287. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1 2
- Cape Keraudren
In the attached letter (Tab A), Glenn Seaborg reports that the U.S. and Australian Atomic Energy Commissions believe that continuation of the joint study on a nuclear harbor at Cape Keraudren in Western Australia is no longer warranted. The reason for this decision is that the industrial participant, the Sentinel Mining Company, has decided, after re-evaluation of the economics of the iron ore located there, not to participate.
The Australian government requested clearance this afternoon to release the attached press statement (Tab B) at 9:00 am tomorrow, Saturday, Washington time, announcing the termination of the project. State would like to advise the Australian Embassy by 5:00 pm today of our decision. The press release has been cleared by State and the AEC.
There is clearly no basis for continuing the project in the absence of interest by both the Australian government and the Sentinel Mining Company. The prompt release of the decision and the reasons for it at the request of the Australian government should prevent it from becoming an issue in connection with Prime Minister Gorton’s possible visit next week.
The press release makes the general future commitment that: “However, the United States and the Australian Atomic Energy Commissions continue to be interested in the possible use of nuclear explosions for harbour construction and will therefore continue their review of the practicability of applying this technology to other possible harbour sites in the area.”
I recommend that you approve the press release.
Approve press release [Nixon checked]
Disapprove press release
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 200, Agency Files, Nuclear Testing, Joint Nuclear Testing. Confidential. “Approve press release” is checked. The letter at Tab A is published but not the press release at Tab B.↩
- Kissinger’s forwarded Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Seaborg’s March 26 memorandum notifying the President that the Cape Keraudren PNE project had been canceled.↩