Chicago Journal of International Law


This Article is divided into four parts. Part I briefly describes the technology for production of weapons-grade nuclear material and the radiological effects of military attacks on nuclear production facilities. Part II offers a policy justification for using military force to prevent states from constructing plutonium production reactors, reprocessing plants, or uranium enrichment facilities. Part II also discusses the case of North Korea to illustrate the application of the proposed policy framework. Part III contends that targeted conventional strikes against nuclear production facilities, absent Security Council authorization, would violate the UN Charter. Part IV recommends that the five permanent members of the Security Council adopt a common declaratory policy in support of preemptive attacks on nuclear facilities.