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D.J. Sweeney and W.S. Charlton, "Simulating State Proliferation for Nuclear Weapons Latency," INMM 54th Annual Meeting, 14-18 July 2013, Palm Desert, California, USA.


The purpose of Nuclear Weapons Latency is to estimate the probability that a state proliferator acquires a nuclear weapon in a specific amount of time given a certain set of assumptions about the resources, capabilities, and motivations of the proliferator. Nuclear weapons proliferation by a state is a complex process involving numerous proliferation pathways each requiring varying amounts of time with various tradeoffs between benefits and risks to the proliferator. To characterize Nuclear Weapons Latency while properly addressing the complexities involved a Generalized Stochastic Petri Net simulation for state proliferation has been developed. Petri Nets provide a robust and flexible modeling environment capable of simulating complicated models required for detailed analysis of nuclear proliferation. This paper describes the Petri Net simulation of nuclear weapons proliferation for Nuclear Weapons Latency and presents initial verification studies on the simulation. An analysis of several historical proliferation cases is also given to demonstrate the viability of this method.

Associated Project(s):

  • Nuclear Weapons Latency

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