Saturday, April 20, 2024

Sweden's Atomic Bomb Project

From the BBC, April 13:

Sweden has long opposed nuclear weapons – but it once tried to build them 

In the years after World War Two, neutral, peace-loving Sweden embarked on an ambitious plan – build its own atomic bomb.

Sweden hasn't fought a war since 1814. But for more than 20 years after the end of World War Two, this formerly neutral northern European country pursued a plan to equip its military with the ultimate weapon, the atomic bomb. The government finally shut the programme down in 1968 after a long public debate.

Sweden thereby joined a unique club of nations – which includes Switzerland, Ukraine and South Africa – who gave up their nuclear weapons programmes and showed the world that nuclear disarmament was possible.

The extent of Sweden's nuclear programme was "uncomfortable" for politicians keen to burnish the country's new anti-nuclear credentials, until journalist Christer Larsson discovered the truth in 1985 and forced the nation to confront its secret nuclear history.

The veil of secrecy around the history of the programme fuelled speculation that Sweden still had a top-secret plan to build its own nuclear weapons....