205. Summary of Conclusions of a Special Coordination Committee Meeting1


  • Comprehensive Test Ban (CTB)


  • State
  • Secretary Cyrus Vance
  • Les Gelb Director, Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs
  • Defense
  • Secretary Harold Brown
  • David McGiffert Asst Secretary for International Security Affairs
  • Energy
  • Secretary James Schlesinger
  • Dr. Donald Kerr Acting Asst Secretary for Defense Programs
  • JCS
  • General David Jones
  • Lt General William Y. Smith JCS CTB Representative
  • White House
  • David Aaron
  • NSC
  • Reginald Bartholomew
  • Benjamin Huberman
  • OSTP
  • Frank Press
  • John Marcum
  • CIA
  • Admiral Stansfield Turner
  • [name not declassified] Chief, Nuclear Energy Division

The purpose of the meeting was to continue discussion of the issue of low level testing under a CTB, to consider the characteristics of the network of national seismic stations (NSS) which we should propose in the Geneva negotiations, and to consider whether entry into force of the treaty should be delayed until after installation of the NSS network is completed.

In beginning the discussion of low level testing, David Aaron pointed out that the President had ruled out kiloton level testing in PD/NSC–382 and that we should focus our attention on the range from a few pounds to a few hundred tons. After extensive discussion, it was agreed that the Safeguards Plan3 should include several discrete options detailing the utility of testing in this range.

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Jim Schlesinger argued that if kiloton-level testing was not permitted the real cutting edge in retaining capabilities would be in whether the duration was three or five years. David Aaron said this could be put to the President to see if he wanted to reopen the issue.

In discussing the seismic network options there was agreement that due to their high cost, time required for installation, and remaining uncertainty, large numbers of arrays were not desirable. A consensus was reached in favor of proposing 12–15 single stations with the right to convert perhaps one or two of these to arrays subsequently (the conclusion was a little imprecise as to how many would be converted).

Since the basic network could be installed within two years, there appeared to be agreement after some discussion that we should not attempt to delay entry into force pending completion of the installation. At the conclusion of the meeting, Schlesinger commented that considering the remaining negotiating problems, CCD involvement and Senate ratification, it would probably be 18–24 months before the treaty entered into force.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 95, SCC 084, CTB Verification, Seismic Station Network: 6/12/78. Secret. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room.
  2. See Document 200.
  3. Not found.