Why Nuclear Realism is Unrealistic

Benoit Pelopidas

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial (Academic Journal)peer-review


This op. ed. commemorates the thirtieth anniversary of Colonel Stanislas Petrov's not reporting the incoming missiles which appeared on his radar screen in September 1983 and engages with the retrospective assessment of this act as realistic. It argues that claims of being realistic in the management of nuclear weapons often misunderstand the history of the nuclear age, the present situation, and the long-term challenges of a nuclear-armed world.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2013

Structured keywords

  • PolicyBristolSecurityConflictAndJustice
  • nuclear weapons policy


  • nuclear proliferation
  • Nuclear Deterrence
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Nuclear arms race


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