Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Security

From its founding, the Institute of Nuclear Fusion (BOE nº 73 de 26 de marzo de 1982) one of the fields of research proposed by the Vice-President of the Government was Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Security against asymmetric threats and nuclear terrorism.

View photo of the IFN inauguration in 1982 (They are from left to right: Profesor Guillermo Velarde, Director; Rafael Portaencasa Baeza, Rector de la UPM; General del Aire Ignacio Alfaro Arregui, ex Jefe del Estado Mayor de la Defensa; General de Ejército Alvaro Lacalle Leloup, Jefe del Estado Mayor de la Defensa y General de División Victor Castro Sanmartín, Director General de Armamento y Material).

The result of this request was the declassification in the United States of about 90% of the ICF related information. Some of the terms under this declassification were the following:

In 1995 the members of the Institute of Nuclear Fusion paid homage to General of the Air Force (GAF) Ignacio Alfaro Arregui in the Sala de Retratos of the E.T.S. de Ingenieros Industriales de Madrid. In the picture,  from the left to the right: Professors José María Martínez-Val, José María Aragonés, Carolina Ahnert, Natividad Carpintero Santamaría, Mireia Piera, Guillermo Velarde, General Ignacio Alfaro, Professors José Manuel Perlado, Pedro Velarde, Emilio Mínguez and Javier Honrubia.

Madrid Manifesto

Taking into account that the information related to nuclear fusion by inertial confinement was classified in the United States, during the European Conference on Laser Interaction with the Matter (ECLIM) held in Madrid in 1988, about 140 scientists signed the Manifesto of Madrid. In this Manifesto, they requested the United States declassification related to nuclear fusion by inertial confinement in order to use it for future electricity production.

View The Manifesto of Madrid

View original news from W.J. Broad. Herald Tribune, September 29, 1992

The result of this request was the declassification in the United States of about 90% of the ICF related information. Some of the terms under this declassification were the following:

The result of this request was the declassification in the United States of about 90% of the ICF related information. Some of the terms under this declassification were the following:

The US government that battled for decades to keep the workings of the hydrogen bomb secret is beginning to declassify some of the most sensitive aspects of its design and to let American scientists publish them in scientific literature.

The reason for this reversal is not internal policy, the end of Cold War, or the collapse of the Soviet Union as military threat.  Rather the reason is foreign competition.

Scientists in Japan, Germany, Spain, and Italy, striving to harness the power of tiny, repeated hydrogen-bomb-like blasts for the generation of electrical energy have openly published the “secrets”.

Continued secrecy for similar research in the United States was seen as stiffing the exchange of ideas, inhibiting progress and limiting international cooperation.

At times U.S. scientists have been ordered to avoid meetings with foreign scientists, because they would have run the risk of discussing classified information.

As a result, the Department of Energy, the keeper of secrets, carried out one round of declassification in 1990, and said it was readying another”.

William J. Broad. The (Bomb) Secret’s Out.  International Herald Tribune. The Hague, Tuesday, September 29, 1992.

Teller Award

In 1997, Professor Guillermo Velarde received the Edward Teller Medal in recognition for his outstanding contribution to science and application of Nuclear Fusion.

In the Award ceremony, Professor Teller said:

“Professor Velarde, you have perhaps done more than anyone in ICF to promote this most important direction”. Edward Teller (LIRPP Vol. 13, p. 65).

Inertial Confinement Nuclear Fusion: a historical approach by its pioneers

Nobel Prize Professor Nicolai Basov proposed to Professor Guillermo Velarde the possibility of publishing a book on the history of Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) written by its Pioneers. Unfortunately Professor Basov died on July 1, 2001, without having been able to carry out this initiative.

In June 2002, Professor Velarde was invited by the Academy of Sciences of the Russian Federation in Moscow to address Academician Basov’s In Memoriam conference. In Moscow during a meeting with Professors Rozanov, Guskov and Carpintero-Santamaria, it was decided to carry out the preparation of this book which describes the history of the research on ICF.

This book is a direct testimony and open account of the facts, events, dates and contrasting research which culminated in 1988 with the Madrid Manifesto.

Taking into account the difficulties to establish the authorship of the first works on ICF, it was decided that the Pioneers would include in their chapters the photocopy of their first paper on ICF.

The book was published by Foxwell and Davies Ltd Scientific Publisher in 2007 and it is considered as recommended reading by the EURATOM keep-in-touch ICF activity.

In the case of Spain, the first ICF research paper was published in 1976 Neutronic of laser fission-fusion system (G. Velarde).

The second paper was published in 1978, Analysis of laser-fission-fusion systems (G. Velarde, C. Ahnert, J.M. Aragonés, M. Gómez Alonso, G. Leira, R. Luque, J.M. Martínez-Val, M. Perlado).

history photo

IFN paid homage to General of the Air Force (GAF) Ignacio Alfaro Arregui

photo receiving teller award

Professor Guillermo Velarde receiving the Edward Teller Medal

book cover

Book which describes the history of the research on ICF

article cover

Analysis of laser-fission-fusion systems article

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