© 2018

Britain, Europe and Civil Nuclear Energy, 1945–62

Power Politics

  • Explores the connections between Britain’s civil nuclear diplomacy and European integration in the immediate post-war period

  • Highlights the importance of nuclear energy in diplomatic relations and the tensions between national politics and international scientific collaboration

  • Includes new research from archives in Britain, America, Canada and Germany


Part of the Britain and the World book series (BAW)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Martin Theaker
    Pages 1-24
  3. Martin Theaker
    Pages 103-137
  4. Martin Theaker
    Pages 253-282
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 283-297

About this book


This book examines the role played by civil nuclear energy in Britain’s relationship with Europe between the end of the Second World War and London’s first application to join the European Communities. Tracing the development of the British nuclear programme as it emerged as a global leader in constructing the world’s first atomic power stations, it analyses how the threat of energy shortages throughout the 1950s presented ministers with a golden opportunity to utilise nuclear cooperation as an instrument to influence the political shape of Europe. Importantly, this book will show how this chance was missed by ministers due to a combination of disorganization and diplomatic pressure, as well as a perennial lack of domestic resources. In so doing, this book joins the long-disconnected historiographies of European integration and nuclear energy to offer a new perspective on both scholarly fields.


European Economic Community Atomic energy Post-war European integration Diplomacy Politics Science Collaboration Euratom

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ScholarBirminghamUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Martin Theaker studied at the University of Birmingham, UK, before obtaining his PhD in History from Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge, UK, in 2016. He has authored several articles on Britain’s nuclear history and now works in industry in the UK.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Britain, Europe and Civil Nuclear Energy, 1945–62
  • Book Subtitle Power Politics
  • Authors Martin Theaker
  • Series Title Britain and the World
  • Series Abbreviated Title Britain and the World
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-73926-7
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-08887-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-73927-4
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIX, 297
  • Number of Illustrations 5 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics History of Britain and Ireland
    History of Modern Europe
    History of Science
    US History
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