Title: The South African Denuclearization Exemplar: Insights for Nonproliferation Monitoring and Verification
Citation: NONPROLIFERATION REVIEW vol. 22 no. 1 p. 27 - 52
Publisher: ROUTLEDGE
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC92338
ISSN: 1073-6700
URI: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10736700.2015.1071969
DOI: 10.1080/10736700.2015.1071969
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: South Africa's nuclear disarmament is a unique historical case, notable in part for the dramatic shift from deception to cooperation. The unprecedented transparency it demonstrated in order to convince the international community of the veracity of their disarmament is heralded as an exemplar for verifiable denuclearization. Less known is how this case affords insights into how a nuclear weapon program can be clandestinely hidden by the ambiguity provided by an otherwise completely legitimate, peaceful, nuclear energy program. Using a variety of open sources, including newly declassified internal South African and US government reports, it can be shown that South Africa employed a variety of deceptive tactics before it disarmed, and even for nearly two years after becoming a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. This article reviews that information to derive instructive lessons on the lengths that a nuclear proliferant state might go to conceal its true capabilities and intentions, and to thwart international discovery of the existence and full extent of an existing—or, in this case, a former—nuclear weapon program.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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