THE SOVIET ATOMIC ENERGY PROGRAM

Created: 2/4/1958

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8

NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE

NUMBER

THE SOVIET ATOMIC ENERGY PROGRAM

Submitted by the DIRECTOR OP CENTRAL IKTGLUGENCE The following intelligence organizations participated in the preparation of this eitlmate-The Central InteUigence Agencyiand the intelligence organisations of the Departments of State, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, The Joint Staff, and the Atomic Energy Commission

Concurred Inebruary itit. Concurring toete the Director ofand Research. Department ol State; theof Staff, InteUigence. Department oj the Army;of Navel InteUigence; the Assistant Chief ofDepartment of the Air Force; the Deputy,

rector for InteUigence. The Joint Staff; and theCommission Representative to the IAC. See appro-

footnotes, however, for the dissenting views of

Director of Naval InteUigence. The Assistant'

Federal Bureau of Investigation, abstained, the subject being oulxide of the jurisdiction of hts Agency.

Copy No.

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

1

DISSEMINATION NOTICE

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The title of this estimate, when used separately from the text, should be classified:

WARNING This material contains Information aSectlnc the National Defense of the United StatoM within th* meaning of tbe etplooace lawi.Title ia. USC.. the Irani-mission or revelation of which In any manner to nn unauthorised person Is prohibited br law.

niSTurmmoN-Whlle House

National Security Council Department of Slate Department Of Defense Operation* Coordinating Board Atomic Energy Commission federal Bureau of Invest!gnUon

table of contents

Parte

THE

SUMMARY AND 1

1.

II. URANIUM ORE

Present Mining and Milling

Future Sources and

ni. FISSIONABLE MATERIAL

Plutonium Equivalent Production to

Future Plutonium Equivalent

IV. SOVIET NUCLEAR

Nuclear

Soviet Nuclear Weapon Development

Future Soviet Weapon

NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE

the soviet atomic energy program

8

This estimate consistsevision of those parts of7 wherein significant changes have taken place between7he estimatesherein supersede those inor the following topics:

Uranium Ore Production Plutonium Equivalentroduction Nuclear Weapons Tests Nuclear Weapons Developments

Revision of subjects other than the above have not been included in this estimate although minor changes may be possible.

omplete assessment of the Soviet Atomic Energy Program, this estimate must be used in conjunction withhe next estimate which will cover all phases of the Soviet program will be published in

This estimate was prepared and agreed upon by the Joint Atomic Energy Intelligence Committee which is composed of representatives of the Departments of SUte, Army, Navy, Air Force, the Atomic Energy Commission, The Joint Staff and the Central Intelligence Agency. See appropriate footnotes, however, for the dissenting views of the Navy member. The FBI abstained, the subject being outside of its jurisdiction.

A group of expert consultants working with the Joint Atomic Energy Intelligencehas reviewed this estimate and generally concurs with it. The estimate, with footnotes, was approved by the Intelligence Advisory Committee

TABLE OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Page

Table I Estimated Soviet

Figure I MAP-Sovtel Atomic Energy. ioUcva

Bloc Uranium Ore6

Table II Estimated Soviet Production of Nuclear .

tn Evaluation of Soviet Nuclear

. .

ere

1

NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE8

THE SOVIET ATOMIC ENERGY PROGRAM

THE PROBLEM

and information on the Soviet atomic energy program contained inertaining to:

Uranium Ore Production Plutonium Equivalentroduction Nuclear Weapons Tests Nuclear Weapons Developments

This estimate does not take into consideration the Impact that any form of nuclear test moratorium or limitation on nuclear weapons production would have on thc Soviet atomic energy program.

THE SOVIET ATOMIC ENERGY PROGRAM

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

In updating7 wencreased our ostimates of the amounts of uranium ore from internal USSR sources and fromoubled our previous estimate of the amount of plutonium to beduring the;stimated that thc Soviets have made significant advances in weapons design which increase their capabilities tolight-weight thermonuclear

of the Soviet Atomic

We estimate that the Soviet atomic energy program will continue to receive the very high priority that has beento it in the past. With thisit will continue to grow and achieve rapid progress in both military and non-military applications. (Seeor locations of major identified AE

Material Production 1

I. Although wcubstantial Soviet program for thc expansion ofmaterial production, theof such materials will continue throughout the period of this estimate toimiting (actor in determining the sizes of many military and non-military programs.

Uranium Ore. We estimateetric tons of(in terms of recoverable metal) were mined7 in the USSR and its Satellites, of whichetric tons were obtained inetric tons in the USSR. These estimated amounts are more than sufficient to support the current estimates of fissionable material production.uranium ore reserves exist within the Soviet Bloc and particularly the USSR. The exploitation of theseas well as of other raw materials essential to atomic energy activities, is being steadily expanded.

roduction. Soviet productionontinuesigh priority basis. An assessment of both old and new intelligence tends to confirm the previously estimated cumulative amounts. Wc estimate that thc Soviets willtockpile0 kilogramsyilograms by

Director of Naval intelligence bchem the Soviet Atomic Bncrgr Program is directed toward Uie maximum uUliiallonellIS. avoKhru: UV neeeuilr for florae of more Ulan M* at the ptoeoued uraniwn lit be litres Uul tht majorore likely to be toward breeder reactors, prototypes of which could be completed90 rec-icale breeders

1 r. i

lutonium Production. Theplutonium production throughs similar to that estimated in Indications ofconstruction activities at reactor sites and evidence of increased uranium ore procurement have led to an increased estimate of future plutonium equivalent stockpiles. We estimate that the Soviets willtockpileilograms of plutonium equivalent by0 kilograms by

could become available oa early asurther, Ihe evidence Indicates to him that the Interim power reactor program Is directed towards the development of self-sustaining reactors and that the Soviet uranium Isotope separation program Is consonant wllh these reactor objectives us well as the production of material of weapon grade.

nosed on an analysis of the evidence on Soviet time schedules, availability of barrier material known to be used,athematical analysis of barrier cbaracterlsUc* lor optimumthe Director of Naval Intelligence beUevcu that the cumulative produeUonywaaff byt will beg, and byf Uie orderg The limited expendituren the Soviet weapons tcit program as compared to the large quantity ol plutonium used support* this estimate. However, subject to thedevelopment ol new methods ot Isotopeand success of the Soviet breeder reactor program, the produeUon rates can undergo radl' cal change

The Director ol Naval Intelligence believes that the cumulative production of plutonium byill beg. and byt.

discussion

INTRODUCTION

updating7 we have, in(a) Increased our estimates ofof uranium ore from Internaland from Satellite countries;ur estimate of the growth of thestockpilendore advanced Soviet weaponson the basis of new weaponsdemonstrated in7 nuclear tests.

II. SOVIET URANIUM ORE PROCUREMENT

Mining and Millingquantitative Information Is availableand ore enrichment in Eastnew quantitative infonnatlon ison the other Satellites, notablyRumania and Bulgaria, but theof the estimates on theseconsiderably less than that on EastReliable Information on Eastgrades receivedovietas caused us to reassessof contained uranium inSatellite ore operations.taken together with newsuch as ground photographs ofmill near Bukhovo, Bulgaria,eneral increase ofyear's estimate for Czechoslovakia,and Rumania. The situation inobscure and we estimate only aWe have excellent documentaryon Hungarian uraniumwhichominaluntilhemicalplant will be in operationeliable information has beenIndicating that current orefrom China is still small

uantitative information on uvanlum ote production within the USSR remains scant so that any estimate of this activity must belo considerable uncertainty The USSR

Is known to have openedumber of new mining areas during recent years. However, it has not had to resort to extensive extraction of uranium from very low grade ores.that medium grade reserves are still the main source of supply for uraniumwithin the USSR. Ground photographs of the mill near Pyatigorsk In the Caucasus, built several years ago. indicate that thehave well constructed, modernmills. These facts and considerablesupporting information warrant aIncrease over the values In our previous estimates for Internal ore production,in more recent years.

The estimated cumulative ore production by country for the Soviet Bloc7 is tabulated below. While the reliability of these estimates varies greatly from country to country, actual total cumulativeIs believed to be not moremallerreater than thevaluehese estimated amounts are more than sufficient to support current estimates of fissionable material (See Table I)

Future Sources and Production. The US Geological Survey estimates that the Soviet Bloc has reserves of several hundred thousand tons of uranium In medium grade ore deposits and an even greater quantity in low gradeMany of these reserves are within the Soviet Union and China and could be ex ploitcd by present ore recovery methods. Thus expansion of ore procurement depends only on the need for increased production and the over-all cost of such an increase to the Bloc economy. By continuing present trends throughout the various countries of the Sovieteasonable estimate can be made of future ore procurement, though the possible error in estimation will be necessarily very large

here Is reliable information that orein East Germany will beginrobablyew hundredt tons per year. Thc level of prospecting in eastern Czechoslovakia suggests an intention to increase or at least maintain production in that country. The eastern part ofla an area where uranium is likely to be found, and the prospecting operation will probably be successful Prospecting In Bulgaria isow level, but currentplant capacity seems larger thanmine output. Judging by estimated re serves production In Bulgaria may decrease by

The USSR seems uninterested In Polish ore, which is believed lo be of low grade, and at one time attempted to break the Soviet-Polish purchasing agreement. prospecting continues in Rumania with new deposits expected to be discovered. plans for Hungarian expansion2 suggest this country mayajor producer Reliable information in dicates that China Is nowajor ore production program with the possible Implication that not all thc resulting ore will go to the USSR.

TABLE I

ATED .SOVIET Bj^MJRAK.UM ORB8

he USSR evidently considers Its internal known reserves Inadequate, since In 6 P. Ya. Antropov. Minister of Geology .and Mineral Conservation stated thatajor task of the Sixth Five-Year Plan is thefor radioactive ore and the expansion of reserves adequate to meet the needs of the Soviet Union." This latitude, taken In con-Junction with reliable Information lhatof several new mining areas has been started during the last two years, Indicates the USSR Intends to expand its internal ore production. In addition, the Soviets over the past several years have been emphasizingon better ore dressing methods for medium and low-grade ores,umber of scientific conferences have considered the problemocessing low-grade ores.

n summary, while there is good reason forecrease In East German ore production over the next ten years, theBloc production Is expected toanner similar to thatin Table I.

III. FISSIONABLE MATERIA! PRODUCTION ;

roduction. Theprogram has been re-analyzed on the basis of both old and some new information. Reliable information on2 values of the efficiencies of Soviet gaseous diffusion plants then under design, as well as some new information on the electric power supplied tolant areas, tends to reaffirm the cumulative valuesroduction used inn addition, the new information has increased our confidence in assessing the likely minimum stockpile. While many gaps in information still exist, we believe the margin of uncertainty in this estimate probably does not exceedr% of thealues in Table-II.rodueUon could begreater or smaller than rs lima ted.

See footnote i. page I. (or the position of the Director or Naval Intelligence.

since these figures are based on assumptions of future Soviet capabilities and plans, and some of the latter may not yet have been decided by the Soviets themselves.

EquivalentProductionTlie values In Table II forSoviet plutonium equivalentup8 are similar to thoseNTE7 The probablecumulative produeUon values isbe plus orrior toincreases to one-half to twice thoby

Plutonium Equivalent We estimate that the USSR willtoigh value onand willonsiderableproduce large quantities of It.on continued construction foratomic energy program at severalknown to be reactor sitesplutonium production will continueigh rate. We estimate thatpart of this Increase will comeproduction reactors, some of whichby-product power. It is likelyannounced power reactor program ofand Satellite countries will provideplutoniumy-product Inof all this Information theproduction during the periodhas been Increased over thatNIE Table II includesplutonium production from bothand power reactors.

t must be recognized that theabout future Soviet plans introduce large errors into production estimateshese uncertainties increase rapidly as the estimate is extended into the future,eaningful numerical range cannot be assigned to them after

The term "plutonium equivalent" is used because our method ol esumaUon doei not permit us to distinguish between. triiiuio or other reaelur produced Isotopes

igmiATEI^SOVIET PRODUCTION OP NUCLEAR* (OumulaiuK Amounts in Kilograms)

Plutonium Bquivalrni Kutimatwl Production (Rounded) '

50

y>

900

000

000

000

000

000

000

limiu of uncertainty and validity of those values

footnote '.or the positionfio Director of Naval Intelligence.

Non-weapon* of plutonium equivalent are expected to be negligible dunug Utc lime period of this estimate.

IV. SOVIET NUCLEAR

uclear Tests. The first Soviet nuclear test was conductedt the main Soviet proving ground in the vicinity ofotal ofests have been detectedanuary lttbsf

3

*| 3 Nuclear Tests The four detected3 demonstrated thai the1 Nuclear Tests.seeking lo supplement the medium yield

"j weapons tested1 by the addition of both

r

top ciicniiT

weapons and low-yteld. smaller diameter weapons JOEelaUvely poor thermonuclear device detonated onugust yielded about SOO

JOE. anderies investigatingdiameter weapons.

4 Nuclear Tests Seven explosions were detectedhe first,hich took place near Totskoye oneptember, we estimate to have been an airdropuclear weapon as partilitary exercise and weapons effects test. The rcmainini- six tests occurred at the main Soviet proving ground in the vicinity of Scmipalatinsk. All .teats of this seriesilotons or less.

t

MS rVKclear Tests. Five nuclearwere detected neptember, was the first Soviet nuclear explosion known to have occurred under water. The JOE est on 6 November yieldedilotons. and ia considered to have been the airburjteapon lied version of theevice, butuch lower efficiency than itsevelop-ment of great significance washeonovemberhermonuclear weapon which yieldedegatons *nd marked the effective beginningjJJ"_mul" megaton nuclear weapon capa-

6 Nuclear Tests.6 Soviet nuclear tests are particularly significant lests extended throughout the entire yearebruary untilecember, and nine nuclear explosions were detected We believe that thc majority of these detonations In-volved tests of thermonuclear devices and weapons. We estimate thateb ruary. probably Involved the testuclear warheadallistic missile ofautical mile range fj

OEnd JOEere probably tests related to thermonuclear weapons development; and JOEnd JOEere air burst testsegatons, respectively

19S? Nuclear Tests The first7as an air burst yield-mgT onanuary atEiles NNE. of Kapustin Yar The fact that the testelatively low air burst, was detonatednown Soviet guided missile range head, but not at the ballistic missile test range, and was completely removed from any previous nuclear testsuggests the testuclear warheadissile, probably an air-to-surface type.

The spring series was conducted nt the Scmipalatinsk test sitearch,5 kiloton air burstf

he

two air burst shots firedpril (JOEnd. were both presumed to be TN development testa JOEnpril was an air burstN device andieldT. It was apparently smaller and lighter than any previously tested Soviet TN device. The olher TN device lested in this periodan air burst fired is AprilT yield, it is notable for its low TN efficiency The mosl inter eatinghe spring series, however, was fired as an air burst onprilT

he fall phase or? series included' concurrent testing at Novaya Zemlya and Semipnlatlti.sk p

JOE 3B. which probably yielded less thanT.

OEeparate test conducted al Semlpalatinsk on 2flhe yield was in the range0 KT.f

The other two TN devices tested have not yet been fully evaluated, but it appears that the shots which were fired at Novaya Zemlya oneptemberctoberroduced yieldsT.

ests ofwere

detected, oneeptember,outh of Novaya Zemlya yieldingT and the other at Semlpalatinsk oneptember.T. JOEay have been associated with the naval maneuvers then underway in the Barents Sea. and was followed shortly thereafter0 KTshot fired south of Novaya Zemlya onctober.nsufficient information ts available to evaluate one test fired at Semi palatinsk on approximately eptember,

3

Soviet Nuclear Weapon DevelopmentNo direct information Is available on the specific nuclear weapon types in the USSR stockpile, however. Soviet nuclear tests have indicatedumber ol types of weapons have been tested and that suchtypes have been included In the present stockpile.

Future Soviet Weapon Development. We have no basis for estimates ol the rate of Soviet nucjear weapon development in the future. In general, we anticipate that the USSR will be capable of producing nuclear weapons of the range of yields andrequired for support of Soviet military requirements. After several years ofthese weapons could includeweaponsariety of sizes with yields ranging up to more thanT and very small fission weapons with yields of lessT.

Id

Heightield (KT)

JOBAug

JOE

JOKOct

JOK

Aug

JOESept

JOK

JOESep!

JOEOct

JOEOct

JOE II

JOEOct

JOE0el

JOEOct

JOE

JOEAug

JOESept

JOE ov 68

JOE ov55 Q0

eb

JOEMai

ar

JOEAug

JOE ug 50

JOK ISlipftM >

TC,

septoo.

top sucrtnT

Continued)

No^ Date Bural HpigliCYield ov 56

JOE ec 50

JOE an 57

JOE ar 57

JOE pr 57

JOE pr 57

pr 57

JOE pr 57

JOE pr 57

JOE Aug 57

JOE ept 57

J0E ept 67

JOE ept 57

ti null li'l1

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