International Control of Tritium for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament

By: Martin B. Kalinowski

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Tritium is used by all nuclear weapons states to increase the explosive yield of atomic bombs and to miniaturize them. However, this radioactive material has not yet been put under appropriate international control comparable to the nuclear safeguards applied for plutonium and uranium. It is a neglected material in efforts to control the spread and further development of nuclear weapons. International Control of Tritium for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament closes a gap in the literature on nuclear non-proliferation. It argues persuasively that a carefully designed tritium control would be beneficial both for non-proliferation of tritium as well as for encouraging disarmament, if implemented in combination with fissile materials controls. This book provides a unique resource on all aspects regarding the civilian and military use of tritium, and a survey of the production, occurrence, and availability of tritium in different types of nuclear facilities. Based on this information, the author presents an outline of procedures that could be used to verify the nondiversion of tritium as well as a technical assessment of an international tritium control agreement. In his conclusion, he shows that verification of control agreements would be technically feasible, politically acceptable, and would not add excessive inspection activities.With this well researched and convincing presentation, the author offers a thorough examination of an issue of global importance. His work will be of interest to nuclear scientists, engineers, and analysts, as well as journalists, think tanks, and military planners as they research and implement various nuclear systems and policies.
Publication Date:
29 / 03 / 2004

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