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  Timeline of the Nuclear Age 1970s  1978

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The United States cancels testing and development of neutron bombs.

Dmitri Rotow, a Harvard economics student, writes a book on how to build a fission bomb. Total costs for such a weapon, not including fissile material, is $1,900. His book is so close to the real secret that the Department of Energy classifies it as secret.

South African defense minister P.W. Botha approves adoption of a three-phase nuclear deterrent strategy. In phase one, the government will neither acknowledge nor deny its nuclear capability. If South African territory is threatened, the government will move to phase two and consider privately revealing its nuclear capability to certain international powers, such as the U.S., to catalyze international intervention. If aid is not forthcoming, the government will move to phase three and consider demonstrating its nuclear capability in public, perhaps by conducting an underground nuclear test. The U.S. cancels development of the neutron bomb.

The First UN Special Session on disarmament takes place. The session establishes the Disarmament Commission, a deliberative body created to "consider and make recommendations on various problems in the field of disarmament" and the Conference on Disarmament, a multilateral negotiating body.

The Final Document of the First United Nations Special Session on Disarmament states, "Removing the threat of a world war-a nuclear war-is the most acute and urgent task of the present day. Mankind is confronted with a choice: we must halt the arms race and proceed to disarmament or face annihilation."

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