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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • September 29, 1944

    Letter, Igor V. Kurchatov, Director of the Soviet Nuclear Program, to Lavrenti Beria

    In this letter, physicist Igor V. Kurchatov, the scientific director of the Soviet nuclear project, writes to secret police chief Lavrenti Beria, whom Stalin had given principal responsibility for the atomic effort. Prodded by his own scientists and by intelligence reports of the secret Anglo-American atomic enterprise, Stalin had initiated a small-scale Soviet nuclear weapons program in late 1942-early 1943. But the level of support political leaders had given the project failed to satisfy Kurchatov, who pleaded with Beria for additional backing.

  • January 25, 1946

    Handwritten notes by Igor V. Kurchatov, Director of the Soviet Nuclear Program, on a Meeting with Stalin, Beria and Molotov

    Excerpts from Igor V. Kurchatov's handwritten notes from a conversation with Stalin on the secret Soviet nuclear project, accompanied by Beria and Foreign Minister V.M. Molotov, at the Kremlin on the evening of 25 January 1946.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • March 25, 1955

    Information on Turkish Intelligence Interest on the Uranium Mine Buhovo

    Turkish intelligence agents are trying to gather information on the uranium mining in southwest Bulgaria. They believe that the extracted deposits are shipped to the Soviet Union for further processing and production of nuclear bombs.

  • June 10, 1955

    Central Intelligence Agency Information Report, 'The Development of an Ultra-Centrifuge at the Nuclear Institute of Manfred von Ardenne in Sinop'

    CIA report describing the construction process of ultra-centrifuges in the Soviet nuclear institute of Sinop and the personnel working there.

  • January 01, 1956

    Twenty-First Session of the United Nations General Assembly, 'Agenda Items Relating to Disarmament'

    Summary of the Twenty-First Session of the United Nations General Assembly's agenda on disarmament

  • 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

  • April, 1958

    Note on Control by the Joint US-Euratom Working Party

    This memo details security controls established under the Euratom Treaty to guarantee that nuclear materials are not diverted for purposed other than those for which they are intended.

  • February 26, 1960

    S.A. Levin, D. E. Hatch, and E. Von Halle, 'Production of Enriched Uranium for Nuclear Weapons by Nations X, Y, and Z by Means of the Gas Centrifuge Process,' Operations Analysis Division, Union Carbide Nuclear Company

    A Union Carbide Nuclear Company study to determine how quickly and easily foreign countries could develop and utilize gas centrifuges with the goal of creating nuclear weapon facilities. The study determines that, due to the cheap cost and relatively small size of the centrifuges, even un-industrialized countries such as Cuba could achieve this technology within 8 years if helped by a larger nation.

  • January 20, 1961

    John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address

    Kennedy's inaugural address, in which he discusses US foreign policy and relations with the rest of the world, especially the Eastern Bloc.

  • August 03, 1961

    Walter Ulbricht's Speech at the Moscow Conference, 3-5 August 1961

    Ulbricht speaks at the Moscow Conference of Secretaries of the Central Committees of the Communist and Workers' Parties of Socialist Countries for the Exchange of Opinions on Questions Concerning the Preparation and Conclusion of a German Peace Treaty.

  • October 05, 1961

    National Intelligence Estimate, NIE 35-61, 'The Outlook for Israel'

    National Intelligence Estimate on Israel concluded that "Israel may have decided to undertake a nuclear weapons program. At a minimum, we believe it has decided to develop its nuclear facilities in such a way as to put it into a position to develop nuclear weapons promptly should it decide to do."

  • January 18, 1962

    Memorandum by Robert Amory, Deputy Director of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, to Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs [McGeorge Bundy]

    Heavily excised report to McGeorge Bundy from the CIA on the Israeli nuclear program and Dimona.

  • January 25, 1962

    Telegram from Polish Embassy in Havana (Jeleń), 25 January 1962

    Jelen reports that the information he is getting from the Punta [del Este] is fragmentary. He also reports that Fidel decisively rejected the concept of “Finlandization” of Cuba.

  • June 13, 1962

    Telegram from Polish Embassy in Havana (Jeleń), 13 June 1962

    Rapacki asks for more information on the rumor regarding equipping the FRG (Federal Republic of Germany) with atomic weapons.

  • April 01, 1963

    Memorandum by Ambassador Aristov

    Document memorandum by Soviet Ambassador to Poland Aristov regarding potential nonproliferation treaty

  • June 23, 1963

    National Intelligence Estimate NIE 4-63, 'Likelihood and Consequences of a Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Systems'

    This NIE comes to the general conclusions that “there will not be a widespread proliferation of nuclear weapons over the next 10 years” and discusses programs in various countries (Israel, China, Sweden, India, West Germany, Japan, etc.) This copy includes newly declassified references to the Israeli nuclear weapons program, including the conclusion that “the Israelis, unless deterred by outside pressure, will attempt to produce a nuclear weapon some time in the next several years.”

  • August 26, 1963

    Conversation between Soviet Ambassador in North Korea Vasily Moskovsky and the German Ambassador

    North Korea makes inquiries into acquiring German nuclear information.