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ASUELIME, Lucky. Uranium politics of gatekeeping: Revisiting the British government's policy vis-à-vis South Africa, 1945-1951. Historia [online]. 2013, vol.58, n.1, pp.33-50. ISSN 2309-8392.

The year 1945 signalled the use of nuclear weapons technology that ensured both an end of one war and the beginning of another - two global but dissimilar wars: the Second World War and the Cold War respectively. These marked the beginning of an increased quest for uranium residue for peaceful and military purposes by the principal state actors in the wars. It is suggested that the US relied on British Commonwealth connection to obtain uranium from South Africa between 1947 and 1951. However, after consulting multi-archival sources in Britain, Canada and South Africa, I argue that this earlier assertion is incorrect. It was only partially correct while Smuts was prime minister of the Union of South Africa and was certainly not true after 1948.

Keywords : Commonwealth; uranium; Britain; Union of South Africa; United States; atomic relations; Second World War; natural resources; Jan Smuts government; National Party government.

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