Swedish nuclear weapon program
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In the early years after the war Sweden made a decision to become a neutral power that could defend itself militarily against any invading power. The biggest threats to Sweden were Soviet nuclear capabilities and in the late 1940s and 1950s much research was made into nuclear weapons.
In 1948 the first solid plans on how to create an atomic weapon was presented to the FOA. Plans were established to run a civilian nuclear power program in parallel, using domestic uranium resources as nuclear fuel. The Ågesta and Marviken reactors were supposed to produce plutonium for the weapons, while also producing energy. The Saab 36 was a planned attack aircraft that would be able to deliver nuclear weapons, and later on, submarines and aircraft like the Lansen and ultimately Viggen were considered as means of delivery as well.
All of the nuclear development activities took place at the Swedish Defence Research Establishment (Försvarets forskningsanstalt, FOA). The plan was to produce 100 warheads in a timespan of ten years. During the 1960s it was still not clear if Sweden should develop a nuclear weapon capacity. By the end of the 1960s the Swedish government, because of military budget constraints, had to choose between a nuclear weapon or a new fighter aircraft (the Saab 37 Viggen). The choice fell with the new fighter. All the plans for a Swedish nuclear weapon were scrapped by 1968, when Sweden signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In 1972 the last remnants of a plan for nuclear weapons disappeared when the FoA stopped their experiments with plutonium.
Sweden did, however, continue with civilian nuclear power and today (2009) Sweden has 10 active nuclear reactors.
- ^ "Svenskt atomvapen" (in Swedish). http://www.bergrum.se/sverige/gemensamt/atomvapen.html. Retrieved 2010-01-14.
- Forsvarets forskningsanstalt och planerna pa svenska karnvapen, Thomas Jonter, March 2001 (Swedish)
- The Swedish nuclear weapon (Swedish) via the Internet Archive
- "Svensk atombomb utvecklades trots förbud" - Ny Teknik, Jan Melin, April 4th 2001 (Swedish)
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