ESTIMATED IMMINENCE OF A CHINESE NUCLEAR TEST

Created: 10/15/1964

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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MEMORANDUM FOR: Deputy Director of Central Intelligence

Imminencehinese

Nuclear Test

This memorandum is for your information.

pecial National Intelligence Estimate issued in4 it was concluded that, onhinese nuclear test probably would not occur before the end At that time available information indicated that the Chinese nuclear test site near Lop Nor was under active construction and could be readyuclear test by about On the other hand, continuing construction in3 at the only known Chinese Plutonium production siterobable startup of the reactor at that site in This in turna date aroundor first availability of sufficient Plutoniumuclear test. Although neither theof an earlier startup of this plant nor theof an unidentified plutonlum production facility

could be wholly discounted, it was felTJunllkely that

plutonlum would be available CI

SUBJECT: Estimated Imminencehinese Nuclear Test

completion of site construction suggestsest is scheduled in the fairly near future since it vould not be desirable to establish the parameters of an initial nuclear experiment much in advance of the test.

We no longer believe that evidence on plutonlum availability Justifies the on-balance Judgment reached in We believe the Lop Nor evidence indicatesest could occur at any time. In any case weest will occur sometime within tho next six to eight months.

ndications Relatinghinese Nuclear Tost in the Near Future

i

IS)

/rev

Date

Indications Relatinghinese Communist Nuclear Test ln the Near Future

c.

1. In addition to the evidence on the physical preparations of the test site, the following items are pertinent to the question of the imminencehinese Communist nuclear test:

2. The principal argument against an early nuclear test Is the fact that we have no conclusive evidence that sufficient fissionable materialest Is available at the present time.

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MEMORANDUM FOR: Deputy Director of CentralChinese Atomic Energy Prograa

memorandum is for your information.

The Chinese Communists have an atomic energy program directed at the production of nuclear weapons at the earliest possible date. Facilities for almost all phases of the program, from basic research through nuclear testing, have been identified.

3- Basic research is being conducted in laboratories of ti Institute of Atomic Energy of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.'

h. Uranium for the Chinese atomic energy program is being obtained from domestic sources; the principal ones are located in the Tien Shan lfountalng of Sinfciang and in the Weng Yuan area ofChina.

CRET

CKiMSI-JliM

tion capacity to permit the development of more thanoken nuclear program.

Original document.

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