The articles in this special issue shed light on the influence of the Eisenhower administration's “Atoms for Peace” proposal on the civilian nuclear programs of five European countries, including Italy and France, which were member-states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); Hungary and Czechoslovakia, which were part of the USSR's Communist bloc; and Spain, which did not become a member of NATO until nearly three decades later. Based on detailed archival research, the articles analyze the commercial, scientific, practical, and cultural aspects of nascent nuclear research programs in these five countries. The authors demonstrate that all five acted early on to pursue peaceful nuclear activities for their own economic benefit.

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