6 Savannah RiverNuclearWeaponsFacility:managing thelegacy of themilitary'snuclear factory


Before the Second World War, the idea of building nuclear weapons was a scientific possibility shared among a relatively small group of physicists (McMillan 2005; Walker 2005). The first nuclear weapons were built and used by the United States to end the resistance of Japan. Subsequently, tens of thousands of nuclear weapons have been built, almost all by the United States (see below) and the former Soviet Union. With proliferation, the United Kingdom, France, China, Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea have, or are assumed to have, produced nuclear weapons.

The US government began nuclear weapons production during the 1940s under ...

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