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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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South African Nuclear History

This collection provides a look at nearly twenty-five years of South African nuclear policy. These documents shed new light on the country’s unique nuclear history, from early uranium supply arrangements under the United States-South Africa Atomic Energy Bilateral to the South African response to the September 1979 Vela incident, through the early 1990s when it announced the existence and subsequent destruction of its nuclear program. This collection is a result of the partnership between the Wilson Center’s Nuclear Proliferation International History Project and Monash South Africa. See also Nuclear Proliferation, and the related collections in the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project. (Image, Pelindaba Nuclear Research Centre, South Africa, NJR ZA)

  • June 04, 1970

    Draft Letters Between Ministers

    Letter from the South Africa regarding possible cooperation with France in uranium enrichment.

  • June 08, 1970

    Chairman of the Atomic Energy Board, 'Discussions with French Nuclear Authority on Collaboration on Uranium Enrichment'

    Roux provides background on South Africa's nuclear energy program and their development of a new process for uranium enrichment.

  • June 12, 1970

    Discussion between the Honourable Prime Minister and Premier Chaban Delmas

    Negotiations on French/South Africa collaboration in uranium enrichment.

  • June 15, 1970

    Meeting between the Honourable Prime Minister and Premier Chaban Delmas

    Negotiations on French/South Africa collaboration in uranium enrichment.

  • June 22, 1970

    Telegram No. 98 from South African Embassy in Paris to Secretary for Foreign Affairs

    Four questions from the French on possible cooperation with South Africa on uranium enrichment.

  • June 23, 1970

    Telegram No. 100 from South African Embassy in Paris to Secretary for Foreign Affairs

    Report on meeting with Hervé Alphand on possible France/South Africa cooperation on uranium enrichment.

  • June 23, 1970

    Chairman of the Atomic Energy Board, 'Comments on Questions Posed by the French'

    Responds to French questions on possible France/South Africa cooperation on uranium enrichment. Roux states that the primary purpose of the proposal for South Africa would be political protection rather than technical knowledge.

  • June 25, 1970

    Telegram No. 103 from South African Embassy in Paris to Secretary for Foreign Affairs

    Information on French delegation coming to evaluate the South African process for uranium enrichment.

  • June 27, 1970

    Telegram No. 104 from South African Embassy in Paris to Secretary for Foreign Affairs

    The French take issue with one of South Africa's proposed ammendments to the agreement for cooperation in uranium enrichment.

  • June 29, 1970

    Telegram No. 106 from South African Embassy in Paris to Secretary for Foreign Affairs

    Negotiations with Goldschmidt and Alphand continue on an agreement for cooperate on uranium enrichment.

  • June 29, 1970

    Telegram No. 105 from South African Embassy in Paris to Secretary for Foreign Affairs

    Negotiations on French/South Africa agreement to cooperate on uranium enrichment.

  • June 30, 1970

    Telegram No. 133 from South African Embassy in London to Secretary for Foreign Affairs

    Follow up to Roux's negotiations with the French for cooperation on uranium enrichment.

  • July, 1970

    Handwritten Note, Personal for Ambassador from Secretary

    Amendments for the proposed agreement for cooperation on uranium enrichment.

  • July 01, 1970

    Letter from South African Ambassador to France to Secretary for Foreign Affairs

    Progress on negotiations with the French for an agreement for cooperation on uranium enrichment.

  • July 01, 1970

    A.J.A. Roux, Director of Atomic Energy Research, 'Atomic Energy Board: Where Do We Go Now?'

    Roux advises announcing South Africa's new process for uranium enrichment publicly, whether the French agree to cooperation or not. "The worst that could happen is that the world vents its spleen on us to the fullest extent."

  • July 03, 1970

    A.J.A. Roux, Director of Atomic Energy Research, 'Second Round of Discussions with the French on Collaboration in the Area of Uranium Enrichment'

    Roux summarizes stumbling blocks in negotiations with the French to-date and the contents of the second round of negotiations.

  • July 09, 1970

    Telegram No. 110 from South African Embassy in Paris to Department of Foreign Affairs

    Translation of a letter from the French accepting the proposal to review South Africa's new process for uranium enrichment and consider future cooperation.

  • July 10, 1970

    South African Embassy in Paris to Secretary for Foreign Affairs

    Ambassador Burger requests instruction for the South African response to the formal French letter proposing cooperation on uranium enrichment.

  • July 10, 1970

    Chairman of the South African Atomic Energy Board to Secretary for Foreign Affairs

    Proposed insertion for the announcement of South Africa's new process for uranium enrichment.

  • July 15, 1970

    Telegram No. K11 from South African Secretary for Foreign Affairs to South African Embassy in Paris

    Instructions for Ambassador Burger in response to the French proposal on cooperation in uranium enrichment.