The history of the Argentine nuclear sector is wonderfully contradictory – “wonderfully” because despite its problems and failures, it emerged as Argentina’s most important area of technological advancement in the Cold War period. Led through much of its history by senior admiralty officers, the Argentine National Energy Commission – the Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica or CNEA – was never a military bureaucracy. Often the focus of the military’s ambitions for industrial, scientific, and strategic development during the periods of military rule between 1966 and 1983, the nuclear sector remained remarkably free of military influence or intervention. Despite that several CNEA employees were the victims of military violence during the last dictatorship, Commission leadership refused to sack scientists for their political views and protected a number of their investigators from Dirty War violence. An important Argentine bureaucracy, the CNEA was unlike any other such structure in the professional longevity of its administrators, scientists, and technologists. Hundreds of CNEA members stayed in their positions and advanced through the ranks in spite of the jarring political changes that shook Argentina between 1960 and 1990.
How to Cite:
Sheinin, D. & Figallo, B., (2007). Nuclear Politics in Cold War Argentina. Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies. 15(1), pp.101–114. DOI: http://doi.org/10.23870/28