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People watch a TV news program showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with superimposed letters that read: "North Korea has made nuclear warheads small enough to fit on ballistic missiles" at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

AP/Ahn Young-joon

Seminar - Open to the Public

A Brief History of Nuclear Weaponization

Wed., Apr. 18, 2018 | 10:00am - 11:30am

Littauer Building - Fainsod Room, 324

Speaker: Amit Grober, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

How fast can a state develop a nuclear device? How do nuclear weapons programs evolve from political decisions? The issue of “nuclear latency” has been widely studied. Yet, the nonproliferation community has endorsed a single measure for latency - the capability to produce fissile materials (highly enriched uranium or plutonium). A direct consequence is that scholars, policy-makers, and nonproliferation experts sometimes trivialize or underestimate the preconditions and requirements of “weaponization” – the robust process of developing, manufacturing, and testing an initial nuclear explosive device. The seminar will draw on multiple historical case-studies to provide insights into the dynamics of nuclear weaponization and will explore their relevance to current nonproliferation policies.