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Nuclear Secrets

Premier :: 2007-01-15

Airs :: Monday 21:00 on BBC

Genre :: Documentary

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Nuclear Secrets is a series of spy thrillers exploring the key turning-points in the race for nuclear supremacy. From the development of the A-bomb, via the Cuban missile crisis, to the spread of nuclear weapons to the Middle East and beyond, each story is told through the eyes of the men who risked everything to proliferate their nuclear secrets and those who tried to stop them. Nuclear weapons and the actions of these men have transformed the face of war – and now the world could pay the price.

Latest Episode

Series 1 - Episode 5 - The Terror Trader
Aired - 12 February 2007

Episode summary:

Could the father of the Pakistani bomb be the creator of the largest nuclear-smuggling ring ever known? This story reveals a cat-and-mouse tale of an out-of-control nuclear scientist and Western intelligence. In 1975, a young scientist copied top-secret blueprints from his Dutch Nuclear company. The thief in question was Dr AQ Khan, a Pakistani nuclear scientist who was working in the Netherlands. His job gave him access to the designs of the key nuclear process, Centrifuges. He flew to Pakistan over Christmas in 1975 with his family and wrote to his employers, stating that he had yellow fever. He never returned and went on to live a lavish lifestyle in Pakistan. Dr Khan's motivation was based by his fierce patriotism and his quest to ensure Pakistan was at the centre of nuclear supremacy. The president of Pakistan placed Khan in charge of his nuclear programme, project 706, and he used his network of contacts from Europe to start it up. In 1998, Khan tested his bomb design and, for the first time, Pakistan revealed itself to the world as a nuclear power. Khan immediately became a national hero. With fame came wealth and the CIA discovered that Khan had acquired a large property empire. The CIA and MI6 were unclear what Khan was up to but, as time went on, the clues grew more alarming. They set up a joint task force which eventually led to Dr Khan's "nuclear bazaar". The world saw for the first time the terrifying scale of Khan's activities. The president of Pakistan placed him under house arrest, where he remains today.

Watch Episodes Online - Episode Guide

+ Series 1

+ Episode - 5 The Terror Trader Aired - 12 February 2007
+ Episode - 4 Vanunu and the Bomb Aired - 05 February 2007
+ Episode - 3 Superbomb Aired - 29 January 2007
+ Episode - 2 Superspy Aired - 22 January 2007

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