Nuclear Weapons Production Complexes in a Disarmed World

Hassan Elbahtimy, Ross Peel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Any effective nuclear disarmament regime will need to consider how to deal with the infrastructure that supported the development and maintenance of nuclear weapons. Such infrastructure carries within it the seeds for re-armament. This paper presents a framework of potential actions to be applied to facilities within nuclear weapons production complexes in a disarming and a disarmed world. This framework has two axes. The first identifies key capabilities and facilities that are integral to the production of both simple fission weapons and more advanced boosted and thermonuclear weapons. The second axis explores the range of actions that can be taken to constrain nuclear weapons production infrastructure which would either directly or indirectly influence the capacity for future reacquisition of nuclear weapons. In exploring these themes, the paper asks what are the crucial nuclear facilities or processes that are likely to be key in enabling potential re-armament? And what types of actions can be considered to constrain the re-armament potential of these facilities? Considering how to enhance the degree of disarmament irreversibility will entail posing and answering difficult questions on the fate of nuclear weapons complexes, and not just nuclear weapons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-291
Number of pages29
JournalJournal for peace and nuclear disarmament
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2023


  • Nuclear weapons
  • Nuclear weapons production complex
  • Disarmament
  • Nuclear Fuel Cycle
  • Irreversibility


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