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RELATION TO LIMITED TEST BAN TREATY
Congressman Hosmer's introductory remarks in the House also indicated the need to consider an amendment to the Limited Test Ban Treaty or other appropriate action so that a wider range of explosions can take place to facilitate the development of excavation technology:
At this juncture I would like to make only two points about the
First, neither the Nonproliferation Treaty nor the proposed legis-
Perhaps I should have stated this earlier, indicating my agreement with the chairman on that point.
Second, it is my belief that article V of the Nonproliferation Treaty should improve the chances of obtaining any appropriate amendment to the Limited Test Ban Treaty that could be called for in connection with nuclear excavation.
In the five principles set forth above, we stated that there should be full consultation among nuclear and nonnuclear parties to that treaty about any such amendment.
Thank you very much for inviting me to discuss with you the provisions of H.R. 18448 and S. 3783.
From my remarks I hope it is clear we do not underestimate the complexity of the problems of dealing with this subject. I shall be happy to answer any questions.
Representative HOLIFIELD. Thank you, Mr. Fisher. Mr. Hosmer.
Representative HOSMER. I do want to ask you this, Mr. Fisher: As you know, for some time, I should say for 2 or 3 years, during the negotiation of the Nonproliferation Treaty, I consistently reiterated the suggestion that the Limited Test Ban Treaty be amended to enlarge the possibilities for peaceful nuclear explosives because of the bans mentioned by the chairman here.
I understand that your position was that this was a matter that would complicate Nonproliferation Treaty negotiations and therefore should be handled after the treaty had been signed.
Now that the Nonproliferation Treaty has been signed, I still don't detect any specific enthusiasm on your part to bring up the issue of easing the bans of the Limited Test Ban Treaty.
Mr. FISHER. I am not in a position to state a position on that, Congressman Hosmer, except to state my firm belief that the ratification of the Nonproliferation Treaty and the putting into force of the obligation under article V and for that matter, implementing article V by legislation along the lines of the legislation now before this committee, will be of great help in improving the chances of an appropriate amendment to the Limited Test Ban Treaty if it is decided to attempt to get such an amendment.
I am not in a position to state a position on behalf of the administration on that at this time other than to say that the views of this committee, of course, are quite important and the views on timing which I expressed to you in a variety of discussions held over the past few years have now largely been taken care of.
Representative HOSMER. My question rather went to initiative in this matter. Now the five principles that were enunciated at the ENDC, the other statements by Dr. Seaborg and by the President and by others in our administration holding out to the nonnuclear nations the possibility of the advantage of Plowshare, implicitly, at least, evidenced the feeling that initiative should be taken to release the artificial bars in the way of offering this service.
I would hope that explicitly somebody might say something about it and actually initiate some discussions that would lead to this kind of easing.
Mr. FISHER. I am aware of your point of view, Congressman Hosmer, and I am aware of the point of view of this committee. I can only state that the considerations of timing which were my primary concern over the past few years will soon, I hope, be no longer relevant, and we will then be in a position to respond to you in a somewhat more affirmative way.
I am not in a position to say anything more than that at this time.
Representative HOLIFIELD. I think it would be inappropriate if you did testify on that subject because while the United States and several other nations, including the Soviets, have signed this treaty, there are a number of nations who have not yet signed. Certainly I hope the signing of this treaty is not at an end; I hope that a number of nations will still come in.
So let us get that job done first before we start going into wider fields.
I do think that the signing of the treaty is going to bring about an atmosphere which will
allow us to go into these other fields and I am certainly in accord with that.
Mr. FISHER. I am in complete agreement with the chairman's view.
THE FIVE PRINCIPLES
Representative ANDERSON. With reference to your statement on page 3 about the five principles enunciated by our Government on March 21, 1967, as comprising a part of the legislative history of article V, is there anything you can supply us that is at all equally positive or definite on the part of the Soviet Union?
Did they contribute anything to the legislative history of this particular article that shows definite acquiescence in those principles?
Mr. FISHER. I will have to supply that for the record, Congressman Anderson, because anything I say off the top of my head might be inaccurate except this: that as the treaty was being revised pursuant to discussions in New York—that is, the General Assembly in New York--the discussions dealt with the point that it might be possiblethe way that article-not the one before the Senate now, vious draft-was drafted—to have cheating in the form of a bilateral assistance and that, therefore, it should be amended to make it clear that the opportunity, at least, for international observation was available even in the case of bilateral arrangements. They agreed to that, and an amendment was tabled jointly by the United States and the U.S.S.R. and then by the other sponsors to the resolution commending the treaty, which made it explicit.
but the pre
So they agreed to a change which made explicit what had previously been implicit, the notion that some form of opportunity for international observation had to be available even in the event of bilateral peaceful nuclear explosive services.
Further than that I can only request permission of the chairman to supply further material for the record. Representative HOLIFIELD. It will be received. (The material referred to follows:)
SOVIET AGREEMENT ON SUBSTANCE OF FIVE PRINCIPLES OF MARCH 21, 1967 The five principles relating to peaceful nuclear explosion services were suggested by the US Representative to the ENDC five months before the US and Soviet Union presented the first identical drafts of the NPT to the ENDC in August, 1967 and ten months before a substantive article dealing with peaceful nuclear explosion services was added to the draft NPT. Therefore, the five principles formed the basis of what later became agreed US/Soviet language on the provision of such services.
The NPT includes the substance of the first three principles : Article V provides that potential benefits from any peaceful applications of nuclear explosions will be made available to other states—specifically, to non-nuclear weapon States Party to the treaty-under appropriate international observation. It provides that non-nuclear weapon States Party to the treaty shall be able to obtain such benefits, pursuant to a special international agreement or agreements, through an appropriate international body with adequate representation of non-nuclearweapon States. And it provides that the charge for the explosive devices used will be as low as possible and exclude any charge for research and development. The first principle also specified that the nuclear device was to remain under the, custody and control of the state which performed the service. This requirement is incorporated both in Article I of the Treaty, which prohibits the transfer, to. any recipient whatsoever, of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, and in Article II, which contains an undertaking by non-nuclear weapon parties not to receive any such transfer. Statements made by Soviet representatives at the ENDC and at the UNGA as well as Soviet co-sponsorship of the language of Article V demonstrate definite acquiescence on the part of the Soviets in these first three principles.
The fourth principle concerns consultation among nuclear and non-nuclear parties to the Limited Test Ban Treaty about any amendment of that treaty required to carry out peaceful nuclear explosion provisions. The amendment procedure in that treaty provides that proposed amendments shall be submitted to the depositary governments which shall circulate them to all parties to the treaty. Therefore, this principle has been agreed to by the Soviets, who are both a party to that treaty and designated therein as one of the depositary governments.
The fifth principle states that conditions and procedures for the international arrangements for peaceful nuclear explosion services should be developed in full consultation with non-nuclear-weapon states. On May 31, 1968, Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Kuznetsov at the UNGA stated that the agreement or agreements called for in Article V on the provision of peaceful nuclear explosions services should be based on determined general principles and worked out with the “broadest possible participation” of non-nuclear parties.
Thus the evolution of the provision of peaceful nuclear explosion services since the presentation of the five principles on March 21, 1967 clearly demonstrates Soviet acquiescence in these principles.
Representative HOLIFIELD. Are there any further questions of Mr.
If not, thank you, Mr. Fisher.
STATEMENTS OF HON. GERALD F. TAPE, COMMISSIONER, ATOMIC
ENERGY COMMISSION, AND JOSEPH F. HENNESSEY, GENERAL COUNSEL
Dr. TAPE. Mr. Chairman, members of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, I am happy to be here today and to testify, on behalf of the Atomic Energy Commission, on H.R. 18448 and S. 3783.
These bills, if enacted, would authorize the Atomic Energy Commission to enter into arrangements to provide services involving the detonation of nuclear explosive devices for peaceful purposes, both in the United States and abroad.
At present, the Commission can only enter into contracts to provide such services for projects which have experimental objectives and thus can be justified under section 31 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended.
For some time the Commission has had, as an objective of its Plowshare program, the goal of providing peaceful nuclear explosion seryices in connection with practical applications.
In the last year, both Government and industry have been seriously considering various aspects of the commercialization of Plowshare.
For example, a subcommittee of the Atomic Industrial Forum's Plowshare committee has been studying the question of needed legislation.
These bills are not only consistent with these activities, but are also particularly timely because of the activities currently underway with respect to the Nonproliferation Treaty.
As you know, article V of the treaty, now being considered by the Senate, specifies that the nuclear-weapon states shall make available the potential benefits of peaceful nuclear explosions to the non-nuclear-weapon states party to the treaty.
Enactment of H. Ř. 18448 and S. 3783, or similar legislation, would establish the scope and conditions of the Atomic Energy Commission's statutory authority to fulfill that obligation on behalf of the United States.
Instead of being limited to providing peaceful nuclear explosion services only for research and development projects that further its own programmatic objectives, the Commission could furnish such service to others at appropriate charges but without regard to the relationship and importance of the projects involved to the Commission's own research and development program.
STATUS OF TECHNOLOGY
However, I would like to point out that, at the present time, Plowshare technology is still in the relatively early stages of development. Despite data obtained from nuclear tests to date, including a few basic phenomenological experiments conducted specifically for Plowshare, considerable effort is still required to extend and apply the basic knowledge to specific practical applications of nuclear explosions.
Presently, continued successful development in three areas is required before nuclear explosion technology becomes an established industrial tool.
First, there are the nuclear explosives themselves. In this area, considerable effort is still required to transform our existing knowledge of nuclear device design into nuclear explosives which are useful in a variety of industrial applications.
The AEC has made progress here, but more development is required to produce nuclear explosive designs which have the desired performance and characteristics.
Obviously, this is an evolving technology in which improvements can be expected for many years through continuation of our explosive research and development.
However, we believe that usable, though not optimum, nuclear explosive designs for some applications will be available in the near future.
Second, there is the needed development of a detailed understanding of the basic phenomena of underground nuclear explosions.
Specifically, we must learn more of how the depth, the rock strength, the chemical properties of rock, and other characteristics of the environment affect the size and shape of the crater or chimney produced.
Here again we have carried out substantial research (see app. 14, pp. —), but still have much to learn. We expect to continue this development without delay, as President Johnson indicated on June 12, 1968, before the United Nations General Assembly.
Third, there is the application of the explosive design and effect of the resulting explosion on the underground environment to specific uses, such as stimulation of tight gas formations; construction of harbors and canals; creation of underground storage facilities; fracturing of oil shales to prepare them for retorting in place; the breaking of low-grade ore bodies to facilitate recovery of a natural resource, and the breaking of rock for use in building dams and other heavy construction.
The potential of these applications is very impressive to both the
Thus, you can see Plowshare technology today is in transition. We are in the process of moving from a research phase into an application development phase, and then into field demonstration experiments.
All of this we believe will lead to the use of the nuclear explosion as an industrial tool.
JOINT GOVERNMENT-INDUSTRY PROJECTS
United States industry has emphatically shown its willingness to cooperate and assist in developing Plowshare technology by proposing to undertake development experiments jointly with the Government.
The nuclear phase of the first such joint project has already been completed. I am referring, of course, to Project Gasbuggy (see app. 9, 10, and 11, pp. 225 to 328, for details of Project Gasbuggy. See p. 307 for most recent postshot summaries in which the Joint Committee plaved an important initiating role.)
The objective of this first Government-industry Plowshare project is to determine the ability of a nuclear explosion to stimulate the production of natural gas formations.
1 See app. 20, p. 393, for Nuclear Quarrying Feasibility Study.