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Digital National Security Archive (DNSA): U.S. Nuclear Nonproliferation 2, Part I: From Atoms for Peace to the NPT, 1954-1968

About this Collection

U.S. Nuclear Nonproliferation 2, Part I: From Atoms for Peace to the NPT, 1954-1968

This collection documents the development of U.S. nuclear nonproliferation policy during the presidencies of Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson. This was an especially significant period in the history of the nuclear age because of growing concern that the spread of nuclear power could lead to a proliferation of weapons capabilities with potentially negative implications for international stability and the U.S. position in world affairs. With those apprehensions in mind, the U.S. government supported a variety of nonproliferation initiatives, including export controls and international actions ranging from the creation of the International Atomic Energy Agency, test ban treaties, and an international nonproliferation agreement. 

Research Value of This Collection

The chief value of this set is that it provides interested researchers with a comprehensive picture of the development over time of U.S. policy toward the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology – an issue of continuing global importance. As discussed earlier, the collection documents such crucial developments as the U.S. attempts, starting in the mid-1950s, to establish an International Atomic Energy Agency that could institute safeguards to prevent the use of designated “peaceful” nuclear reactors for the production of fissile materials for weapons. The collection also documents the U.S. government’s monitoring of, and intelligence reporting on, suspect nuclear programs, including in France, China, India, and Israel, that developed outside of any safeguards system. Moreover, the collection covers the various phases of U.S. efforts to negotiate nonproliferation agreements from 1961 to 1968, including the impact of the various Irish resolutions from 1958 to 1961. All of these issues are critical to understanding the history of nonproliferation and the state of play in the current period.

Content Sources

Origin Number of Documents
Department of State 1,038
U.S. Embassies 665
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency 246
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission                                  101
Central Intelligence Agency                                            89
White House 76
Department of Defense 43
Non-U.S. governments 13
International Atomic Energy Agency 10
Corporate or non-governmental 10
Other U.S. agencies 8
Congress 7