NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE
Soviet Atomic Energy Program
CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE A3 SAMITOEO
Svbn^hyd bf ihr DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTEIUGCNCE
y lha UNITtD STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD4
firno'c woi prepared and agreed upon by Ihe Joinl Atomicllee Committee which it compelled1 of jepreienfpfivei of the Centrol intelligence Agency ond fhe intelligence orgunizoiiom of Ihe Deportments of Stoic. Defense, the Army, the Navy, lhe Air Force, AEC, NSA and FBI.
THE UNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD
Director of Inielligence and Research, Department of Slate Direcior, Defense Inielligence Agency
Ihe Atomic Energy Commrtifon Representative to ihe USIft Director of the National Security Agency
Iheirecior. Federol Duroou ofthe iirbjetl being ouliide of hrt jurisdiction.
THE SOVIET ATOMIC ENERGY PROGRAM'
To evaluate significant recent information and developments in thc Soviet Atomic Energy Program and to estimate die probable future course of that program to
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
ince publication of, Sna! evaluations of Soviet nuclear devices tested12 and re-evaluations of several earlier devices have led to some changes in thc estimate of Sovietweapon capabilities. While new evidence has led to no changes in tlie previous estimatemall upward revision of current and future plutonium-equivalent production has been necessary. The estimate has been extended tocn-ycar period to
Soviet Nuclear-Powered Submarine Program '
hree basic classes of nuclear-powered submarines ate known to have been constructed in the USSR and identified in an operational status. (Sec Tableumber of these submarines are probably undergoing modifications. The performance of tlie LENIN andof the nuclear submarines3 indicates that the Soviets have probably improved the reliability of their naval nuclearsystem. We believe, however, that thereeed for further improvement in their nuclear propulsion technology and operational reliability. )
' Kor lhe tifopit-d number ofNational IntcUifcoccdated alOftt.
Fissionable Material; Production
here arc three plutonium production sites in the USSH: these are located al Kyshtym in the Urals, and near Tomsk and Krasnoyarsk in Central Siberia. |
production estimates have taken intostatement in Aprilhat the Soviet Covcmmcnt"to discontinue now the construction of two new. big.for the production ofe have no basis, atfor ascertaining whether or not such construction has beenThe spread shown in Table VI for the yearsestimates with and without continuing construction offacilities, ft is estimated that even if reactordiscontinued, improvements in reactor operation will lead toin future annual plutonium-equivalent
are four gaseous diffusion isotope separationthe USSR: one at Vcrkh-Neyvinslc in die Urals, one north ofCentralhird at Angarsk in the Lake Baykal region,fourth which started operation recently, north of ZaoiemiyConsideration of all available information leads toproduction estimate (Sec Table VI) which is essentiallyas that shown in.)
c estimate lliat lhc probable Sovietforilograms and that it is unlikely that actualroduction is lessr morehere is no valid means, short of on-siteof dctcimining whether or not or by how much the USSR will carry out thc announcement by Khrushchev that the USSR has. in the next several years lo reduce substantially the productionor nuclearut-back has not been ^assumed in the projected estimate. We estimate that7 the
[will increase thc5 productionver theirroduction rate. )
Weapon Improvement!2 Tcifi
he Soviets significantly improved tlieir fission andweapon capabilitiesesult ofest series. However, the status of Soviet nuclear weapon technology, while highly sophisticated and apparently adequate for their present needs, is such that substantial advances can still be made through further development and testing. We believe that the Soviets arean active weapon development program. Theyontinuing requirement to testreaterhan has been evident since the Test Ban Treaty was initialled in
ission Weapons.he Soviets had developeddevicesariety of yields and physicaland employing boosting techniques in some cases.est scries provided the Soviets with improved fission weaponl
Iarge number of new devices were tested without employment of boosting. This perhaps indicates that the Soviets will limit their employment of boosting, thus, in their unboosled weapons gaining simplicityeduced requirement for tritium at
pageor (he view ml ihe Auburn ChiefJ Opct adorn (intelligence),of lhe Navy.
uly lOOi Ihree leiu had been delected.
the cost of some increases in vulnerability, fissionable materials, and size, and perhaps decreased yield.
However, possible undetected tests and f"
^Jniight have providedovicts with still smaller low-yield weapons.)
hermonuclear Develojtments.8 the Soviets hadariety of thermonuclear devices^
J In ltWl
thc Soviets greatly improved thc performance or their thermonuclear weapons and extended their yield experience.
) Future Weopon Dovel0pmerit ond Tesling
'6 or ine lest Ban Treaty in
Thcie areariety of useful tests Uie Soviets could now conduct undcFground both for research and development and for military purposes. Wc have no evidence that they have conducted tests banned by thc Treaty and do not believe Uiey will resort to such tests so long as the options of underground testing and formal treaty withdrawal arc open to them.
t is certain that the Soviet weapons laboratories haveacb'vc and arc creating new test requirements. Thcimprovements obtainable tlirougli underground testing together with tlie high rate of US undergroundtests3must be generating considerableon the Soviet leadershipore vigorous (est program tlian has been conducted lo date. Wc do not believe, however, dial research, development and military requirements alone arc now so pressing as to necessitate withdrawal from die Treaty or arc likely to become so in the near term. Hence, wc believe Oiat poliiical factors will be the major consideration inecision whether or not to wididraw. Ifecision is made by the Soviets,testing by die French or Chinese Communists miglit provide die pretext
f thc Soviets embarkeasonably extensive underground testing program involving yields up toT. they could achieve, during thc period of this
mprovements in Sovietdevices which could occur during thc period of thismore likely to emphasize the development ofwarheads rather dian
| Such developments might include ["
nderground testing and simulation techniques wouldacquisitionimited amount of weapon effects data,effect of ground shock upon hardened undergroundeffects of nuclear radiation upon materials or systemsOther
eflccTs data related to high-altitude effects and the full "eTFccti of electromagnetic pulse could not be obtained through underground testing. )
SOVIETOWERED SUBMARINE PROGRAM
hree basic classes of nuclear-powered sub-maiinei are known to hive been constructed In the USSR and identified in an operational status. (Seehe estimated characteristic! of these nuclcir submarines arc given in Table IV. The estimated top speed of Soviet submarines is In the vicinity ofnots. However, on onlypeed as high ainots reported and that forhort (Imp. Most observations in Iht higher speed ranges have actually been in the vicinitynots. All three classes aretoropulsion system similar to lhal used in thc nuclear Icebreaker, LENIN, including the turbo-electric drive system, but probablyonly one reactor. It is* evident that the submarines constructed prior1 probablyfrom problems similar to the3 scientific esehioges in the field of atomic energy, thc Soviets showed an extraordinary interest in US technology concerning conoilon, water purity, and leakage of reactor coolantsuggesting thai some nuclear submarineproblems may not yet be adequately solved.
he performance of the LENIN and several of the nuclear submarines3 indicates that the Soviets have probably improved theof at least some of their nuclearOf major importance was the undor-lce lisn'it from Murmansk to thc Pacific made by anclass submarine inased on this and other evidence, we estimate that theto conduct out-of-area patrols by nuclear sub-marines has been improved. We believe,that ihereeed for further improvement in their nuclear propulsion technology andreliability.
IS. The Northern Fleet nuclear submarine force is believed to contain about two-thirds of thc So-vict nuclear submarines. Including both missile carrying and aitacke have estimated that thc nuclear submarine force of the Pacific Fleet is composed of oneclass and eight "E* classhe Soviets are believed to be capable of fabricating the reactors needed tothe estimated construction program of eight to ten nudear submarines per year. Not all of the Soviet nudear submarines areumber are probably undergoingsystems and/or other modifies lions. This wit) probably reduce the production rate of new submarines until the modification program is
II. FISSIONABLE MATERIALS PRODUCTION Uranium
Reports received during thc past yearlittle change In Soviet mining and millingrations. Wc believe, therefore, lhal (he uranium ore procurement from both domestic and satellite sources is aboul the same at estimated in. and in terms of equivalent uranium metal, is now0 metric tons per year.etric tons have been procured throughnd cumulative production shouldetric Ions byf the estimated production schedule is maintained. Theseare subject to an error of plus or minusercent.
Uranium metal and oilier feed materials are produced at Elektrotlal near Moscow, at Clazov. just west of tbc Urals, and at Novosibirsk inSiberia. There is no reason to believe that lhe rale of production has changed significantly. Sc-
* For the eiiimiied number of Soviet submarine! see Ns-Uonsl InteUireoee
Soviet Nuclear Submarines
vict uranium output ii considered more ihan ample lo meet (he estimated needs of tlicir atomic energy program.
vailable Information since publication of3 continues to indicate that there are three plutonium production sites in the USSR; these are located at Kyshtym in the Urals, and near Tomsk and Krasnoyarsk in Central Sibciia.
Station' have not yet been completed and Tomsk may therefore be the site where tbe Soviethas decided "to discontinue oow theof two new, big. atomic reactors for the production, ofeferred to in4 by Klirushchev, arc located.
rajnoyorrt Site data on the Krasnoyarsk atomic energy complex indicates slightly higherpowerhere than previously estimated. The re-analysis, |
lis consistenturrent totalthertnal power levelega-watti. Theumulative production of plutonium-equivalent is estimated to be^
|and current annual production is prob-
Additional site information,electric power input data and genera!on Soviet advances in reactor andsystem lechnology, indicates that cun enpower levels at Kyshlym arethan previously estimated, the4 being0 megawatts.of plutonium-equivalent productionbased on (his re-analysis of sitea total4 cumulative value of about
Current annual production is
The Soviet plans for thePowerisclosed at theConference on the Peaceful Uses ofcalled foi GOO megawatts of el- rtcThese plant and otherhotography, lead to an estimatecurrent total reactor power level is aboutThis resultslulonium-equlvalent productionofAnnual,of plutonium-equivalent is probably|
J It is likely that all the duaHpurpose* reactors projected for the "Siberian Atomic Power
" Dual-purpoeepaoouctroa irmoi which ta ah*ind equipped (oi lhe mihuiion of the uy-pimluctgenerally in Ihn lomi of elecliM power generation
ufu'fl Production. Fuiure ptoductionhave taken into consideration Khrushchev's statement in4 that the Soviethad decided "to discontinue now the cor,-siructton of two new. big, atomic reactors for the production ofe cannot identiiy with certainty the two reactors to whichlelened. although they may be located at Tomvk. If ihese teactors arc not completed, tlie
resulting future plutotuum-equ'valcnt estimate, which inciudei allowance for unproved reactor operation, ij the lower figure ihown in Table VI for thcowever, if the Soviets complete and operate theie two reactors, expand production with additional reactors and accomplish normal process improvements, wo believe iheir cumulative production will reach the higher value shown inlutonium produced asfrom operation of nuclear power andreactors is included In tbe estimate. We expect that this will amount tol"
t is cslimatcd that even ii reactoris discontinued, improvements In reactorwill lead to Increase] in future annual pluio-nium-equivalent production rates. L
our large gaseous diUusion isotopecomplexes arc in operation in thc USSR: one at Verldi-Neyvinsk in the Urals, one noith of Tomsk In Centralhird at Angarsk in tbe Lake Baykal region, and thc fourth north of Zaozemly near Krasnoyarsk. T
" prereal size of Ihe Soviet gaseous diUusion complex also tends to indicaterocuctiou by the ultracentrifugc and olher methods' ise estimate that by
increase thccapacityercent over their
t is not known how tho Soviets have arranged the cascades at each of their gaseous diffusion plants and whether oriven site actually producesnriched uranium. We estimate4 annual production of each site in terms ofequivalent, topETP} as shown in Table V.
M4 ANNUAL SITEQUIVALENT TOP
S[i* Verkh-NcrviAsk Tomsk Angaisk Zaoiernir
vailable information leadsestimate which is essentially the same as that made in. Thc estimate of total Soviet cumulative production of uranium enriched toontent includesquivalent of materials produced at lesserEstimated weapon test and non-weapon usesspecially for nuclear poweredhave been subtracted from the estimated cumulative production to give the amount ofercentvailable for weapons use as shown to Tabic VI. It is estimated that Sovielroduction for4ilograms. It is unlikely that actual Sovietroduction could
be lessilogrami or moreilograms.4
nhrushchev stated tliat "The Soviet Government look the followingn the next several years to reduce substantially the productionor nuclearhere is no valid means short of on-site inspection of determining whether or not or by how much the USSR will carry out the announcement byThe estimate of future production at the four gaseous diffusion plants il based on gradually increasing efficiencies as older' plant sections arc modified, and on estimates of future power use as deduced from reports of power plant construction and published Soviet plans and statistics. We have assumed that no new Soviet gaseous diffusion plant construction would be started In thc future, but the8 plants at Verkh-Neyvinsk and Tomsk would bc modified to improve efficienciesevidence indicates that tlie gaseous diffusion plant at Angarsk will attain full capacity4 and the plant at Zaozerniy would reach full capacityhere is no basis for estimating whether or notxpansion will occur at any of thc four locations, although Soviet plans call forelectric power production in theseareas.
utback docs occur, we believearge proportion most probably would be taken in the shutdown of the oldest buildings at Verkh-Neyvinsk andniform reduction of process press uio In the older, less efficient equipment at boti Verkh-Neyvinsk and Tomsk. ProducUon at thc more efficient Angarsk plant will probablyunchanged. If the entire Zaozerniy plantoperational, there wouldet increase
'The AatlltlBl Chief of Navalepartment of the Navy, beUevei (Jul (he lower Unit ol the estimated value foe theroduclion5 IsaeaHy correct. IUc.it (hemuPieienl to nippott thcigher mimilaUve total would reoiilie.
emur Equi wattnt
ESTIMATED SOVIET FISSIONABLE MATEftULS PRODUCTION (Cumulative Production in Kilogrami. Hounded)
annual production even though the older sections at Tomsk and Verkh-NeyvinsV: were shutdown.
Margins' of Error
vailable in foe ma-ion indicate! that the miin domestic Soviet sources of lithium, concentrate! are Zavatlnsk neat Shflka in Chita Oblast, the Tadzhik SSU and the Kazakh SSn. Chinese Communistto the USSR of lithium ore concentrate!2 have accounted Ior an estimated one-half of the total lithium available to the Soviet atomic energy program. Sovietindicated discovery of important lithium-bearing ore deposits7 oo thc Kola Peninsula between Lake Potosoicro and Voron'ye. but their precise location! are unknown.
rom Sovietand samples ol enriched lithium, wc believe that the Soviet! hadith variousup to aboutercent3 onward Production scale recovery ofsing thc lithium amalgam-lithium hydroxide piocess may have starteduspect lithium plant at Nizhnyaya Tura1dditionalofay have becomewrv.ri7 and early
ince the Test Bao Treaty wai signed, the USAEDS has detected only three probable Soviet nuclear explosions; Ihese occurred at the Semi-palalinsk underground test site onarch.ay.f the test devices were tamped in granite, (he Erst two would have had yields of aboulT and theield ofT Q
ission Weapon Deoelopmenlsa the Soviets had developedariety of yields and physicsi
dimensions, employing booiting techniques in some
estimated that die cumulative pro-ducfion of highly enrichedould have beenilograms by the endhis value could be as low0 kilograms or as highilograms.
III. SOVIETAR WEAPONS PROGRAM
Weapon Development Program
ince publication of. Gnalof low-yield devices tested2 have become available. Moreover, continuing analysis hasIn some change! in previous estimates of the charact mis ticsumber of other Soviet test devices, both fit non and therinonuelear. All of these changes are reflected In the followingas well as in Tables I. II. and III and Annex: A.
These probablybeenun type weapons, butof such designs have been detected andare not known to be presently io
lhe Soviet active inventory.
illion Weapon Testsf thc test! detected by the USAEDS, about half (at least1 andre believed lo have been tests of fission devices.robable that SOrne additional low-yield tests at Semipalatlnsk were not detected by thc USAEDS.
believe (hat tbe Soviets probably have dcvel-oped small fission weapons of very low kiloton and possibly sub-kiloton yields.
2 test scries Bcne.allyp,ovMled the Soviets with improved fission weapon capabilities-the series also included some repetitions, perhaps with moderate improvements, of designs tested In previous scries. Thereonsiderable emphasis on testing new devices f"
significant to note Iliat although boosting was used extensively in thesearge number of new devices were tested that did not employ boosting. This perhaps indicates that the Soviets will limit their employment of boosting, thus, in their un-boosted weapons gaining jimplicilyeduced requirement for tritium at the cost of some increases ui vulnerability, fissionable materials, and size, and perhaps decreased yield. It is difficult to assess thc -nupose of some of the tests involving older designs
with Uranium Tampers-.test series, the Soviets exhibited ainterest in unbooited.r-
^jThese would beprimarily to weapon systems whereand tritium savings arc more important than teductions in weight and diameter. It should be noted that plutonium of fairly recent maQidacturc was used in some of these tests, suggesting that design improvements rather than proof tests of stockpiled devices was the intcot.
Soviets alsoontinuingin developing boosted,!
have been tested to satisfy unidentified 3evclopmcnt requirements or as physics experiments; and some were proof or effects tests.
19G1 only one Soviet device with f" Jhad been identified. Q
Four device lested12 were similar in design. (
htrmonaiA ear Weapon Primaries. Thehave developedandarietyIt is difficult to identify specific 6ssionprototypes ol tlic thermonuclear primaries.
fourth, detonated on the surface of tlic wateTu. the traditional naval test area south of Novaya Zemlya,
was probably an effects or weapons system
robably thc greatest advance in fission weapon teclmology identified in the testumber of boosled,P
hermonuclear Development,, .
SO. Thermonuclear Weapon TrnJU. Ofints delected duringeries,half were thermonuclear devices with yields tanging from about ISO kiJotons to SS megatons. Analysis indicates that the Soviets haveighly competent thennom-elear weaponwhich, in some areas, differs markedly from that of the VS.
Sovtcts have ever used ground-based inStru
I mentatton for H* .ir-burrtikely they rdy on airborne uZZ^Si con. We have no ev,dence of the type ofused for the underwater tests In the
eapons Eflects. Despite thcur knowledge of Soviet instrumentation prac-Ike.know from analysis of their effectsthat tliey have acquired effects data ofscope and quality on air. surface, underwater and underground bursts to be adequate for plan-ning and eaecuting most military operations.
Test Imlrumenlalion and Nuclear effects.hotographic coverage through0 of the Scmipalatinsk Proving Cround revealedevidence of tower shots and ground-burst craters indicatingumber of die tests held there have been instrumented for weaponsinformation and for weapon effects. Some of the caters may have been directly or indirectly associated with possible instrument arrays, further indicating Soviet interest in low-yield effects testing.
ew air burst weapons In mo yield rangeT tested at Semlpalatinskere used to obtain direct Information on the effects of high-yield weapons on emplaced militaryand structures. Sincehey havearge number of airburst tests with yields up toT at Novaya Zemlyathe limitaboni on Instrumentation at Novaya Zemlya, it is likely that from these tests the Soviets obtained measurements of basic blast, thermal, and nuclear radiation effects which would enable them more accurately to scale up the lower yield effects data obtained at Semipalatinsk. Theystilt need additional data on certain special areas such as high-altitude effects and effects of high-yield near-surface bursts.
12 the Soviets conducted seven nuclear tests at high altitudes. These tests ranged la yield from about one KTT and In burst altitude from aboutilometersilometers. Two of these events (bothere prob-
vertical launches from the Kapustin Yax range-head The others (twohreenvolved complex multiple-missile launchings dom Kapustin Yar into the Sary Shagan area.
nalysts of12 multiple-missile tests indicates lhal they were directlyto development of an anti-missile system. We do not believe that ihey were designed toinformation on nuclear kill mechanisms on nosecones under conditions of re-entry; rather, the location of thc various missiles relative to the nuclear detonations suggests that they wcroprimarily to obtain data on the effectj of fire-ball and nuclear debris cloud blackout on radar and communication systems. In addition, instrumentation associated with these tests, as well as the instrumentation on the vertical firings from Kapustin Yar. probably permitted the Soviets to collect data on the phenomena resulting from high-altitude nuclear explosions, including someapplicable to nuclear kill mechanisms.
Future Weapon Development ond resting
hc status of Soviet nuclear weaponswhile highly sophisticated and In most respects apparently adequate for their present needs, is such that significant advances can still be made through further development and testing. We believe that the Soviets are continuing an active weapon development program. In the course ol this program they will certainlyontinuing requirement to conduct testsreater rate than that demonstraled since the Test Ban Treaty was initialed
urrent Test Status. We have detected only three Soviet tosts in thc twelve months since thc initialing of lhe Test Ban Treaty Inhere areariety of useful tests the Soviets could now conduct underground both for research and development and for military purposes. We have no evidence that ihey have conducted lests banned by the treaty and do not believe they will resort to such tests so long as thc options of under-
treaty withdrawal arc
ground testing and forms open lo them.
l is certain that thc Soviet weaponshave remained active and arc creating new test requirements. There arcariety of useful tests lhc Soviets could now conductboth for research andnd for military purposes. This fact, together with the high rale of US undergroundtests3ulybe generating considerable pressures on the Soviet leadershipigorous test program. Nevertheless, wc do not believe that research, development and militaryalone are now so pressing as towithdrawal from the Trealy or are likely to become so in the near term. Hence, we believe that political factors willajor consideration inecision whether or not to withdraw. Although an atmospheric test by the French or Chinese Communists would not be likely in itself to lead to withdrawal, it might provide the pretext. We believe that the Soviels can beechnical and operational state of readiness to resumenuclear testing soon afterolilical decision to do so.
We have no firm Intelligence on current Soviet activities related to the use of nuclearfor peaceful purposes, nor have we been able to identify any Soviet tests held for this purpose. Soviet work with massive conventional high crplosive charges would provideeaceful uses program, and il is possible that some of thc Semtpalatinsk tests also provided such data If they were not. In fact, held primarily for that purpose.
TossilAe Developments ThroughTesting. If tlie Soviets embark on aextensive underground test programyields up toT,|
Improvements in Soviet fisiion deviccioccur during thc period of this estimatelikely to be in the direction ofhan
urther development! might alio occurarea
characteristic! ol men weapon* are dfficurFloat present. However, thc tacticalwould probably limit development to_ the subkiloton or low kilo!on yield range f_
'atsibU Developments with Unrestricted Testing Piobably one of the strongestfor further Soviet nuclear testing is in thc area of high-altitude effects of nuclear weapons. Previous Sovici high-altitude tests, while highly sophisticated In their missile involvement andwell instrumented, lacked some of theof tests designed to give detailedon warhead kill mechanisms aad en communications-blackout effects.
The Soviets have had no high-yield, ncir-surface testing experiencec have no specific knowledge of Soviet low-yield atmoiphcHc teals designed to provide information about thc effects of electromagnetic pulse or giound shock on hardened missile launch sites.
None ol the weapon effects tests discussed above could be conducted legally under the current Test Ban Treaty.imited amount cfoled to some of these problems can be obtained by underground tests For example, th* effect of ground shock upon hardened underground structure, the effects of nuclcai radiationaterials or system components, and the nuclear ladiation spectra of various weapons designs could all be measured by undergiound testing
believe the Soviets probably wouldhave opcialional weapon tests of newwhich Incorporate nuclear design!duringest series. Nuclearsystem tests could not be conductedrestrictions imposed by the Test Dan Treaty.
unrestricted leillno; the Soviets could
I Specifically,developments of their present basichey might be able to achieve, during the period
limitednderground leilj, nocould probably be achieved for the thermonuclear weapons inaving yields greaterew megatons.
Weapons Systems ond Deploymenl
Our estimate of the fission and thermonuclear warheads which the Soviet Union may have in stockpile now and in thc immediate future isinable III presentsof the warheads which wc believe areassigned to thc various Soviet mhsilcs and indications of potential warheads which might be assigned to these missiles on the basis of12 test series.
We beheve that most of the nuclear weapons in the current Soviet stockpile arc based onsubjected to prototype testing8 or earlier.
[most of live new weapons baied oni itiTrare probably only now beginning to enter stockpile.
uclear Storage in East European Satellites. We still have no firm evidence of nuclear warhead storage facilities in the east European Satellites, although persistent reports of the pretence ofweapons, particularly in East Cermany. have been received. Such storage would bawiih Ihe factors of stockpile growth,deployment, and readiness requirements. In addition lo tactical aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons, Soviet forces In Eastern Europe are equipped with free rockets and short range missiles which are known touclearand there is evidence that exercisessimulated nuclear strikes have been conducted by these forces. If permanent nuclear storagedo not eiist in Eastern Europe, unitsa nuclear strike role would have to bcfiom forward stockpile sites or from the regional miliiary stockpile sites along thc western border of the USSR.
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