
Development of International Controls
Debate Over Adequacy of Safeguards
Special Focus

Proliferation of Nuclear Material

Alarm Over Global Spread of Nuclear Capability

The Meeting later this month between President Ford and Chairman Brezhnev is attended by a new kind of threat of nuclear proliferation. This threat is not the familiar one arising from the atomic armament possessed by the two superpowers, although the meeting does once again focus attention on their continuing struggle to arrive at mutually acceptable formulas for arms limitation. The new aspect is that a sixth nation, India, has entered the once-exclusive world nuclear club, and a host of other nations could join America, Russia, China, Britain and France as possessors of nuclear weaponry.

India's detonation of an underground nuclear explosion last May 18 is widely regarded as having ushered in a new era in the atomic age. Arms-control experts fear that despite India's insistence it has nothing but peaceful aims in mind, a number of minor-league nations will be encouraged to develop their own atomic arsenals. This concern over the spread of nuclear technology was heightened by the disclosure that the United States had offered to sell nuclear reactors and fuel to Egypt and Israel.

Atomic scientists believe several countries throughout the world are likely to be capable of making atomic weapons now or in the near future. The Shah of Iran has expressed his interest in buying American, Canadian and French reactors. Israel is reported to have succeeded in developing a new laser technique for enriching uranium, and South Africa is reported to be constructing an enrichment plant. The global list of activities is long. More than 50 countries have some kind of operating nuclear reactor. As of June 30, more than 448 nuclear power plants were in commercial operation producing electricity in 28 countries, according to the Atomic Energy Commission.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Jul. 29, 2016  Modernizing the Nuclear Arsenal
Mar. 08, 2002  Weapons of Mass Destruction
Jan. 31, 1997  Chemical and Biological Weapons
Jun. 24, 1994  Nuclear Arms Cleanup
Jun. 05, 1992  Nuclear Proliferation
Jun. 29, 1990  Obstacles to Bio-Chemical Disarmament
Apr. 22, 1988  The Military Build-Down in the 1990s
May 24, 1987  Euromissile Negotiations
Jul. 11, 1986  Chemical Weapons
Apr. 27, 1984  Reagan's Defense Buildup
Jun. 04, 1982  Civil Defense
Jul. 17, 1981  Controlling Nuclear Proliferation
Jun. 05, 1981  MX Missile Decision
Aug. 15, 1980  The Neutron Bomb and European Defense
Sep. 07, 1979  Atomic Secrecy
Mar. 17, 1978  Nuclear Proliferation
May 27, 1977  Chemical-Biological Warfare
May 13, 1977  Politics of Strategic Arms Negotiations
Nov. 15, 1974  Nuclear Safeguards
Jul. 01, 1970  Nuclear Balance of Terror: 25 Years After Alamogordo
Jun. 18, 1969  Chemical–Biological Weaponry
Jun. 30, 1965  Atomic Proliferation
Mar. 21, 1962  Nuclear Testing Dilemmas
Aug. 16, 1961  Shelters and Survival
Oct. 12, 1959  Chemical-Biological Warfare
May 13, 1959  Nuclear Test Ban
Dec. 04, 1957  Scientific Cooperation and Atlantic Security
May 15, 1957  Changing Defense Concepts
Jul. 03, 1956  Civil Defense, 1956
Nov. 16, 1955  International Arms Deals
Oct. 04, 1954  Industrial Defense
Apr. 15, 1954  National Defense Strategy
Feb. 10, 1954  New Aproaches to Atomic Control
Oct. 10, 1953  Atomic Information
Apr. 11, 1952  Biological Warfare
Oct. 03, 1951  World Arms Race
Feb. 04, 1948  International Control of Atomic Energy
Dec. 06, 1946  International Inspection
Aug. 27, 1943  Gas Warfare
Jul. 24, 1937  The New Race in Armaments
May 05, 1932  Abolition of Aggressive Weapons
Arms Control and Disarmament
Hazardous Substances and Nuclear Waste
Nuclear Energy