286. Memorandum From the Director of the Office of International Scientific and Technological Affairs (Pollack) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1 2
- NSSM 25: Cape Keraudren Nuclear Excavation Project and the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water
As Chairman of the Ad Hoc NSC Study Group, I submit the enclosed report in response to National Security Study Memorandum 25 of February 20, 1969.
I should emphasize that there exists among the agencies and offices involved significant differences in viewpoint regarding the restrictions of the Treaty and acceptable courses of action for carrying out peaceful nuclear cratering explosions under the Treaty. Accordingly, many statements in this report do not have the specific concurrence of all agencies and offices involved in its preparation. The report endeavors to present the differing views without prejudice.
The Cape Keraudren project is but one segment of a larger problem of the need for a more clearly defined relationship between the peaceful nuclear explosions program and the Limited Test Ban Treaty. The fundamental differences that exist within the Executive Branch will arise again, as they have in the past, in essentially the same form when the next Atomic Energy Commission nuclear excavation experiment is considered.
International Scientific and
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, General Files on NSC Matters, Box 15, NSC–U/Sec Committee Misc. Memos. Secret. The appendices to the attached report are not published.↩
- Pollock forwarded the report prepared in response to NSSM 25 and highlighted the need for a more refined definition between the peaceful nuclear explosions program and the LTBT.↩
- The State Department Legal Adviser points out that this formulation is incomplete if intended to be used to lay the basis for interpreting the Treaty to permit peaceful explosions if on-site inspection is provided. The Treaty’s preamble as well as statements of President Kennedy and other Executive Branch spokesmen made clear that the concern about radioactive contamination from testing was just as important an impetus to the Treaty as arms control considerations. (In fact, the testimony of Administration spokesmen in support of the Treaty pointed out again and again that it would not significantly inhibit US nuclear arms development.) These considerations cannot be left out of any accurate estimate of the scope available for interpretation of the Treaty.↩