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World Inventory of Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium 1992 [Hardcover]

David Albright , Frans Berkhout , William Walker


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Review

`This volume provides the only comprehensive assessment of how much plutonium and highly enriched uranium - the basic ingredients of nuclear weapons - exists in the world today, and where and in which form they are to be found. Given the crucial importance of this information for global security, the World Inventory is essential reading for all interested in international affairs and an indispensable reference book for researchers.' Frank Barnaby, Nature

`A timely and very useful tool for those interested in nuclear non-proliferation ... it is the first report that has been published with so broad a scope ... obviously the produce of a prodigious amount of painstaking research, analysis and synthesis ... This is a first class new reference work for profesionals in the field and is, at the same time, quite accessible to lay readers interested in a fuller understanding of the facts.' Arms Control Today

`Given the crucial importance of this information for global security, the World Inventory is essential reading for all interested in international affairs and an indispensable reference book for researchers.' Nature

`In a remarkable roundup, the authors do their best to reconcile their own estimates with figures reported under the safeguards regime. In addition they make valuable estimates of nuclear materials held by de facto nuclear states.' Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

'It is an inspiring example of painstaking research, embroidered with little comment, the numbers speak for themselves... The book is a powerful argument for establishing an international register of fissile materials.' Mike Townsley, Safe Energy, No. 95, June/July 1993.

`a timely and very useful tool for those interested in nuclear non-proliferation ... It is the first report that has been published with so broad a scope ... Obviously the product of a prodigious amount of painstaking research, analysis and synthesis ... The book has a wealth of useful tables, graphs and other figures ... This is a first-class new reference work for professionals in the field and is, at the same time, quite accessible to lay readers interested in a fuller understanding of the facts.' Arms Control Today

`In a remarkable roundup, the authors do their best to reconcile their own estimates with figures reported under the safeguards regime. In addition they make valuable estimates of nuclear materials held by de facto nuclear states' The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

`This highly technical and detailed book sets out to inventory global stocks and analyse the operation of civil and military programmes ... It certainly represents an important new source of information.' Jane's Intelligence Review

` SIPRI's study is a remarkably impressive attempt to describe and analyze the presence, functions and future of these materials throughout the world ... Another excellent aspect of the study is a thoughtful and carefully considered discussion of options for the control and disposal of plutonium and highly enriched uranium ... this is one of SIPRI's best contributions to the literature on disarmament and proliferation control for some years, and is a powerful reminder of why SIPRI is such an important research center.' Paul Rogers, Defense Analysis

Book Description

Plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) were first introduced fifty years ago. In the Manhattan project the amounts separated were measured in kilograms, enough for the first atomic bombs. Today there are about 1000 tonnes of plutonium and 1300 tonnes of HEU in existence, the result of the great expansion of nuclear weapon and nuclear power programmes in recent decades. Controlling and disposing of these vast quantities is now one of the most serious challenges facing the international community. Despite the great significance of plutonium and HEU for international security and nuclear commerce, there are no international statistics on these materials. Information on them is generally classified in countries possessing or trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and holders of civil materials only give information to safeguards agencies on condition that it remains confidential. This book fills the gap. It provides for the first time a comprehensive and authoritative assessment of the amounts of plutonium and HEU in military and civilian programmes, country by country. World Inventory of Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium 1992 is based on knowledge of how nuclear reactors, reprocessing and enrichment plants have been operated around the world. Step by step, it explains how civil and military nuclear programmes have been run, which technologies and facilities have been used, and what has happened to the materials produced by them. It details the huge amounts of plutonium and HEU that will be extracted from dismantled weapons as the United States and the former Soviet Union reduce their nuclear arsenals, and the equally large amounts of plutonium that will be separated from civil fuels in Britain, France, Japan and Russia if reprocessing plans are implemented. It also contains the most thorough examination yet of the efforts by Iraq, Israel, Pakistan, India and a few other countries to acquire the materials needed to build nuclear weapons. And throughout, the book points out the main uncertainties over the quantities and whereabouts of these vital materials. The book ends by stressing the need to end the over-supply of civil plutonium and to develop plans for disposing of surplus stocks of both plutonium and HEU. Much of the plutonium will have to be treated as a waste, while the HEU can be diluted and used as nuclear fuel. It also calls on the international community to end the secrecy surrounding these materials. The United Nations should publish annual statistics on every country's holdings of plutonium and HEU, including materials in nuclear weapon states.

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