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World Research of Political Science Journal
An International Journal


Volumes > Volume 2 > Jun. 2019


History of ANuclearPower Never Born: the Italian Military Hypotheses of the Fifties

PP: 33-43
Silvio Labbate, PhD,
The possession or not of nuclear weapons has affected and still affects the international influence of each State. Since the world was finally split with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) between holders and not-holders of nuclear technology for military purposes officially placing a limit to its spread those who do not belong to the club of nuclear powers are effectively downgraded. This was the case of Italy. Notwithstanding this, during the Fifties and in parallel with negotiations for the European Atomic Energy Community, Rome with Paris and Bonn started a series of initiatives that pushed towards a Community cooperation in the military field, not excluding the hypothesis of the production of nuclear weapons.( ) It was an important effort that led to the signing of the Italian-French-German secret protocol of November 28, 1957 for the construction of a common nuclear deterrent.( ) Although this agreement was not ratified, it is interesting to know the evolution that have brought Italy to try to develop a knowledge nuclear; this despite the veto imposed by the peace treaty signed after the Second World War. The purpose of the paper is to analyze the steps of this Italian course, starting from the scientific promises developed in Italy since the 1940s. In this framework, the European nuclear cooperation is also important to understand how started the collaboration among the EEC countries. On the other hand, the military agreement between Italy, France and Germany is important in comparison to the French nuclear ambitions and the German attempt to retrieve a certain international prestige. There is extensive literature on the Italy as a nuclear power; for instance: Albonetti (1976 and 1998), Cacace (1999 and 2004), Gaia (1959, 1964 and 1986) and Nuti (2007). Nonetheless, this manuscript analyze the issue with the support of new archival materials, such as the documents of the Historical Archives of the European Union.

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