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How South Africa Built Six Atom Bombs and Then Abandoned Its Nuclear Weapons Program 

How South Africa built six atom bombs is the definitive account of how a maverick government was able to secretly develop and test atoms bombs. South Africa - then still dominated by Pretoria's apartheid-orientated regime - achieved that objective within six years - or roughly half the time it took Pakistan to test its first nuclear weapon. More salient, it did so with only a fraction of the number of scientists, technicians and specialists involved in other nuclear programs, such as those of India, Pakistan and North Korea. For instance, there were never more than a half-dozen nuclear physicists involved in the actual weaponisation of the South African bombs. Al Venter argues persuasively that if a small country like South Africa could achieve all this - using only limited human resources - then it is axiomatic that other countries - or radical political groups - will ultimately be able to do the same. It is significant that Dr Mohammed El Baradei, head of Vienna's International Atomic Energy Agency, told the world in 2007 that there were currently more than 30 countries involved in nuclear matters, quite a few clandestinely.

Table of Contents:

  • South Africa's atom bomb programme

  • An historical perspective

  • background to the bomb program

  • lead

  • up to the bomb

  • the nuclear program gets underway

  • what the South African atom bomb orogram was all about

  • the early approach

  • what the bomb meant to South Africa

  • missiles

  • stoking the forge of fire

  • the Vela Satellite Conundrum

  • the search for a tactical nuclear weapon

Paperback, 234 pages. Published January 2008

Rare & Collectible. Copies are signed by the author