30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Nuclear Proliferation and Accidents

Aug 2, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 2, 2013 – The United States and Soviet Union conducted underground testing that sometimes produced significant "venting" of radioactive gases and particles which crossed international borders, even after signing the Limited Test Ban Treaty fifty years ago, in August 1963. That posed potential health hazards, but also created problems for U.S.-Soviet relations, according to documents recently uncovered through archival research. To minimize the problem, both superpowers tacitly agreed to keep their disagreements secret.

Jun 25, 2013 | Briefing Book
Argentine Documents on the Yellowcake Sale

Apr 23, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 23, 2013 – China was exporting nuclear materials to Third World countries without safeguards beginning in the early 1980s, and may have given Pakistan weapons design information in the early years of its clandestine program, according to recently declassified CIA records. The formerly Top Secret reports, published today by the National Security Archive and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project, are the CIA's first-ever declassifications of allegations that Beijing supported Islamabad's nuclear ambitions.

Feb 22, 2013 | Briefing Book
The Clinton Administration and the Indian Nuclear Test That Didn't Happen — 1995-1996 Washington, D.C., February 22, 2013 – In the last months of 1995, U.S intelligence agencies detected signs of nuclear test preparations at India's test site in Pokhran, but the satellite photos that analysts studied were "as clear as mud," according to declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project.

Nov 19, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 19, 2012 – For decades, U.S. command-control-and-communications (C3) systems were deeply vulnerable to nuclear attack, according to a recently declassified Pentagon study. The document, a top secret internal history of the highly complex procedures that connected the White House and senior civilian and military leaders with local commanders awaiting orders to launch bombers and missiles, details sometimes harrowing reports about systemic weaknesses that could have jeopardized U.S. readiness to respond to a nuclear attack.

Nov 6, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 6, 2012 – The U.S. intelligence community predicted India's nuclear bomb in 1964 but mistakenly concluded Israel had "not yet decided" to go nuclear, according to newly declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project.

Sep 7, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 7, 2012 – Eleven years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, how concerned Americans should be over threats of nuclear terrorism remains a subject of vigorous debate. Declassified documents have confirmed that the U.S. (and other) governments have anticipated the possibility of a terrorist nuclear incident at such high-profile events as the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Ever since 9/11, U.S. experts have been particularly interested in whether al-Qaeda is trying to acquire a nuclear device.

Sep 5, 2012 | News
Washington, DC, September 5, 2012 – The online magazine ForeignPolicy.com today published an extraordinary CIA document on the recent Iraq war which the National Security Archive obtained through a Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) request to the CIA.

Jul 23, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., July 23, 2012 – The possibility that highly motivated countries, such as Iran in today's environment, could secretly build gas centrifuge plants to produce highly enriched uranium was foreshadowed over fifty years ago by senior officials at the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and its contractors. They perceived that countries determined to acquire a nuclear weapons capability could secretly build gas centrifuge facilities to enrich uranium, although it required solving complex technical problems.

Apr 27, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 27, 2012 – Tensions between the United States and Pakistan rose through the 1980s over intelligence reports that suggested to U.S. officials that Pakistani leader Zia ul-Haq had repeatedly lied to them about his country's nuclear program, according to recently declassified records published today by the National Security Archive and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project. Zia's apparent mendacity posed an immediate challenge to U.S.

Pages