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 Atomic Energy / Disarmament


Atkins, Stephen E. International Security, and Peace: An Annotated Guide to Sources, 1980-1987. Santa Barbara, Calif: Abc-clio, 1989.

Beker, Avi. Disarmament without Order: The Politics of Disarmament at the United Nations. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1985.

Bernauer, Thomas. Nuclear Issues on the Agenda of the Conference on Disarmament. UNDIR/91/68. United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. New York: UNDIR, 1991.

Bourantonis, Dimitris. The United Nations and the Quest for Nuclear Disarmament. Brookfield, Vt., U.S.A; Aldershot, Hants, England: Dartmouth Pub. Co, 1993.

Dorn, A. Walter and Robert Pauk. "The Closest Brush: How a UN Secretary-General Averted Doomsday." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 68, no. 6 (2012): 79-84.

Dorn, A. Walter and Robert Pauk. "Unsung Mediator: U Thant and the Cuban Missile Crisis." Diplomatic History 33, no. 2 (2009): 261-292.

Firestone, Bernard J. The United Nations Under U Thant, 1961-1971. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 2001.

Fischer, David. History of the International Atomic Energy Agency: The First Forty Years. Lanham: Bernan Associates, 1997.

Ganser, Daniele. Reckless Gamble: The Sabotage of the United Nations in the Cuban Conflict and the Missile Crisis of 1962. New Orleans: University Press of the South, 2000.

Gavin, Francis J. "Politics, History and the Ivory Tower-Policy Gap in the Nuclear Proliferation Debate." Journal of Strategic Studies 35, no. 4 (2012): 573-600.

Hamblin, Jacob Darwin. "Let there be Light … and Bread: The United Nations, the Developing World, and Atomic energy’s Green Revolution." History and Technology 25, no. 1 (2009): 25-48.

Hamblin, Jacob Darwin. "Exorcising Ghosts in the Age of Automation: United Nations Experts and Atoms for Peace." Technology and Culture 47, no. 4 (2006): 734-756.

Hamblin, Jacob Darwin. “Quickening Nature’s Pulse: Atomic Agriculture at the International Atomic Energy Agency.” Dynamis 35, no. 2 (July 2015): 389–408.

Holloway, David. "The Soviet Union and the Creation of the International Atomic Energy Agency." Cold War History 16, no. 2 (2016): 177-193.

Jack, Homer A. Disarm--Or Die: The Second U.N. Special Session on Disarmament. New York: World Conference on Religion and Peace, 1983.

Khan, Anwar Naser. "The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and International Law." Pakistan Horizon 29, no. 4 (1976): 73-84.

Krige, John. "Euratom and the IAEA: The Problem of Self-Inspection." Cold War History 15, no. 3 (2015): 341-352.

Larson, David L. The Cuban Crisis of 1962: Selected Documents, Chronology and Bibliography. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1986.

Levitt, Joseph. Pearson and Canada's Role in Nuclear Disarmament and Arms Control Negotiations, 1945-1957. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1993.

Office of Publication. The United Nations Yearbook 1962. New York: United Nations, 1962.

Roehrlich, Elisabeth. "The Cold War, the Developing World, and the Creation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), 1953-1957." Cold War History 16, no. 2 (2016): 195-212.

Roehrlich, Elisabeth. “Negotiating Verification: International Diplomacy and the Evolution of Nuclear Safeguards, 1945-1972.” Diplomacy & Statecraft 29, no. 1 (March 2018): 29–50.

Röhrlich, Elisabeth. "Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace. The Speech That Inspired the Creation of the IAEA." IAEA Bulletin 54, no. 4 (December 2013): 3-4.

Szasz, Paul C. The Law and Practices of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Vol. no. 7. Vienna: International Atomic Energy Agency, 1970.

Thee, Marek. Armaments, Arms Control and Disarmament: A UNESCO Reader for Disarmament Education. Paris: Unesco Press, 1981.

United Nations, General Assembly, A Comprehensive Study of the Origin, Development, and Present Status of the Various Alternatives Proposed for the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons, A/AC187/71 (19 August 1977)

United Nations, General Assembly, An Analytical Summary of the United Nations Studies Describing the Effects of the Possible Use of Nuclear Weapons, Chemical Weapons, Bacteriological (Biological) Weapons and Napalm and Other Incendiary Weapons, as Well as Those Dealing with the Reduction of Military Budgets, with the Economic and Social Consequences of the Arms Race and Disarmament and with the Relationship between Development and Disarmament, A/AC187/72 (23 August 1977)

United Nations. Department for Disarmament Affairs. The United Nations and Disarmament, 1945-1985. New York: United Nations, 1985.

United Nations. Department for Disarmament Affairs. The United Nations and Disarmament: A Short History. New York: United Nations Department for Disarmament Affairs, 1988.

United Nations. The United Nations and Nuclear Non-Proliferation. New York, NY: United Nations, Dept. of Public Information, 1995.

United Nations. United Nations Disarmament Yearbook. New York: U.N., 1976-

United States. Government Accountability Office. National Security and International Affairs Division. Uncertainties With Implementing IAEA's Strengthened Safeguards System. Washington: USGAO, 1998.

van Wyk, Jo-Ansie. "Atoms, Apartheid, and the Agency: South Africa's Relations with the IAEA, 1957-1995." Cold War History 15, no. 3 (2015): 395-416.


Nuclear Science Abstracts (NSA)

A comprehensive collection of international nuclear science and technology literature from 1948-1976 (pre-dating the INIS database).

The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb

A series of documents and correspondences from the Harry S. Truman Library that date from 1945-1964.

The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb: Truman and the Bomb, a Documentary History


The Power Reactor Information System, covers two kinds of data: general and design information on power reactors, and information about operating experience with nuclear power plants. General and design information covers all reactors that are in operation, under construction, or shut-down in IAEA Member States, and in Taiwan, China. Data on operating experience cover operational reactors, and historical data cover shutdown reactors, in IAEA Member States and in Taiwan, China. In these areas PRIS is considered the most complete and authoritative source of statistical data.

Lectures on Arms Control and Disarmament

This UN site hosts several lectures on nuclear disarmament and international law by Masahiko Asada, and chemical weapons by Santiago Onate Laborde.

United Nations Library of International Law

This site provides comprehensive introductions, histories, primary source documents and status of various disarmament treaties, including the Convention on Prohibitions of Certain Conventional Weapons (1980), the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (1996) and the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines (1997). The site is constantly updated with work on other treaties.

United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)

The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) &mdashan autonomous institute within the United Nations &mdashconducts research on disarmament and security with the aim of assisting the international community in their disarmament thinking, decisions and efforts.

UNODA Military Expenditures Database (MilEx)

Originally intended to achieve a reduction in military expenditure starting in 1981, the goal was later changed (after the Cold War) to simply track governments’ spending on their military.

United Nations Register of Conventional Arms

If States behave in a predictable and transparent way, including being open about arms transfers, this could build confidence among them and help prevent conflict. For this purpose, governments can report to the UN Register of Conventional Arms. The Register is an important tool, giving practical significance to the concept of 'transparency in armaments'.

Biological Weapons Convention: Background Information

Convenient quick-reference guide to the BWC put together by The Implementation Support Unit of the BWC that details the convention and its six Review Conferences as well as the immense global support it receives.

Biological Weapons Convention

Additional understandings and agreements reached by review conferences relating to the BWC

An expanded document showing the actual text of each of the 15 Articles in the BWC, including “additional understandings” that have been reached in the years since its drafting in 1972.

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

The Convention is the first disarmament agreement negotiated within a multilateral framework that provides for the elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. It prohibits all development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, transfer, and use of chemical weapons. It requires each State Party to destroy chemical weapons and chemical weapons production facilities it possesses, as well as any chemical weapons it may have abandoned on the territory of another State Party.

Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction

The Avalon Project—The Cuban Missile Crisis

Yale Law School. Lillian Goldman Law Library.

Numerous U.S. documents detailing the escalation and eventual agreement that brought the world the closest it has ever been to nuclear war.

The Scientific History of the Atomic Bomb

“Third World Joins the Nuclear Club.”

BBC Online Network. May 13, 1998.

A timeline showing the history of atomic weapons in countries around the world and various encounters when each nation was on the verge of actually using its nuclear arsenal.


International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

The IAEA Bulletin (published since 1959)

The IAEA is the world's center of cooperation in the nuclear field. It was set up as the world´s "Atoms for Peace" organization in 1957 within the United Nations family. The Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.

International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

INIS represents a wealth of experience and an extensive pool of information in the nuclear field. The first INIS output products, the printed Atomindex and associated magnetic tapes, were issued in April 1970. INIS has since grown into one of the most successful and comprehensive information systems on the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology.

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)

The Office promotes: nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, the strengthening of the disarmament regimes in respect to other weapons of mass destruction, chemical and biological weapons, and disarmament efforts in the area of conventional weapons, especially landmines and small arms, which are the weapons of choice in contemporary conflicts.

Conference on Disarmament (CD)

The Conference on Disarmament, established in 1979 as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community, was a result of the first Special Session on Disarmament of the United Nations General Assembly held in 1978.

United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC)

Created in 1952 by a General Assembly resolution that placed it under the Security Council, it was the supreme UN body on disarmament questions and recommendations.

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

The structure of a treaty to uphold nuclear non-proliferation as a norm of international behavior had become clear by the mid-1960s, and by 1968 final agreement had been reached on a Treaty that would prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, enable co-operation for the peaceful use of nuclear energy and further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament.

Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

The Nuclear Suppliers Group is a group of nuclear supplier countries which seeks to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of Guidelines for nuclear exports and nuclear related exports. 

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

As the implementing body for the CWC, the organization is tasked with implementing and maintaining compliance with the CWC’s provisions.