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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • 1956

    South African Cabinet Memorandum, Research in the Field of Nuclear Energy and Exchanging Information with Friendly Nations

    South African Cabinet memorandum discussing the potential for nuclear cooperation and technology assistance from various friendly countries, including the United States, Great Britain, and the Netherlands.

  • May 20, 1958

    Letter, S.M. Naude, 'South African Atomic Energy Research Programme'

    Naude, the President of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa, writes to Dr. Schonland, the Director of the Atomic Energy Research Establishment to voice concerns about Dr. Roux's nuclear program proposal. The two knew each other personally.

  • March, 1960

    South Africa Department of Foreign Affairs, 'Purchase by the Union of a Research Reactors to be Discussed at Special Meeting of Atomic Energy Board: 16th March, 1960'

    Summary of a memorandum prepared by Dr. A.J.A. Roux comparing the costs and benefits of different types of reactors.

  • March 30, 1960

    Letter, South African Department of Foreign Affairs, Informing the United States of South Africa's Intent to Request Nuclear Materials

    P. H. Philip of the South African Department of Foreign Affairs writes to the US Ambassador to South Africa informing him that South Africa will formally apply to the United States Atomic Energy Commission by June 1st 1960 for nuclear materials, pursuant to the bilateral trade agreement between the US and the Union of South Africa.

  • April 28, 1960

    South African Report, 'Union-United States Cooperation in Nuclear Field: Financial Assistance'

    A summary of an exchange of telegrams between the US Embassy in South Africa and the US Legation in Vienna discussing the US position on any formal request by the Union of South Africa for nuclear materials.

  • April 11, 1963

    Letter, South African Ambassador to the United States, Regarding Armed Forces Attache's Report

    The South African Ambassador to the United States writes to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs regarding an American report on their strategic interests that made no mention of Southern Africa.

  • 1964

    Twentieth Session of the United Nations General Assembly, 'Agenda Items Related to Disarmament'

    South African report on the twentieth session of the General Assembly as it relates to nuclear proliferation.

  • January, 1966

    Briefing for South African Representative to the United Nations

    Instructions to a South African delegate to the United Nations.

  • March 18, 1967

    South African Department of Foreign Affairs, 'Nuclear Proliferation Problem'

    Summary of the United States-South Africa Atomic Energy Bilateral. South Africa's sale of source material to France was the subject of some disagreement between the two parties, with the Americans worried that sale of this material would be in violation of the non-proliferation treaty.

  • June 28, 1967

    Meeting Minutes, 'Points of Interest arising from Uranium Marketing Committee Meeting: June 26, 1967'

    Notes the current negotiations of the major nuclear powers from a meeting of the South African Uranium Marketing Committee.

  • July 20, 1970

    South African Department of Foreign Affairs, Announcement by South African Prime Minister Vorster

    Announcement by South African Prime Minister Vorster outlines the country’s approach to marketing and selling enriched uranium. He describes a unique process by which South African scientists can create a highly enriched “uranium concentrate.”

  • November 19, 1971

    South African Nuclear Fuel Agreement

    U.S. State Department memorandum weighing the arguments for and against renewing the agreement to sell uranium enrichment services to South Africa. The political fallout from engaging with the South African apartheid regime coupled with the fact that they had not signed the NPT were closely considered.

  • March, 1975

    Memorandum, Lt-General Raymond Fullarton Armstrong, US Department of Defense, Israel-South Africa

    A memorandum written by Chief of the Defense Staff Lt-General Raymond Fullarton Armstrong describes South Africa's nuclear weapons systems needs and outlines the rationale for having a nuclear deterrent.

  • June 02, 1976

    Reply, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, 'Sale of Two Nuclear Plants to South Africa'

    French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean Sauvagnargues, responds to an inquiry from the National Assembly regarding France's sale of two pressurized-water reactors to South Africa.

  • November 23, 1976

    United States Information Service, 'United States Statement on UN Vote on South Africa'

    US statement to the UN General Assembly delivered by delegate Father Hupp. The statement explains the why the US voted no on a series of resolutions regarding South Africa. These included resolutions on an arms embargo, sporting boycott and other resolutions concerning Apartheid. It also voted no on a resolution condemning Israel for arms sales to South Africa.

  • June 02, 1977

    Letter, South African Ambassador to the United States, 'US Policy on Foreign Military Sales'

    The South African Ambassador to the United States analyzes the new arms control policies under the Carter Administration.

  • August, 1977

    Central Intelligence Agency, Directorate of Intelligence, Office of Scientific Intelligence, 'South African Uranium Enrichment Program'

    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.”

  • August 10, 1977

    Letter, Warren Christopher to William Hyland, 'Response to Soviet Message on South Africa'

    This draft reply to Leonid Brezhnev's August 1977 message to Jimmy Carter on the suspicious site in the Kalahari Desert includes a number of interesting points, among them a request for the "geographic coordinates, size, configuration, and exact nature of the facility." Presumably this information would be used by the US to better target its reconnaissance satellites on the site.

  • August 18, 1977

    Letter, US Ambassador Bowlder to South African Foreign Minister Botha

    Message from U.S. Ambassador Bowdler to the South African Minister of Foreign Affairs Botha in which President Carter’s warning that the detonation of a South African nuclear device would have “most serious consequences” for U.S.-South African relations was conveyed.

  • August 18, 1977

    South African Ambassador to France, 'Unofficial Translation of French Aide-Memoire'

    Statement from the French embassy in South Africa reaffirming their position that South Africa not pursue a nuclear weapon. Specifically, France sought a clear statement from the South African government that they not "endow [themselves] with means of proceeding with nuclear explosions” or risk continued French-South African cooperation in several areas.