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In this volume, Professor Brenner recounts how the United States dealt with the problem of nuclear proliferation in the period from 1974 to 1981 when this book was first published. The year 1974 is critical because of three highly coincidental events: India's explosion of a bomb; an upsurge in the demand for nuclear energy triggered by the oil crisis; and the commercialisation of fuel-producing technologies that could be used for weapons purposes. Nuclear Power and Non-Proliferation is at once a narrative account of how nuclear policy was made at the highest levels of the American government and a critical assessment of those policies. Professor Brenner places the chronicle of how policy is shaped within the context of interagency and legislative politics, as well as within the larger context of international conflicts concerning access to and control of nuclear power. The author locates the proliferation problem historically, emphasising the dual personality of atomic power and noting the tendency of military and civilian programmes to diverge steadily until the events of 1974 forced an attempt to bring them into single focus.
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