A Kruse-Larkin Page

Nuclear Designs: Great Britain, France, and China in the Global Governance of Nuclear Arms

1The cover design.
2A summary of the book Nuclear Designs
3Ongoing addenda to the book.
4The "Cataloging-in-Publication" [CIP] information identifying the book, including its copyright and ISBN.

Jacket design by Karen Surowiec.


Nuclear Designs: Great Britain, France, and China in the Global Governance of Nuclear Arms

(New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA: Transaction Publishers [Rutgers University], 1996).

Bruce D. Larkin

Figures and List of Tablesiii
1Nuclear Choices1
2Nuclear Programs19
3Test-Ban and Non-Proliferation Regimes81
4Reducing Inventories133
6Verification and Transparency183
7National Structures and Civil Society195
8Costs and Risks251
9Threats and Fears285

The Cold War has given way to new agendas for global security policy, but Cold War legacies persist. Among the most vexing are nuclear programs, stocks, and deployments. The keen edge of fear associated with the Cold War is blunted. Nonetheless, the five declared nuclear weapons states continue to modernise their forces and deploy them, ready for use. Others have followed suit, or aspire to do so. Nuclear Designs observes the new candor in US-Russian nuclear relations and points out the broader opportunity this makes possible for frank conversation about the utility and dangers of nuclear arms.

At this new juncture of the latter 1990s states face a global choice among alternative nuclear futures. If the Cold War inoculated states against a return to runaway nuclear arming, the choices come down to three: the status quo, disengagement, or abolition. Larkin examines the nuclear weapons programs of Britain, France, and China, to explore how their substantial capabilities and declared purposes bear on choices for a nuclear future, and showing how they justify the status quo.

Britain and France say their nuclear forces are key to their security in the present world. China would not give up her force except as part of a comprehensive renunciation. Nuclear Designs presents the arguments they offer for their weapons and sets out the nuclear establishments, political institutions, concerns, and public views which illuminate their belief that nuclear weapons serve their interests.

Larkin concludes that the three `minipowers' not only reenforce nuclearism-in which nuclear war is held at bay by terror and uncertain self-restraint-but also by their example complicate the case against proliferation. If they should decide, instead, that abolition or agreed and safeguarded non-deployment would in fact enhance their security, then they would have extraordinary leverage on Russia and the United States to bring the two preeminent nuclear states into such a regime, and could make a compelling case for others' renunciation of nuclear deployments and nuclear aspirations. He urges ongoing government and private steps to model and simulate non-deployment and abolition regimes, in order to refine non-nuclearist options and address practical concerns for nuclear-free security.

Nuclear Designs will be of interest to students and scholars of international affairs, policymakers, miltary analysts, and those with a concern for the nuclear issue. Bruce D. Larkin is Professor of Politics at the University of California at Santa Cruz and editor of Vital Interests: The Soviet Issue in U.S. Central American Policy.

ISBN: 1-56000-239-5 (cloth) Published: January 1996.
Transaction Publishers. Rutgers University.

Addenda to the Study Nuclear Designs

Nuclear Designs is roughly current through the first week of July 1995.

Comprehensive Test Ban

An extended discussion of events from July 1995 through February 1996 and their relationship to the Comprehensive Test Ban negotiations appears in an accompanying file.

Further Addenda

During the first days of July, France launched the Hélios-1 imaging satellite, part of its global space intelligence initiative. Greenpeace activists made way in the Rainbow Warrior II for the French nuclear test site at Mururoa. There they would be seized and forcibly expelled from a zone around the test site. President Chirac offered unprecedented detail about the purposes of the forthcoming French tests. Britain did not join other states' protests of France's impending tests, lest in doing so it undercut its own nuclear force. In a Cabinet shakeup Malcolm Rifkind, a central player in British nuclear policy as Secretary of State for Defence, moved to the still more important position of Foreign Secretary.

Graphics of British and French Nuclear Submarine Forces

Britain and France are each bringing forward a new class of nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines. Their nuclear capability rests largely on these systems. Once built, these submarines are expected to be available for as long as thirty years. During that time they have an inescapable influence on policy. The relationship between these systems and time is shown in charts which may be downloaded.

Extensions and corrections of Nuclear Designs will appear here. They will be keyed [where appropriate] to the pages of the full text. If you wish to call our attention to useful materials, or comment on interpretations taken in the text, please contact us at our email address.

Cataloging-in-Publication [CIP] Information

The following statement appears in the front matter of Nuclear Designs.

Copyright © 1996 by Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903.

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. All inquiries should be addressed to Transaction Publishers, Rutgers‹The State University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903.

This book is printed on acid-free paper that meets the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials.

Library of Congress Catalog Number: 95-23279
ISBN: 1-56000-239-5
Printed in the United States of America

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Larkin, Bruce D., 1936-
Nuclear designs : Great Britain, France, and China in the global governance of nuclear arms / Bruce D. Larkin.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 1-56000-239-5 (alk. paper)
1. Nuclear weapons--Government policy--Great Britain. 2. Nuclear weapons--Government policy--France. 3. Nuclear weapons--Government policy--China. 4. Nuclear arms control. 5. Nuclear nonproliferation. 6. World politics--1989- I. Title.
U264.5.G7L37 1995
327.1'74--dc20 95-23279

To Contact Us

Our email address is larkin@learnworld.com. Click on the cottage to go to our Home Page, where you will find brief bios and links to LearnWorld.


This page is © 1995, 1996 Helen Kruse Larkin and Bruce D. Larkin, except insofar as copyright of copied and quoted material resides with Transaction Publishers.

Revision Date

Revised 96.02.13. Added 'Contents.' Revised 96.02.07. Added dust jacket and noted publication.

Created 95.11.29.