"Preventing the spread of nuclear weapons to other nations has been a major policy objective of the United States Government since the end of World War II. This objective has found expression in domestic legislation restricting the export of nuclear technology and materials, and, on the international front, in the establishment of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and in the negotiation of the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). With the increasing pace in the construction of nuclear power plants abroad, considerable attention has been given to the problem of assuring that none of the plutonium produced in these plants is diverted for use in weapons. Indeed, the NPT requires continuing IAEA inspection of nuclear power plants in signatory nations that currently do not have nuclear weapons. However, the NPT alone cannot prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons if these weapons can be produced outside the mainstream of the nuclear industry in facilities specifically dedicated to their manufacture. It appears that this, in fact, is the case. As shown in this report, many nations in the world today, in particular, many small and/or developing nations, are capable of undertaking nuclear weapons programs that can provide them with a small number of weapons in a period of five to ten years. It is reasonable to assume that any nation which embarked on a program to procure nuclear weapons would attempt to keep this fact a secret as long as possible."
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