Nuclear latency or a Nuclear threshold state 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 considered a "paranuclear" state, being 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.
There are many countries capable of producing nuclear weapons, or at least enriching uranium and / or plutonium. Among the most notable are Canada, Germany, and Australia. Other countries include Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, the Republic of China, and more.[failed verification][better source needed] In addition, South Africa has successfully developed its own nuclear weapons, but dismantled them in 1989. Following the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement some consider Iran a nuclear threshold state.
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- Cole, Juan (2009-10-07). "Does Iran really want the bomb? Perhaps what Iran wants is the ability to produce a nuclear weapon fast, rather than have a standing arsenal". Salon.
- "Hypothesis: Iran Seeks the "Japan Option"". Slate. 2009-10-07. Archived from the original on 2009-10-11.
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- John H. Large (May 2, 2005). "THE ACTUAL AND POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS TECHNOLOGY IN THE AREA OF NORTH EAST ASIA (KOREAN PENINSULAR AND JAPAN)" (PDF). R3126-A1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-10.
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- Brumfiel, Geoff (November 2004). "Nuclear proliferation special: We have the technology". Nature. 432-437. 432 (7016): 432–7. Bibcode:2004Natur.432..432B. doi:10.1038/432432a. PMID 15565123. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- Chester Dawson (28 October 2011). "In Japan, Provocative Case for Staying Nuclear". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "Nuclear Weapons Archive, 7.5 nuclear capable states".
- For a complete list, see "Nuclear Capabilities and Potential Around the World". NPR.
- The Nuclear Agreement with Iran, One Year On: An Assessment and a Strategy for the Future, INSS, Amos Yadlin and Avner Golov, July 2016
For more on the proliferation and debates surrounding nuclear weapons and their latency, visit the Woodrow Wilson Center's Nuclear Proliferation International History Project website: http://wilsoncenter.org/program/nuclear-proliferation-international-history-project.
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