Timeline of the Nuclear Age

Events of the...

1980
July 15 - The U.S. reports that the light signals recorded over the South Atlantic on September 22, 1979 are probably not from a nuclear explosion. However, information later would indicate that a low yield nuclear test did occur.
1981
August 10 - President Reagan re-authorizes the production of the Enhanced Radiation Weapon or neutron bomb.
June 7 - Israeli aircraft destroys Iraq's Osirak reactor. It is thought that it was producing materials for an Iraqi nuclear device.
1982
June 29 - Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) begin in Geneva, Switzerland.
1983
March 23 - President Ronald Reagan announces the United States will embark on an extensive research and development program to examine the feasibility of a missile defense program. The Strategic Defense Initiative is later dubbed "Star Wars."
1985
The South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty - Multilateral agreement among the nations of the South Pacific is signed.
August -The Soviet Union announces a nuclear testing moratorium.
1986
April - Chernobyl nuclear reactor meltdown occurs in the Soviet Union. Massive amounts of radioactive material are released.
November 28 - The 131st U.S. B-52 bomber is deployed, exceeding the 130 limit on strategic bombers, thus negating the SALT II Treaty.
December - First 10 U.S. 'Peacekeeper' or MX ICBM become operational.
1987
December 8 - President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. It eliminates all land-based missiles with ranges between 300-3,400 miles.
1988
The U.S. and U.S.S.R. sign the Agreement on Notification of Missile Launches.
1989
The first Trident SLBM is introduced into service.
October 19 - The final Soviet underground nuclear test occurs at the Semipalatinsk testing site in Kazakhstan.
November 9 - The Berlin Wall falls, as East Germany opens its borders with West Germany, marking the end of the Cold War.

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