30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Nuclear Proliferation and Accidents

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.

Sep 10, 2007 | Briefing Book
Washington DC, September 10, 2007 - In the spring of 1991, leaks to the Washington Times on intelligence community discussions of the nuclear activities of the Algerian government and a Chinese reactor sale to that country stimulated a flap within the George H. W. Bush administration over the possibility that Algiers had started a nuclear weapons program. NSC and State Department documents published for the first time today by the National Security Archive shed light on the internal U.S. debate over Algeria's capabilities and intentions, on U.S.

Jun 15, 2007 | Briefing Book
Washington DC, June 15, 2007 - The unfolding controversies over the Iranian and Korean nuclear programs show the extreme difficulty of persuading a government to reverse its nuclear weapons program. Newly declassified documents on U.S.-Taiwan relations during the late 1970s, published today for the first time by the National Security Archive, shed new light on the challenges of counter-proliferation diplomacy. Even a dependent ally, such as Taiwan, tried hard to resist U.S. pressures to abandon suspect nuclear activities and kept Washington guessing whether it had really given them up.

Sep 22, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, September 22, 2006 - The prospects of a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in the early 1990's led China to accelerate its testing schedule and discuss differences within the Russian government over testing, according to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and archival research and posted on the Web today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. The documents illustrate the efforts of the U.S.

May 5, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, May 5, 2006 - Many U.S. government officials and scientists disagreed with the findings of a presidential panel that the double flash signal picked up by a U.S. nuclear detonation detection satellite (Vela 6911) in late September 1979 was possibly not a nuclear test, according to a number of studies posted today by the National Security Archive. The signal appeared to come from a 3,000 mile area that included the South Atlantic, Indian Ocean, tip of Africa, and part of Antarctica.

Apr 28, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, April 28, 2006 - Today the National Security Archive publishes for the first time 30 recently declassified U.S. government documents disclosing the existence of a highly secret policy debate, during the first year of the Nixon administration, over the Israeli nuclear weapons program. Broadly speaking, the debate was over whether it was feasible--either politically or technically--for the Nixon administration to try to prevent Israel from crossing the nuclear threshold, or whether the U.S. should find some "ground rules" which would allow it to live with a nuclear Israel.

Apr 13, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, April 13, 2006 - Long before India detonated a nuclear device in May 1974, the U.S. Intelligence Community was monitoring and analyzing Indian civilian and military nuclear energy activities, according to documents released today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Those activities are at the core of the current controversy over the Bush administration's proposed legislation that would alter U.S. nonproliferation and export control laws and policies so as to allow full nuclear cooperation with India.

Apr 7, 2006 | News
Washington D.C., 7 April 2006 - Only 14 of the full 93 pages of the National Intelligence Estimate that President Bush authorized Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, to disclose to New York Times reporter Judith Miller has actually been officially declassified, according to a posting today on the Web site of the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Mar 28, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, March 28, 2006 - The Central Intelligence Agency and National Reconnaissance Office used the nation's spy satellites and spy planes to obtain high-resolution images of the nuclear facilities of allies, adversaries and neutral nations alike, as illustrated in a collection of overhead reconnaissance images posted on the Web today by the National Security Archive. Today's posting includes 15 photographs and five photographic interpretation reports from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. The images were obtained by U-2 spy planes and CORONA and KH-7 reconnaissance satellites.

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