Nuclear Skills Strategy Group

09 Jul 2020

King’s College London Nuclear History Conference July 2020


The Centre for Science and Security Studies at King’s College London is holding a nuclear history conference online in July 2020.  Academics, veterans of Britain’s nuclear programmes and other researchers from around the world will come together for informal discussions of nuclear history.  The conference follows the series of events held in previous years at Charterhouse school. 

Eleven individual conference sessions on a wide variety of subjects will be held over eight working days.  Talks will be followed by time for questions and discussion.  Please click on each individual session link to register and fill in the information requested - if you have no job title or company or university, "independent" or "retired" is fine.  You'll receive a link before your chosen session(s) from Eventbrite.  You'll also be updated automatically with any changes to your chosen session(s).  At the appointed time you will be able to join by clicking the Zoom link and either downloading the Zoom app or joining through your Firefox, Safari, Chrome or Internet Explorer browser.  All times are British Summer Time (GMT+1).

Wednesday 15 July 1400 - 1600

Orford Ness and the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment

Barry Searle and David Warren (Independent Research Group on Orford Ness)

Tuesday 16 July 1400 - 1600

Project Trinity: the myth, the legend, the legacy

Alan Carr (Los Alamos National Laboratory)

Tuesday 16 July 1600 - 1830

Wartime atomic work in Germany and the United States

Stephen Smith (Algometrics) and Bill Nuttall (Open University): Evidence of uranium enrichment by Nazi Germany?

Tom Ramos (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory): The life and work of Ernest O Lawrence, Pt 1: the Manhattan Project

Friday 17 July 1000 - 1200

Nuclear weapons and the Royal Navy

Jonathan Aylen (Manchester Business School): ‘Appropriate units of the fleet are now being equipped’: the Royal Navy’s first acquisition of nuclear weapons

Brian Burnell (independent researcher): Operation Perfidious and UK naval tactical nuclear weapons in the 1980s

Friday 17 July 1400 - 1600

Nuclear submarine safety

John Coker (ex-Royal Navy): Safety at sea, liquid propellants and Chevaline

Peter Burt (independent researcher): The Kursk disaster, twenty years on

Monday 20 July 1000 - 1200

Nuclear heritage preservation

Wayne Cocroft (Historic England): Civil nuclear sites: worldwide preservation and heritage perspectives

Egle Rindzeviciute (Kingston University): Nuclear cultural heritage activities in Russia

Tuesday 21 July 0900 - 1100

The 50th anniversary of the non-proliferation regime

Yoko Iwama (Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo) and Jonathan Hunt (Southampton University): The neutrals, non-aligned countries and the bomb

Hassan Elbahtimy (King’s College London): Recent history of the NPT

Tuesday 21 July 1400 - 1600

Windscale/Sellafield in history and art

Stephen Papworth (ex-BNFL): Windscale and Sellafield: civil and defence work of BNFL in the 1970s and 80s

Bridget Kennedy (Goldsmith’s College): Performing Sellafield, embracing the cosmic, creating new mythologies, awakening the sleeper

Wednesday 22 July 1000 - 1200

British nuclear weapons history: new research from King’s

Alan Jackson (King’s College London): A Demonstrably effective deterrent?  Protecting the RAF medium bomber force 1955-69

Geoffrey Chapman (King’s College London): Tacit knowledge and the British nuclear weapons programme

Thursday 23 July 1400 - 1600

British nuclear history: cold war highlights

Robin Woolven (ex-RAF): Grapple X: Christmas Island, November 1957

Oliver Barton (London School of Economics): Whose hand on the button?  The Thatcher government’s battle to deploy cruise missiles at Greenham Common 1979-83

Friday 24 July 1600 - 1830

Conference keynotes: arms control and Ernest O Lawrence

John Walker (ex-FCO): Experiences of CTBTO on-site inspection exercises

Tom Ramos (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory): The life and work of Ernest O Lawrence, Pt 2: the cold war years

Highlights