NPIHP Releases 20 Documents on the South African Nuclear Program

Feb 01, 2012
Pelindaba Nuclear Research Centre
Pelindaba Nuclear Research Centre

The Nuclear Proliferation International History Project is pleased to announce the release of 20 documents on South African nuclear history compiled by Monash University South Africa Senior Lecturer and chair of International Studies and former Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar Anna-Mart van Wyk. The collection provides a look at nearly twenty-five years of South African nuclear policy, with particular attention paid to the United States’ concern and diplomatic correspondence instructing South African ambassadors on how to characterize their country’s domestic nuclear program. These documents shed new light on the country’s unique nuclear history, from early uranium supply arrangements under the United States-South Africa Atomic Energy Bilateral to the South African response to the September 1979 Vela incident.

Anna-Mart van Wyk is a senior lecturer and chair of the International Studies Department at Monash University, South Africa. She specializes in the political history of South Africa’s nuclear program. Her other research interests include United States-South African military and nuclear relations, and the Cold War in Southern Africa. Since earning her PhD in 2005 she has published numerous articles in the peer-edited journals Cold War History, South African Historical Journal and History Compass. She contributed chapters to Cold War in Southern Africa: White power, black liberation (Routledge, 2009) and an edited volume on Uncovering the Sources of Nuclear Behavior: Historical Dimensions of Nuclear Proliferation (Georgetown University Press, forthcoming). She is the co-editor of a Critical Oral History Conference Series Volume on Southern Africa in the Cold War, post-1974 (WWICS, forthcoming). Her first book, on US-South African nuclear relations during the Cold War, is nearing completion. She enjoys recognition as a rated researcher by the National Research Foundation of South Africa and is the recipient of the Monash South Africa Distinguished Researcher Award (2010). She is also an Associate of the LSE Ideas Africa International Affairs Program and a former Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Browse the collection here.

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Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Leopoldo Nuti // Co-Director, Nuclear Proliferation International History Project; Public Policy Scholar
  • Evan Pikulski // Program Assistant