30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Nuclear Proliferation and Accidents

Jul 16, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., July 16, 2019 – The latest addition to the award-winning publications series The Digital National Security Archive provides a trove of important historical documentation on global nuclear proliferation, including numerous new details and insights into the clandestine programs of India, China, Israel, and other would-be nuclear states. 

Jun 11, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 11, 2019 – “Launch-on-warning,” a feature of U.S. nuclear warfighting strategy since the late 1970s, has frequently faced intensive criticism because of the high risk of accidental launches and uncontrollable outcomes, including massive casualties, according to recently declassified records posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.

Apr 9, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 10, 2019 — South Korea’s bid to acquire a nuclear weapons capability posed a complex challenge to the Ford administration during the mid-1970s, according to recently declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University. 

Feb 26, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., February 26, 2019 – Prior U.S. administrations from both political parties wrestled intensively with complex security, economic, and diplomatic challenges in trying to rein in successive North Korean dictators’ nuclear ambitions, a review of declassified documentation makes clear. Today, the National Security Archive at The George Washington University presents an array of records from the Nixon, Bush 41, and Clinton administrations that describe the many concerns and tests that have confronted U.S. policymakers and negotiators alike.

Feb 12, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 12, 2019 – The incoming Reagan administration strongly supported Japan’s interest in reprocessing nuclear fuel for producing plutonium and chose to pull back from President Jimmy Carter’s policy of restraint, according to declassified State Department telegrams and other materials posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive. 

Jan 10, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 10, 2019 – From the late 1960s until the late 1980s, U.S. government officials worried that Taiwanese leaders might make a “fundamental decision” to develop nuclear weapons.  Documents published today for the first time by the National Security Archive illustrate Washington’s efforts to keep tabs on military and scientific research and to intervene when they believed that Taiwan’s nuclear R&D had gone too far.  

Dec 11, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 11, 2018 – In the Fall  of 1966, as part of an ongoing debate about the U.S. troop presence in Western Europe and the role of NATO during the Cold War, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara sent an illuminating memo to President Lyndon B. Johnson to explain the political reasons for keeping U.S.

Oct 29, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., October 29, 2018 — Sixty years ago, in October 1958, Irish Minister of External Affairs Frank Aiken bought before the United Nations the first version of a resolution addressing the dangers of nuclear proliferation. U.S. State Department officials initially found it “potentially dangerous” and “disruptive,” but three years later the U.S. government voted, with the rest of the U.N. General Assembly, in favor of the “Irish Resolution,” which is widely regarded as the forerunner of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

Aug 8, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 8, 2018 – U.S. allies from Europe and the Persian Gulf warned the Clinton administration that it would be “very dangerous” and “pose risks for the entire region” if Iran were isolated from the international community through overly burdensome sanctions, according to declassified cables posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive at George Washington University. 

Aug 1, 2018 | News
Washington D.C., August 1, 2018 - On 31 July 2018, the Japanese Atomic Energy Commission announced that “Japan will reduce the size of its plutonium stockpile.” The move marks a potential turning point on an issue that has carried difficult and troubling implications for nuclear nonproliferation policy. For years, the JAEC has been operating reprocessing facilities to turn spent reactor fuel into plutonium for use in fueling reactors.

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