30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Nuclear Proliferation and Accidents

Jun 16, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 16, 2010 - U.S. presidents long before President Obama have sought an international fissile material cutoff off treaty but the reasons they have failed remain with us today, according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive. The proposed treaty would cut off the worldwide production of fissile material--plutonium and highly-enriched uranium--for nuclear weapons. (Note 1) According to Dwight D.
Apr 8, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 8, 2010 - The new START Treaty signed today in Prague represents "real" but "modest" cuts in strategic nuclear forces comparable to some Cold War alternatives but still higher than the most far-reaching proposals considered by Presidents Reagan and Carter, according to documents posted today by the National Security Archive.
Jan 15, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 15, 2010 - To refute early 1960s novels and Hollywood films like Fail-Safe and Dr. Strangelove which raised questions about U.S. control over nuclear weapons, the Air Force produced a documentary film--"SAC [Strategic Air Command] Command Post"--to demonstrate its responsiveness to presidential command and its tight control over nuclear weapons.
Oct 13, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 13, 2009 - The election of the new Democratic Party government in Japan led by Yukio Hatoyama raises a significant challenge for the Obama administration: the status of secret agreements on nuclear weapons that Tokyo and Washington negotiated in 1960 and 1969.  For years, the  ruling Liberal Democratic Party claimed that there were no such  agreements, denying, for example, allegations that they had allowed U.S. nuclear-armed ships to sail into Japanese ports.  Nevertheless, declassified U.S.
Sep 22, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, September 22, 2009 - Sixty years ago this week, on 23 September 1949, President Harry Truman made headlines when he announced that the Soviet Union had secretly tested a nuclear weapon several weeks earlier. Truman did not explain how the United States had detected the test, which had occurred on 29 August 1949 at Semipalatinsk, a site in northeastern Kazakhstan. Using declassified material, much of which has never been published, this briefing book documents how the U.S. Air Force, the Atomic Energy Commission, and U.S.
Jan 13, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 13, 2009 - During the 1970s the Shah of Iran argued, like current Iranian leaders today, for a nuclear energy capability on the basis of national "rights," while the Ford and Carter administrations worried about nuclear weapons possibilities, according to newly declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive for the first time.
Jan 12, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 12, 2009 - The U.S. government’s secret nuclear bomb squad evaluated more than 100 nuclear extortion threats and incidents between 1974 and 1996 but only a dozen required actual deployments (the others were hoaxes), according to the new book, Defusing Armageddon, and key primary sources posted today in the National Security Archive's "Nuclear Vault" by Archive senior fellow Jeffrey T. Richelson.
Aug 22, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., August 22, 2008 - The U.S. intelligence community buckled sooner in 2002 than previously reported to Bush administration pressure for data justifying an invasion of Iraq, according to a documents posting on the Web today by National Security Archive senior fellow John Prados. The documents suggest that the public relations push for war came before the intelligence analysis, which then conformed to public positions taken by Pentagon and White House officials.
Feb 28, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 26, 2008 - The United States should use its power to "prevent the reemergence of a new rival" either on former Soviet territory or elsewhere, declared a controversial draft of the Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) prepared by then Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney's Pentagon and leaked to The New York Times in March 1992. Published in declassified form for the first time on the National Security Archive Web site, this draft, along with related working papers, shows how defense officials during the administration of George H. W.
Jan 14, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, January 14, 2008: In the wake of the Indian "peaceful nuclear explosion" on May 17, 1974 and growing concern about the spread of nuclear weapons capabilities, the U.S. intelligence community prepared a Special National Intelligence Assessment, "Prospects for Further Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons," published today by the National Security Archive. The 1974 Indian test created shock waves in the U.S.

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