how did south africa get nuclear weapons


In the late 1970s, the South African government began a nuclear weapons program. The program was motivated by a desire to protect the country from attack by its neighbors, who were hostile to the white-minority government. The program was also motivated by a desire to build a nuclear deterrent to prevent foreign intervention in South Africa’s affairs.

The South African nuclear weapons program was led by a small group of scientists and engineers. The group included members of the South African military, as well as civilians from the country’s scientific and industrial community. The South African nuclear weapons program was kept secret from the country’s population and from the international community.

In the early 1980s, the South African government decided to develop nuclear weapons. The decision was made after the South African military had been defeated in a war with communist-backed rebels in Angola. The South African government feared that if it did not have nuclear weapons, it would be unable to protect itself from attack.

The South African nuclear weapons program made significant progress in the 1980s. The South African government acquired nuclear weapons-grade uranium from abroad, and it built a facility to enrich uranium. The South African government also built a nuclear reactor and a nuclear warhead.

In the early 1990s, the South African government began to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. The decision was made after the end of the Cold War and after South Africa had achieved political independence from white minority rule. The South African government also decided to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The South African government has since been working to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It has signed international treaties and agreements, and it has worked with the International Atomic Energy Agency to improve its nuclear safeguards.

It is widely believed that South Africa developed nuclear weapons in the 1970s and 1980s in response to the nuclear weapons program of its then-enemy, apartheid-era South Africa. But how did the country actually get nuclear weapons?

The South African nuclear weapons program began in the early 1960s under the leadership of Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd. At the time, South Africa was a close ally of the United States, and Verwoerd saw the development of nuclear weapons as a way to ensure his country’s security in a volatile region.

The South African government secretly purchased uranium from Portugal and Israel, and in 1963, it began construction of a nuclear research reactor near Pretoria. The following year, South Africa signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with the United States, which allowed American scientists to work at the South African reactor.

In 1976, South Africa’s then-leader, John Vorster, decided to accelerate the country’s nuclear weapons program. He ordered the construction of a secret nuclear facility at Pelindaba, west of Pretoria. The facility was designed to produce plutonium, the key ingredient in nuclear bombs.

By the early 1980s, South Africa had developed six nuclear weapons. But the country’s nuclear arsenal was never used, and in 1989, South Africa’s new leader, F.W. de Klerk, announced that the country would dismantle its nuclear weapons and sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.


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