Timeline of the Republic of China's nuclear program

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The nuclear program of the Republic of China can be represented as a Timeline of the Republic of China's nuclear program.

Date Event
1945 Japan formally surrenders on the deck of the U.S. battleship Missouri, ending World War II. Japan begins the process of returning to China all the territories it had colonized, including Taiwan[1]
1949 Mao stresses the importance of eventual unification with Taiwan under a principle of "one China," which will be foundation for the Chinese government's policy on Taiwan for the next 50 years.[1]
1950 On June 27 U.S. President Harry Truman agrees to protect Taiwan against a possible attack from mainland China and sends the Seventh Fleet to patrol the waters between Taiwan and China.[1]
1954 U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower signs a Mutual Defense Treaty with the ROC promising U.S. protection for Taiwan.[1]
1956 National Tsinghua University in Taiwan is reestablished where the university built the nation's first research nuclear reactor and began training atomic energy specialists.[2]
1964 Taiwan launched a nuclear weapons program after the first Chinese nuclear test in October 1964.[2]
1964 The military Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology developed the "Hsin Chu Program" which included the purchase of a heavy-water reactor, a heavy-water production plant, and a plutonium separation plant.[2]
1968 Taiwan signed the Non-proliferation Treaty[3]
1968 The Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (INER) established as the sole national institute in Taiwan specialized in nuclear technology R&D programs.[2]
1969 INER purchased a small (40 MWT) heavy-water research reactor from Canada began work on it in September and finished it in April 1973 Canada furnished Taiwan with heavy water and 25 tons of natural Uranium.[3]
1969 Work began on other INER facilities, a plant to produce natural uranium fuel, a reprocessing facility, and a plutonium chemistry laboratory[3]
1970 Work began on a fuel reprocessing facility at the "Hot Laboratory"[3]
1971 On Oct. 25 Taiwan is "expelled" from the United Nations and IAEA. The seat is given to the People's Republic of China as the sole representative of China.[1][3]
1972 The fuel-fabrication plant began operating in 1972 or 1973, using a supply of natural uranium from South Africa, It was expected to produce about 20–30 metric tons of fuel a year roughly twice as much as the research reactor required.[3]
1974 The US CIA stated "Taipei conducts its small nuclear program with a weapon option clearly in mind, and it will be in a position to fabricate a nuclear device after five years or so."[2]
1976 In September President Chiang Ching-kuo stated that Taiwan would not develop reprocessing facilities or engage in reprocessing.[2]
1978 On Dec. 15 the United States announces it will terminate its diplomatic relations with Taiwan on Jan. 1, 1979.[1]
1987 On July 15 the end of martial law is declared in Taiwan.[1]
1988 Taiwan shut down the TRR reactor.[2]
1988 INER became a part of the Atomic Energy Council.[2]
1995 President Lee Teng-hui told the national assembly: "We should restudy the question [of nuclear weapons] from a long-term point of view." He added: "Everyone knows we had had the plan before."[3]
1995 A few days later, Lee states that Taiwan "has the ability to develop nuclear weapons, but will definitely not" develop them.[3]
2000 On Feb. 21 China issues a White Paper warning more explicitly than before that Taiwan's further heel dragging on reunification–let alone any declaration of independence–could force China to take "drastic measures."[1]
2004 Speculation over a covert Taiwanese nuclear program intensified on October 13, after the Associated Press reported that IAEA officials disclosed they had evidence that Taiwan experimented with plutonium during the early 1980s.[2]
2006 The US Defense Department mistakenly shipped secret nuclear missile fuses to Taiwan and did not learn that the items were missing until 2008[4]
2006 Officials with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) mistakenly sent four nose-cone fuse assemblies to Taiwan in August. These fuses help trigger nuclear warheads on Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles as they near their point of impact.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Taiwan Timeline". Infoplease. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Pike, John. "Taiwan's Nuclear Weapons". 4 April 2008. globalsecurity. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Albright, D; Gay, C (1998). "Taiwan: Nuclear nightmare averted.". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: 54–60. 
  4. ^ a b White, Josh (26 March 2008). "Nuclear parts sent to Taiwan in error". The Washington Post. Retrieved 8 June 2010.