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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Indian Nuclear History

 Documents on the history of Indian nuclear development, focusing on assistance from and intervention by the Soviet Union and the United States. See also Nuclear Proliferation, and the related collections in the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project. (Image, Agni-II missile, 2004, Antônio Milena)

  • March 12, 1944

    Letter from Homi Bhabha to Sir Dorab of Tata Trust

    Dr. Homi Bhabha’s letter to Dr. Sorab detailing the poor condition of applied research in India due to lack of pure research workers and a hope to remedy the problem by building an advanced physics university in Bombay.

  • May 21, 1947

    Letter from Homi Bhabha to Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Director Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar

    A letter from Dr. Bhabha to Dr. Bhatnager arguing for the establishment and a small experimental pile of fissile material and its benefits, including operational and training experience

  • April 26, 1948

    Homi J. Bhabha, 'Note on the Organization of Atomic Energy in India'

    A series of notes from Dr. Bhabha detailing important requirements and recommendations for the development of India’s nuclear power capabilities.

  • May 28, 1948

    Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Director Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar to Bhabha

    A letter from S.S. Bhatnagar to Dr. Bhabha informing him of the creation of a Ministry of Scientific Research.

  • February 11, 1949

    Confidential Letter from Homi J. Bhabha to Frédéric Joliot-Curie

    Homi Bhabha, Chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission, informs Joliot-Curie, French High Commissioner for Atomic Energy, that the Indian government has decided to set up a factory for processing monazite and has selected a French firm to develop the factory.

  • June 21, 1949

    Secret Letter from Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar to Frédéric Joliot-Curie

    Indian scientist S.S. Bhatnagar informs Joliot-Curie, the French High Commissioner for Atomic Energy, about plans for the training of Indian chemists in France in preparation for development of a plant in India for processing monazite salts.

  • September 13, 1949

    Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Director Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar to Bhabha

    A letter from S.S. Bhatnagar to Dr. Bhabha via the Indian Embassy in Washington D.C. apprising him of a visit with to the Atomic Energy Commission as well as providing an update on the acquisition of needed minerals.

  • January 16, 1950

    Minutes of a Special Meeting of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission

    The Indian Atomic Energy Commission meets with the French High Commissioner for Atomic Energy Joliot-Curie to discuss nuclear cooperation between India and France.

  • January 17, 1950

    Minutes of a Special Meeting of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission

    Joliot-Curie, French High Commissioner for Atomic Energy, offers to share technical information with India on the purification of uranium, graphite reprocessing and designs of a low power reactor in exchange for India’s export to France of thorium, beryllium and mineral oil for the manufacture of graphite.

  • July 02, 1950

    Jules Guéron, Record of Discussions with Homi J. Bhabha in London

    Notes from discussions with Homi Bhabha, Chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission, to negotiate the contract for nuclear cooperation between India and France.

  • June 05, 1951

    Secret Letter from Roger Makins to Michael W. Perrin

    Roger Makins of the British Foreign Office informs Michael Perrin, Deputy Controller for Atomic Energy, about negotiations between India and the United States and India and France for nuclear cooperation.

  • August 18, 1951

    Letter from F.C. How to Roger Makins

    F.C. How of the Ministry of Supply replies to Roger Makins of the Foreign Office regarding negotiations for British nuclear cooperation with India.

  • August 24, 1951

    Letter from the French Foreign Ministry to the UK Embassy in Paris on the Franco-Indian Reactor Agreement

    The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that an agreement has been signed for cooperation between India and France for nuclear research.

  • October 30, 1951

    Letter from UK Embassy in Paris to London on Franco-Indian agreement

    British Ambassador Oliver Harvey reports a conversation with the Director of the French Atomic Energy Commission Jules Guéron on the details of Franco-Indian nuclear cooperation.

  • January 25, 1952

    Letter from John D. Cockcroft to Homi J. Bhabha

    John D. Cockcroft, head of the British Atomic Energy Research Establishment, writes to Homi J. Bhabha, Chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission, informing him that the British will not be assisting India with its beryllium experiements since India has already made agreements with the French Atomic Energy project.

  • January 01, 1954

    Historical Note on Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

    A historical note from Dr. Bhabha to the Prime Minister chronicling the history of the establishment and subsequent operation of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. Also includes information about the Institute’s administrative functions and relations with the Atomic Energy Commission.

  • April 21, 1954

    Letter from Roger Makins to Lewis L. Strauss

    Roger Makins of the British Foreign Office writes to Lewis Strauss of the American Atomic Energy Commission regarding a change in policy to allow Britain to share nuclear information with members of the British Commonwealth.

  • February 01, 1955

    French Foreign Ministry, Note on Indian Foreign Policy and Franco-Indian Relations

    Note prepared by the French Foreign Ministry prior to Prime Minister Nehru’s visit to Paris in February 1955. It observed that France could find in India a cooperative partner in Asia despite their outstanding disagreements.

  • May 16, 1956

    Bhabha and Jawaharlal Nehru Correspondence on Indian Nuclear History

    A series of letters between Dr. Bhabha and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru covering a wide range of subjects, including the appropriate venues to voice opinions, the status of the Colaba site, meeting with the Pakistan Association for the Advancement of Science, and issues with coordination between the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Education on scientific research and education. Also includes a copy of a letter from The Tokyo Shimbun requesting Dr. Bhabha’s presence at a forum discussing the justifiability of American hydrogen bomb tests in the Pacific.

  • April 18, 1958

    Letter, John D. Cockcroft, UK Atomic Energy Authority, to Homi Bhabha

    John D. Cockcroft of the UK Atomic Energy Authority answers questions from Homi Bhabha regarding nuclear research and includes the text of a lecture he gave regarding the development of nuclear power in the UK.