The Central African Federation and Britain's post-war nuclear programme: Reconsidering the connections

Larry Butler

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4 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the possible connection between the British nuclear programme and London's plans in the early 1950s to create a federation of British territories in central Africa. It argues that fears about losing assured access to a continuing supply of the uranium it needed for its civil and military nuclear programmes, largely the result of competition from the United States and unsatisfactory arrangements with Commonwealth countries, increased Britain's interest in developing Northern Rhodesia as an unrestricted source of uranium under British control. It is suggested that the decision to embark upon the federal experiment was taken at a time when British anxieties about uranium supplies, and about the security of the nuclear programme, were at their most intense.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-525
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
Volume36 (3)
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008

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