This paper attempts to examine the relationship between nuclear weapons proliferation and civilian nuclear power development based on the history of Atoms for Peace Initiative. To investigate the relationship, a database was established by compiling information on a country's civilian nuclear power development and various national capabilities and situational factors. The results of correlation analysis indicated that the initial motivation to develop civilian nuclear power could be mostly dual purpose. However, for a civilian nuclear power program to be ultimately successful, the study finds the role of nuclear nonproliferation very important. The analysis indicated that the presence of nuclear weapons in a country and serious interest in nuclear weapons have a negative effect on the civilian nuclear power program. The study showed the importance of state level commitment to nuclear nonproliferation for the success of civilian nuclear power development. NPT ratification and IAEA safeguards were very important factors in the success of civilian nuclear power development. In addition, for a country's civilian nuclear power development to be successful, the country needs to possess strong economic capability and be well connected to the world economic market through international trade. Mature level of democracy and presence of nuclear technological capabilities were also found to be important for the success of civilian nuclear power program. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.