288. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to Acting Secretary of State Richardson1 2


  • Relationship of Plowshare to Limited Test Ban Treaty

The President has directed that a study be conducted of all options, together with their respective advantages and disadvantages, for reconciling a US program of peaceful nuclear explosions with our obligations under the Limited Test Ban Treaty.

I believe a study of this nature might best be conducted under the auspices of the Under Secretaries Committee. A basic discussion of this subject was contained in the response to NSSM 25 concerning the Cape Keraudren nuclear excavation project in Australia (Tab A). This study was completed on March 22, but never was considered by the NSC Review Group or the NSC because the Cape Keraudren Project was abandoned. The NSSM 25 response therefore will be of considerable assistance to the Under Secretaries Committee in preparing its study, should you agree that the Under Secretaries Committee undertake this task.

I would be grateful if you could provide me with your views on this project at an early date so that I can inform the President of the expected date of completion of the study and the forum in which it will be conducted.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, General Files on NSC Matters, Box 15, NSC/USC Memos-UN Secretary’s Committee. Secret. At Tab A was the attachment to Document 286. In a May 23 memorandum, Richardson replied that even before the NSSM 25 exercise began Rogers had approved just such a study and that an interagency group under Pollock’s direction was working on the project. (Ibid.)
  2. Kissinger noted that the President had directed that a study be conducted of the available options for reconciling the U.S. Plowshare program with the LTBT.