392. Memorandum for the Record1


  • PRC Meeting of 25 September 1980: Options for Augmenting Supply of Nuclear Materials

1. The subject meeting was chaired by Secretary Brown who reviewed the results of the July 24 meeting on the same subject.2 At that meeting it had been agreed to upgrade the three operating reactors at Savannah River and to restart the L-reactor at Savannah River. There had been disagreement on whether to convert the N-reactor at Hanford to weapons grade plutonium production and restart the Purex facility. It was also agreed at the 24 July meeting that no actual implementation of these decisions would be made until after the completion of the NPT Review Conference.

2. Discussion at this meeting centered around the conversion of the N-reactor at Hanford, the restart of the Purex facility and the negative impact that these actions might have on US nonproliferation policy and goals. The previous agreements reached at the 24 July meeting were reaffirmed. It was decided to send two options forward to the President, one recommending immediate action on conversion of the N-reactor and restart of the Purex facility, the other recommending postponing this decision until December. NSC and JCS supported the first option while State, ACDA, DoD and OMB supported the second. The budgetary impact of a three month delay in the decision was minimal.

3. Intelligence input to the meeting was minimal consisting only of a reaffirmation of our previous estimate of Soviet plutonium production and a statement of our confidence in the accuracy of this estimate. No follow-on action will be required from this meeting.

[name not declassified]
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Office of the Director of Central Intelligence, Job 81B00112R, Subject Files, Box 15, Folder 27: (PRC) Special Nuclear Materials, 1980. Secret. Original paragraph classification and handling restrictions not declassified. No minutes or summary of conclusions for this meeting has been found.
  2. No minutes or summary of conclusions of the July 24 meeting has been found.