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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August, 1977

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE, OFFICE OF SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE, 'SOUTH AFRICAN URANIUM ENRICHMENT PROGRAM'

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    With South Africa’s status as a pariah state, its nuclear program was a thorny problem for a series of U.S. presidents. In August 1977, the Carter administration, working with the Soviet Union, lodged protests against South Africa’s apparent preparations for a nuclear test, forcing a shut-down of the Kalahari test site if not the entire nuclear program itself. Indeed the CIA’s analysis of South Africa’s innovative “aerodynamic” uranium enrichment plant at Valindaba brought it to the conclusion that South Africa would be able to produce enough weapons-grade uranium “to make several nuclear devices per year.”
    "Central Intelligence Agency, Directorate of Intelligence, Office of Scientific Intelligence, 'South African Uranium Enrichment Program'," August, 1977, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Obtained and contributed by William Burr and included in NPIHP Research Update #11. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116904
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