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Paranuclear capacity is the condition of a country possessing the technology to quickly build nuclear weapons, without having actually yet done so. Because such latent capability is not proscribed by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, this is sometimes called the "Japan Option" (as a work-around to the treaty), as Japan is a clear case of a country with complete technical prowess to develop a nuclear weapon quickly, or as it is sometimes called "being one screwdriver's turn" from the bomb, as Japan is considered to have the materials, expertise and technical capacity to make a nuclear bomb at will.
Though not absolutely necessary, having a complete nuclear fuel cycle is an important aspect of giving a state a paranuclear capability.
Technicalities of paranuclear capability
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Countries considered paranuclear
Another reputable case for nuclear latency is South Korea. Although South Korea's capability for nuclear weapons has not been extensively analyzed, it is quite possible that South Korea could make nuclear weapons in times of danger from North Korea. South Korea has been shown to enrich uranium to a weapon grade level and at one point was very close to developing a nuclear weapon but did not due to pressure from the United States. Many South Koreans also support the obtainment of nuclear weapons to combat the threat of the North. South Korea also possess cruise missiles, which could serve as a delivery system up to 1500 km.
Sweden is considered to have a paranuclear capability. It had a nuclear weapons development program in the 1950s and 1960s.
Taiwan is considered to have a paranuclear capability.
Mexico is another country that has the resources to build nuclear weapons; however, after signing the nonproliferation treaty, it has since abandoned building nuclear weapons despite being able to.
- List of states with nuclear weapons
- Nuclear energy policy
- Nuclear energy policy by country
- Nuclear power by country
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