Nuclear Treaty Still Going Strong at 50

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Yokel, Sep 5, 2008.

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  1. From the MOD: here

    Which is nice.
  2. Love how they skate over the fact that the Americans locked us out of things after the war with the disingenuous line 'After the war Britain moved ahead with its own independent nuclear power and weapons programmes'. :) Although they had a fairly good point in that they'd stumped up most of the cash so far and that we seemed to be riddled with Soviet spies or sympathisers.
  3. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Not, strictly speaking, true. They refused all requests from the UK to share their nuclear knowledge after WW2.

    So, we spied on them (as did the Russians) and got the technology. All of a sudden, they wanted to share intelligence with us - AFTER the genie was well out of the bag.

    They seem to forget that THEY were riddled with not only Russian spies, but British and Israeli too.
  4. You might also find this site interesting:

    Nuclear Weapons

    Only the V to W section was completed last time I looked. It does discuss how testing strategies etc differed from those of the US.

    In the early 1990's some writers asserted that the WE.177A design was based on the US B57 bomb, which was of a similar size, weight, yield and purpose, and that speculation has been widely repeated elsewhere. The B57 also functioned as a NDB, and it used the W-44 Tsetse/Tony boosted fission warhead rejected by the British for their RE.179 primary. It is also true that the British had access to its design and planned to manufacture it in the UK for various purposes. However, since the early 1990's, many secret files have been declassified, and these make it clear that the claims about a common design were merely speculation and wrong.

    Some writers made the assertion9 that because the British conducted so few full-scale nuclear tests, WE.177 was unlikely to be an indigenous design. That it must, by a curious extension of that logic, be an American design, the closest being the B57, while failing to understand that the WE.177 fission element was one of a 'family' of designs, deliberately similar, intended to produce a 'common design', usable with only minor changes, in a variety of applications from Skybolt, Polaris, Blue Water and WE.177. As it indeed was, and so a single series of only four full-scale underground nuclear tests were necessary, plus one failed test.10,11 There were four other [nuclear] 'effects' tests conducted in the US, and numerous non-nuclear 'scaled' tests in the UK. Hardly a small testing programme for a single fission device. In fairness to those writers, it may not have been so apparent then as now, after numerous declassifications of archived documents.

    Such speculation also fails to take into account the cultural and financial differences between the US and British nuclear programmes. The early US programme was over-reliant on full-scale testing because of the extreme urgency attached to its very large programme.