Created: 5/25/1974

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USSRi Soviet scientists are conducting research on isotope separation by lasers that could lead in tineew, economical method of producing enriched uranium for fueling nuclear power reactors and for making nuclear weapons. Soviet scientists have already successfully separated isotopes of nitrogenaser ruthod and may have also separated uranium isotopes by this method.

If ourrent projections can beaser system would almost certainly be cheaper and lens complex than separating isotopes by gaseous diffusion. It probably would alao be cheaper and simpler than gas centrifuge methods. ethod mighteans for small countries to produce fuel xor power reactors as wall as to make nuclear materials for weapons.

In addition, at least two major institutes of the USSR Academy of Sciences are involved in programs on isotope separation by lasers.

'these institutes are specifically engaged

ranium separation research, an impressive number of scientists at these institutes is working in areas related to laser isotope separation. The separation of fissionableuch as uranium would be the most profitable application of this work.

It is likely that these institutes will be able to demonstrate the laboratory feasibility ofuranium isotopes by lasers within the next year or two. given the backgrounds of the scientistsend the resources available to them. At least five moraased on current technicalwould probably be required to develop ansignificant system in pilot plant form.

4 Central Intelligence Bulletin

Original document.

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