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The NPT: The Main Political Barrier to Nuclear Weapon Proliferation

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Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN 0-85066-205-2
66 pp.

This book reviews the major problems connected with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in the 1980s. Although the NPT is the principal political instrument to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, its present parties do not include those states most likely to acquire these weapons in the near future. Moreover, the proliferation of nuclear weapons may occur through the spread of peaceful nuclear programmes. The provisions of the NPT that need to be strengthened are also discussed. For example, it is suggested that nuclear safeguards should be improved, that nuclear materials for peaceful programmes should not be supplied to non-parties, that security assurances should be given to the non-nuclear weapon parties, and above all that the nuclear weapons states should fulfill their disarmament obligations. In this book, SIPRI also points out the need for the internationalization of the sensitive parts of the nuclear fuel cycle.


1. Non-proliferation—1980

2. The NPT and transfer of nuclear weapons—Articles I and II

3. The NPT and safeguards—Article III

4. The NPT and peaceful nuclear co-operation—Articles IV and V

5. The NPT and vertical proliferation measures—Article VI

6. Conclusions



Appendix A. Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Appendix B. Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty

Appendix C. Final Declaration of the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, 30 May 1975


Dr Frank Barnaby was SIPRI's Director from 1971–81.