35+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Nuclear Proliferation and Accidents

Jun 7, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 7, 2021 – On June 7, 1981, 40 years ago today, Israel attacked and partially destroyed Iraq’s Osirak nuclear research reactor at Tuwaitha, using U.S. supplied F-15 and F-16 aircraft to carry out the attack.  Ten Iraqi soldiers and one French engineer were killed during the airstrike.  Apparently, the Israeli raid took President Ronald Reagan and his advisers completely by surprise, yet their predecessors, including President Jimmy Carter, were aware of the strong possibility of an attack.

Jun 18, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 18, 2020 – American and South Korean assessments of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il shifted during the course of negotiations in the 1990s over the North’s controversial nuclear program, according to recently declassified documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive at The George Washington University.

May 15, 2020 | Briefing Book
Top Secret Chernobyl:The Nuclear Disaster through the Eyes of the Soviet Politburo, KGB, and U.S. Intelligence Volume 2 by Svetlana Savranskaya

Apr 10, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., April 10, 2020 - The NPT is appropriately acknowledged as a critical means of protecting global security against the danger of unchecked nuclear proliferation.  But the treaty has had its detractors – and not just among rogue states but governments in good international standing – as a new posting of declassified documents from the nongovernmental National Security Archive shows. 

Dec 5, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., December 5, 2019 – Cooperative threat reduction by the U.S., Ukraine, and the Russian Federation successfully eliminated the world’s third largest nuclear weapons force in the 1990s – the ICBMs, strategic bombers, and nuclear warheads left in Ukraine when the Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991 – according to declassified documents from all three countries published today by the National Security Archive.

Sep 22, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., September 22, 2019 – An unidentified flash on 22 September 1979 in the far South Atlantic had a “90% plus” probability of being a nuclear test, according to a CIA finding from later that year. The document, among others uncovered recently through archival research, adds significant weight to the argument that the flash, detected by a U.S. VELA satellite, was not a natural event, as White House science advisers later insisted. 

Aug 15, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 15, 2019 – Documents from the highest levels of the Soviet Union, including notes, protocols and diaries of Politburo sessions in the immediate aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, detail a sequence of cover-up, revelation, shock, mobilization, individual bravery, and bureaucratic turf battles in the Soviet reaction, according to the “Top Secret Chernobyl” e-book published today by the National Security Archive.

Jul 16, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., July 16, 2019 – The latest addition to the award-winning publications series The Digital National Security Archive provides a trove of important historical documentation on global nuclear proliferation, including numerous new details and insights into the clandestine programs of India, China, Israel, and other would-be nuclear states. 

Jun 11, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 11, 2019 – “Launch-on-warning,” a feature of U.S. nuclear warfighting strategy since the late 1970s, has frequently faced intensive criticism because of the high risk of accidental launches and uncontrollable outcomes, including massive casualties, according to recently declassified records posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.

Apr 9, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 10, 2019 — South Korea’s bid to acquire a nuclear weapons capability posed a complex challenge to the Ford administration during the mid-1970s, according to recently declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University. 

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