QUESTIONS ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS TESTS AND FOURTH COUNTRIES (DATED 26 MARCH 1957)

Created: 4/3/1957

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

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rRCRA?IDOM FOB THE DISAPJRrCNT STAFF

SUBJECT: Questions on Nuclear Weapons Testa and Fourth Countries (dated

I, Is testing necessary to tho dovelornent of stoVc or

1. Tho question posedistinction between thofor testing atonic or fission weapons on tho ono hand and the nocessity for testing hydrogen and advanced typos of fission weapons on the othor. ountry possessing kilogram quantities of weapon-grade fissionablo material, tGchnlcol know-how ond tho motivation could produce ond stockpile, without testing, llaitod numbers of low-yield, inefficient atonic weapons. weapons conpnrnble to tho Heroshlna bomb)* roooduro would rosult in extrenely inefficient use of fissionable mterials and would be ochieved nt considerable cost to tho potential of tho woopon stockpile, Tosting In any event would boidera'l iiiqhly doMrcbleh sci^ritiflc Ond BUltOiyntn of tho govorncent. For the developrsont of hydrogen weapons and ateede weapons of advoncod doslgn testingocoaulty.

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the scientific capability. Industrial capability,rj.;j,uclear weapon? How sophisticated

2. ation could clandestinelyission weapon. Without testing this would be inefficient and of low yield. weapons would rcquiro more elaborate ond extensive experimentation and therefore could not be developed clandestinely. Koto; Tho assumed apabilities would have to include the possession of quantities ofmaterials above and beyond that which nust be accounted for under bilateral agreements requiring strict accountability of materials.

it bo possible for fourth countries to produce -irifl,as ths rsault of de-slrm cnn weapons specificationsthemountry curTontly^possosalng nuclear know-how?_assistoncQ were provided?

(a) fourth country could produce and stockpile advanced atomic or hydrogen weapons under the first assumption If the countryupply of weapons-grade critical material and tho scientific ond technical capacity to utilize the information given.

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There are two possible definitions of

Technical ussiatunco conning ccnpletoly equipring the fourth country with plants for fabrication as vol! oaand technical porsonnel, in which case the fourth country could rrcdueo and stockpile weapons, assuolng tho availability of woapono-grade critical cnterial.

Toohnioal assistance conning tho privisiwi of kn'wledgoablo technical and scientific pors-nnol only, in which coso the fourth country could only acoomrlish waorons production and stockpiling if itupply of weapons-^jrodo critical mtorlal and the scientific end technical capacity to utilize the assistance given.

TV. what countries, other than tha USSR. UK and PS have thend cotlvation tonuclear woorc-ns rrogmn an* tho stcckrllos Within rho hOfty dgcode.

respect toountry should possessof fissionable oaterlals under Its owe control, onpetect

solentific and teohnical personnel, an advanced Industrialsubstantial public financial resources, in order to develop aprograr. and stockpile of sufficient siso to be militarily No fourth :oil of these. countries, however, which possess one or more of thesewhich could, if they wore prepared to ooke the necessarytheir economy or in their relations with other countries, engage inweapons program.

5. With respect to motivation, there are ijovornnent loaders, public officials, or private eltizons almost overywhere who seein the possession of nuclear weapons. There ore also people almost everywhere who oppose inaugurationuclear weapons prograr.. In some countries the leaders would almost certainlyrogran if they poflsoaood the capability: in other countries considerable capability exists, but there is no agreement that tho sacrifices and risks should be undertaken. In all cases, the motivation touclear weapons program would be greatly reducedIf not eliminatedby an effective system of international control,

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now attesting this or appear likely to do so within the next few years.imited prog ran almost certainly would not permit tho developmentuclear weapons capability which would be militarily effectiveajor war either for offansive or defensive purposes. Possession of atomic weaponsubstantial number of countries based on domestic production seems likely to occur, if at all, in some period of time beyond ten years.

11, Within the Soviet Bloc, the only country which appears likely toapability to produce atomic weapons is Ccomunist Ohina. It does not nowufficient number of quaLificd personnel or the capacity to produce the needed equipment for development. esearch reaotor, built with Soviet assistance, is scheduled for completion The USSR is assisting in the training of Chinese scientists in basic nuclear physics and in the adaptation of atomic energy to poaceful purposes, Chinese uranium resources would be sufficient toeapons program. We believe that, in view of tha extremely limited progress so far made. Communist China will be unable independently to develop on atomic weapons program within the next five years. In the course of the next decade, however, they may get enough technical and material assistance from the USSR to makeubstantial nuclear weapons production and stockpiling program.

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inducements wculd dissu.yie ^tontial 1'ourth countriesa nuclear weapons program?

13* The nost obvious, and probably the only effective,would be either (a) implementation of an effective international control system, or (b) provision of nuclear weapons to fourth countries under conditions permit ting their emergency use. It should be noted, with respect tohat the condition which most nations would seek would eo limit the control exercised by the suppiiar as to increase the opportunities for uncontrolled and irresponsible use of these weapons, with its attendant dangsr for world peace.

offect would the follcnlnj; possible US-UK-USSRon fourth country weapons development t

limitation on allowable contribution to world-wide fall-out}

limitation cn number of testsj

limitation on total yield;

test limitation on yield of individual detonations! and e. test imitation combining some or all of tho above?

lU. We assume that fourth countries would abide by the conditions ofrilateral agreement. However, test limitations of the type described would have little effect upon the fourth country problem. Presumably the testing requirements of cany of these countries would not be substantial, since they would not be involved in the development of advanced atomic and thermonuclear woapons. Unless tha maximumyield were extremely low, most countries would be permitted to make such tests as were within their capability to attempt.

VIII. What TfOulJ boffect cn fourthfa^reoncnt to cease testing entirely?

Hi. See paragraph 1.

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