Under Surveillance

in The Pontecorvo Affair

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780226816647
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226816661 | DOI:
Under Surveillance

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This chapter, which investigates the shaping of nuclear security during and after Cold War, and how it impacted Bruno Pontecorvo's life and career before his defection, highlights the controversial nature of investigative work and how the action of intelligence services was a key factor in Pontecorvo's decision to leave the West. Recycling nonspecific details on Pontecorvo helped to reduce public pressure on the security services when they were accused of laxity in protecting nuclear secrets. The discrepancy between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) report and the British Security Coordination evaluation activated a major trans-Atlantic row in the wake of the Pontecorvo affair. The investigations that raised reasonable doubt about the continuation of Pontecorvo's employment alienated him, and set the conditions for him to consider a career change.

Keywords: nuclear security; Bruno Pontecorvo; intelligence services; FBI; British Security Coordination; Pontecorvo affair

Chapter.  9999 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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