FRENCH NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM

Created: 9/18/1958

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CURRENT INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY

8

FRENCH NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM

now may have the capability of exploding adevice of nominal yield at any time, and Intensive prep* arationsest have been reported recently. Variousand prestigeimpel the De Gaulleto attemptest before thectober deadline announced by the United States and Britain for the suspension of nuclear weapons testing.

A French nuclear test had previously not been expected muchlthough France has enough plutonlum toominal-yield device prior toctober. Untiltechnical reasonscompletion of chemical separation plant facilities,

and Instruments for deriving useful scientific dataest were not expected to be available

The German scientist who beads research at the Jointesearch Institute ln Alsace is

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Reggafle (oasis) in the Sahara. The Institute's research la ostensibly confined toballistics and but the results are applicable to nuclear weapons.

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PART II

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FOR RELEASE 0ATE.JUL2IG2

CURRENT INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY* STJMMARY8

officials havethat France Is "the only country in the world" which, because its nuclear program is on the verge of testing, cannot afford totesting along with thehe UK, and the USSR. Foreign Minister Couve de Murvllle has reiterated Paris' Interest in discussionshole rather thanuclear test ban.

French officials also probably consider that an early test would favorably affect the prospects for French-German cooperation. Although West German spokesmen have denied that nuclear matters wereby De Gaulle andin theireptember meeting, it Is nevertheless evident that the enormous costational nuclear weapons programtrong incentive

for closer cooperation.

On the domestic political scene, an early test would be important for the government's prestige not only in connection with the constitutionalscheduled foroptember, but also for the Novemberelections. Inest would strengthen De Gaulle's handis army elements in Algeria which are still not unconditloria^lyobe-dient to him. rmmtaaaaamtmmaaa,mmm^-

PART II

NOTES^'AND COMMENTS

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