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Digital Archive International History Declassified


  • May 31, 1957

    Department of State Office of Intelligence Research, 'OIR Contribution to NIE 100-6-57: Nuclear Weapons Production by Fourth Countries – Likelihood and Consequences'

    This lengthy report was State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research's contribution to the first National Intelligence Estimate on the nuclear proliferation, NIE 100-6-57. Written at a time when the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom were the only nuclear weapons states, the “Fourth Country” problem referred to the probability that some unspecified country, whether France or China, was likely to be the next nuclear weapons state. Enclosed with letter from Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Division of Research for USSR and Western Europe, to Roger Mateson, 4 June 1957, Secret

  • September 04, 1962

    Research Memorandum RSB-152 from Roger Hilsman to the Secretary, 'Soviet Tactics in Talks on the Non-Diffusion of Nuclear Weapons'

    Before the words “nuclear nonproliferation” entered official discourse, the term “non-diffusion” (or “non-dissemination”) of nuclear weapons was used routinely. In part stemming from the negotiations over Berlin, during 1962-1963 the Kennedy administration held talks with allies and adversaries on the possibility of a non-diffusion agreement which included Germany. In light of a recent Soviet proposal, INR veteran Soviet expert Sonnenfeldt explained why Moscow had moved away from earlier proposals singling out West Germany and was focusing on the general applicability of a non-diffusion agreement.

  • December 10, 1964

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Switzerland, 'China's Nuclear Test has caused the American Imperialists to Panic'

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Switzerland describing the efforts of the United States, the West and the Soviet Union to downplay China's nuclear test.

  • April 12, 1967

    Intelligence Note from Thomas L. Hughes to the Acting Secretary, 'Soviets Continue to Denounce American Interpretation of Nonproliferation Treaty'

    The Soviets were insisting that article III on safeguards mention only the IAEA but not the European Atomic Energy Community [EURATOM], even though West Germany and other EURATOM members resisted the idea of IAEA inspections in Western Europe. It would take quite a few months before the Article III wording was to everyone’s satisfaction, but the Soviets also objected to US interpretations of the proposed Article II which would permit a nuclear-armed, united Western Europe.

  • November 13, 1967

    Aide-Mémoire on the Non-Proliferation Treaty Distributed by the US Committee for Euratom Commission

    Checklist of topics covered in discussions between the United States and the Soviet Union on Article III of the Nonproliferation Treaty.

  • June 24, 1974

    Under Secretary Sisco's Principals' and Regionals’ Staff Meeting

    Encourages interest in a close look at nuclear export policy were negotiations, pre-dating the Indian test, over nuclear reactor sales to Israel, Egypt, and Iran. Chairing the meeting in Kissinger’s absence, Under Secretary of State Joseph Sisco expressed dismay that nuclear nonproliferation had lost high-level support during the Nixon administration.

  • July 31, 1974

    Memorandum to the Secretary of State from ACDA Director Fred Ikle and Policy Planning Staff Director Winston Lord, 'Analytical Staff Meeting on Non-Proliferation Strategy'

    To help Kissinger prepare for a follow-up discussion, ACDA and State Department officials prepared a "Non-Proliferation: Strategy and Action Program” to help guide policy. A key proposal was for “high level political approaches to key exporting countries to enlist their support for safeguarding transfers of nuclear materials.” While Washington had to approach a number of nuclear exporters, consultations with France “constitute the most crucial and urgent step to be taken.”

  • August 26, 1974

    Memorandum to the Secretary of State from Fred Ikle and Winston Lord, 'U.S. Policy on Nuclear Proliferation'

    While U.S. nonproliferation strategy focused on several problems, such as ratification of the NPT by key countries, interest in a conference of major nuclear suppliers solidified. According to Kissinger’s advisers, “A conference of nuclear industrial states offers an opportunity for realizing a coordinated approach in placing effective controls, including safeguards and security measures, over transfers of commercial nuclear equipment and materials.”

  • November 18, 1976

    Memorandum from Ambassador Figuerero to Castro Madero

    This memo, produced by the Argentine Ambassador in charge of the Scientific and Technical Affairs Division of the Argentine Foreign Ministry, alerts the Director of the Argentine Nuclear Commission Carlos Castro Madero that the new Carter administration will attempt to exert pressure on Brazil’s nuclear program and hinder its nuclear deal with West Germany. It notes that regardless of Carter’s nuclear policy, Brazil would “try by all means confirm its right to nuclear development.”

  • January 24, 1977

    Memorandum, Louis Nozenzo, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Department of State, to Joseph Nye et al., enclosing paper on 'US Policy on Foreign Reprocessing'

    A paper describing US Policy on Foreign Reprocessing and questioning economic, environmental and political arguments for reprocessing

  • March 15, 1977

    Memorandum, Patsy Mink, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, to Deputy Secretary of State, 'PRC Meeting on PRM-15 Response'

    The memorandum describing the State Department and other agencies' agreement on the need for a fuel cycle evaluation program

  • April 05, 1977

    Memorandum, Patsy Mink, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, to Deputy Secretary of State, 'State Department Views on the Partial Response to PD-8,' with attached memorandum from Warren Chr

    The memorandum describing President Carter's decision to indefinitely defer the commercial reprocessing and recylce of plutonium in the US and Japan's firm position in keeping a reprocessing capability.

  • April 14, 1977

    Memorandum of Conversation, 'Non-Proliferation and Reprocessing in Japan,' with Attached 'Possible Basis of Japan-US Understanding of Nuclear Fuel Cycle'

    The memorandum describes Japan's hope that the US will recognize an importance of plutonium technology for Japan and its desire to continue plutonium research and development activities.

  • July 30, 1977

    Memorandum from Ambassador-at-Large and Special Representative for Non-Proliferation Matters Gerard C. Smith, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Richard Holbrooke, and Deputy Under Secretary of State for Security Assistan

    The memorandum describes President Carter's comrpomise with Japanese Prime Miniter Fukusa on starting up the Tokai Mura reprocessing plant under one of the State Department's three options.

  • August 31, 1977

    US Embassy Tokyo Telegram 13359 to State Department, 'Significance of the Japanese Offer to Delay Construction of the Plutonium Conversion Plant'

    The cable describing an importance of the Japanese offer to delay construction of the plutonium conversion plant in exchange of them postponing a decision for two years on co-processing.

  • September, 1977

    Report, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Special Projects Division, 'South Africa: Motivations and Capabilities for Nuclear Proliferation'

    This report for the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) pointed to downsides of US and international pressures against pariah or otherwise beleaguered states such as South Africa and Israel and against would-be nuclear proliferants. They might cooperate to advance their goals.

  • July, 1978

    Interagency Intelligence Memorandum, US Director of Central Intelligence, 'South Africa’s Nuclear Options and Decisionmaking Structure'

    Memo reports that during the period the Carter administration was putting pressure on South Africa to avoid the nuclear weapons route, but the analysts suggested that even if the South Africans signed the NPT and accepted IEAE safeguards they would continue to pursue a “covert program.”

  • November 14, 1978

    Letter, Ambassador Michael Mansfield to Gerard C. Smith

    The letter describes Ambassador Mansfield's assessment of Japanese nonproliferation policy and Japan's skepticism about President Carter's nuclear policy.

  • February 03, 1979

    US Embassy Tokyo Telegram 02669 to State Department, 'Bilateral Nuclear Consultations with Japan'

    The telegram describing a meeting between US Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Pickering and Japanese Atomic Energy Commissioner Kinya Niizeki on a plan to use a Pacific island as a storage site for spent reactor fuel.

  • August 29, 1979

    Memorandum of Conversation, 'Meeting Between Ambassador Gerard Smith and Japanese Minister of State for Science and Technology [Iwazo] Kaneko'

    The memorandum describes Japanes Minister of State for Science and Technology emphasizing the significance of a plutonium economy given Japan's energy needs.