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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • October, 1940

    Technical Proposal of F. Lange, V. Maslov, and V. Shpinel, 'Fission of Uranium Isotopes by Using Method of Coriolis Acceleration'

    Kharkov Institute scientists proposed in this document the concrete steps to build a nuclear weapon. The document demonstrates that Ukrainian physicists understood how to receive weapons grade uranium and elaborated concrete technical proposals to achieve this goal through uranium enrichment in centrifuge.

  • 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.

  • January 09, 1956

    Meeting at the Villa of Sheikh Salim al-Khoury in 'Aukar

    A plan emerges to exploit Lebanese uranium ore, and an American diplomat discusses prospects for the Lebanese government, a recent resolution forbidding army supplies, and other regional issues.

  • July 07, 1960

    Confidential Telegram from South African Department of Foreign Affairs M. I. Botha to South African Ambassador to Vienna D.B. Sole on sale of Uranium to Israel

  • July 19, 1960

    Confidential Telegram from South African Ambassador in Vienna D.B. Sole to South African Department of Foreign Affairs Official M.I. Botha on sale of Uranium to Israel.

    The South African Ambassador in Vienna Donald B. Sole responds to a message concerning the Israeli interest in purchasing uranium from South Africa. He does not think that the Israeli Minister's statement that Israeli would obey IAEA safeguards "should be taken seriously" and thus he does not believe it would be in South Africa's best interest to complete the sale.

  • July 20, 1960

    Letter from South African Ambassador A.G. Dunn to South African Department for Foreign Affairs Official M.I. Botha on the Sale of Uranium to Israel

    South African Ambassador to the United States A.G. Dunn states that the United States would not approve of South Africa selling uranium to Israel even if the contract specified that they would obey IAEA safeguards once they were implemented worldwide.

  • July 21, 1960

    Letter from South African Department for Foreign Affairs Official M.I. Botha on Sale of Uranium to Israel (excerpt)

  • May 29, 1961

    Memorandum from Deputy Chair, South African Atomic Energy Board, T. E. W. Schumann Regarding 2 June 1961 Paris Meeting on Bilateral Safeguards

    Memorandum discussing the impact on South Africa of new safeguards applied by the International Atomic Energy Agency to the sale and transfer of nuclear materials.

  • November 13, 1962

    Memorandum from South African Department of Foreign Affairs to Embassies in London, Washington, Ottawa, Canberra and Vienna on the Sale of Uranium to Israel

    Memorandum informing various embassies of the status of South Africa's sale of uranium to Israel, including the terms and safeguards which specified that the uranium should be "used for peaceful purposes only."

  • March 26, 1964

    Cable from the US Embassy in France to the Department of State

    According Jacques Martin, a French Foreign Ministry expert, the Israelis were demanding to know why the French were holding up uranium shipments. The French replied that until Israel was ready to purchase only from France, allowing France “some control over the situation” [in Dimona], the restrictions would continue.

  • February 01, 1965

    Request from Department of the Prime Minister for Presidential Approval for a Bilateral Agreement on the Sale of South African Uranium to Israel

  • February 01, 1965

    Draft Agreement Between South Africa and Israel on the Application of Safeguards to the Sale of Uranium

    Contract between the governments of Israel and South Africa with terms outlining the safeguards that would be used for the sale of South African uranium to Israel. The safeguards intended to ensure that the material would be used for peaceful purposes only and none would be used "for atomic weapons or for research on or devleopment of atomic weapons or for any other military pruposes."

  • November 29, 1967

    Letter from Cassuto to GA on Italy's Uranium Supply in South Africa

    Letter from journalist A. Cassuto on meetings held with South African government officials regarding prospective italian purchase of uranium. Annex: Report no. 2 on establishment of a private company dedicated to urianium commerce.

  • June, 1968

    India Department of Atomic Energy, 'Programme for Surveying, Prospecting and Development of Atomic Minerals During the IVth and Vth Plan Periods (11969-78)'

    Report on the Atomic Minerals Division work surveying atomic minerals.

  • September 04, 1968

    Aide Mémoire, 'Sale of 5 Tons of Uranium to Brazil'

    A Brazilian diplomat to Argentina expresses an interest in acquiring five tons of uranium free from safeguards to Argentine authorities. CNEA and the foreign ministry of Argentina approved the request, taking into consideration the favorable diplomatic relations between the two countries at the moment.

  • December 20, 1968

    National Atomic Energy Commission Report to the Argentinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Brazil’s Request for Uranium

    This document reports on CNEA’s position on the exports of uranium to Brazil and reports that the operation will not produce any economic benefit. Nevertheless, it is favorable to the export as a token of Argentina’s good will in regard to nuclear cooperation with Brazil.

  • January 31, 1969

    Memorandum by Head of Planning Department of the National Atomic Energy Commission José Luis Alegria on Brazil’s Request for Uranium

    The document highlights that the export of Argentine uranium to Brazil will be a difficult operation due to diplomatic hurdles.

  • 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.”

  • April 19, 1971

    Memorandum, Ambassador Paulo Nogueira Batista, Information for the President of Brazil, 'Enrichment of Uranium'

    A secret report addressed to Minister of Foreign Affairs Mario Gibson Barbosa by Amb. Paulo Nogueira Batista (Brazilian Embassy, Bonn) describing alternatives for the establishment of comprehensive, long-term nuclear agreements between Brazil and a “country to be defined.” The report suggests that given the trends in uranium production in the US and Europe, Brazil needed to either associate itself with France to purchase gas diffusion technology or develop, together with Germany, ultracentrifugation or jet nozzle technologies. The notion was that “countries that decide to develop their own enrichment capacity will not only occupy a privileged competitive position but also will become part of an oligopoly with obvious political implications.” Nogueira Batista was worried, however, that Germany might not be able to offer Brazil centrifugation technology under existing obligations.

  • April 02, 1974

    Memorandum, Foreign Minister Azeredo da Silveira, Information for the President of Brazil, 'Uranium Enrichment'

    Confidential report identifying major trends regarding uranium supply. The document assesses US capacity to supply nuclear fuel after 1980, and describes European initiatives to manage the fuel cycle. The document underscores the convenience of defining guidelines, which “might ensure Brazilian leadership in Latin America” (p.105); then, it outlines the difficulties inherent to the establishment of a bilateral agreement with the US (taking into account the Brazilian position vis-à-vis the NPT), and suggests Europe (most notably West Germany) as a potential partner. The document recommends the establishment of a confidential working group formed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Mines and Energy in order to set up a strategy that would allow for the establishment of a nuclear cooperation agreement with the partner country, at the time still undefined.