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National Security Archive Collections

This page will present finding aids to the Archive's unpublished, boxed collections as the catalogs are completed and become accessioned. We are proud to present the finding aid to the Nuclear Control Institute collection as the first catalog to be announced.

Monday, June 21, 2004
CONTACT: Paul Leventhal (NCI) - 202/822-8444
Thomas Blanton (NSA) - 202/994-7000


Washington, D.C. - A collection of 293 boxes of papers spanning more than 30 years of nuclear history has been established by the Nuclear Control Institute at the National Security Archive, NCI and NSA announced today.

The collection includes the papers of the Nuclear Control Institute from its founding in 1981 to the present, as well as the papers of NCI's founding president, Paul Leventhal, relating to his nuclear investigative and legislative work in the U.S. Senate in the 1970s.

The NCI papers cover the Institute's engagement in the leading nuclear non-proliferation issues of the past 2½ decades, beginning with Israel's bombing of Iraq's still-unfinished Osirak reactor that coincided with NCI's founding in 1981 through present-day U.S. efforts to uncover evidence of Iraqi programs to develop nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. The collection includes correspondence, analyses, investigative reports, legal briefs, testimony and other items that document NCI's ground-breaking efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism, to eliminate commerce in plutonium and bomb-grade uranium, to strengthen enforcement of international safeguards and other non-proliferation obligations, and to dispose of excess U.S. and Russian warhead plutonium by disposing of it as waste rather than introducing it as fuel in commercial nuclear power plants.

Leventhal's Senate papers begin with the Senate Government Operations Committee's investigation, hearings and draft legislation leading to enactment of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, which abolished the Atomic Energy Commission and replaced it with independent regulatory and promotional agencies---the present-day Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Department of Energy. The Senate papers also cover the committee's investigation of U.S. exports of plutonium, bomb-grade uranium and "sensitive nuclear technology" that led to enactment of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978. These papers also include the Senate's special investigation of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, which Leventhal co-directed in 1979, and enactment of "lessons-learned" legislation in 1980.

"The National Security Archive is fortunate to acquire such a rich historical record of the past three decades of efforts to stop the further spread of nuclear weapons and prevent nuclear terrorism," said Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive. "These papers will be of immense value to journalists, members of the public and future historians who want insights into early efforts to curb nuclear dangers."

Leventhal, who will continue to manage NCI as a website-based program and to remain engaged in proliferation issues, said: "The Institute's papers will help to maintain a marketplace of ideas that is so essential to ensuring that the non-proliferation community is both relevant and effective in addressing the fast-paced nuclear developments confronting the world today." He noted that in addition to donating its papers to the National Security Archive, NCI is scanning and key-wording its core documents going back to 1981 that pre-date its website, so that they will also be word searchable on the NCI website.

A summary of the highlights of the NCI Collection is attached to this press release. The complete subject catalogue of boxes will be available on the websites of the Nuclear Control Institute (www.nci.org) and the National Security Archive (www.nsarchive.org), as well as a word searchable on the ALADIN, the shared online digital library catalog of the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC). Access to the boxed collection is only through a National Security Archive staff member. Please consult the Guide for Researchers at www.nsarchive.org for information on how to research the Archive's unpublished document collections.

Click here for the finding aid to the NCI Collection


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