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Title: Applying State-level Approaches to Arms Control Verification

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Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
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Conference: Presented at: Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, Atlanta, GA, United States, Jul 20 - Jul 24, 2014
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Dreicer, M, Listner, C, Chen, C, Stein, G, and Niemeyer, I. Applying State-level Approaches to Arms Control Verification. United States: N. p., 2014. Web.
Dreicer, M, Listner, C, Chen, C, Stein, G, & Niemeyer, I. Applying State-level Approaches to Arms Control Verification. United States.
Dreicer, M, Listner, C, Chen, C, Stein, G, and Niemeyer, I. Wed . "Applying State-level Approaches to Arms Control Verification". United States. doi:.
title = {Applying State-level Approaches to Arms Control Verification},
author = {Dreicer, M and Listner, C and Chen, C and Stein, G and Niemeyer, I},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Jul 16 00:00:00 EDT 2014},
month = {Wed Jul 16 00:00:00 EDT 2014}

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  • The President's arms control and nonproliferation agenda is still evolving and the details of initiatives supporting it remain undefined. This means that DOE, NNSA, NA-20, NA-24 and the national laboratories can help define the agenda, and the policies and the initiatives to support it. This will require effective internal and interagency coordination. The arms control and nonproliferation agenda is broad and includes the path-breaking goal of creating conditions for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Responsibility for various elements of the agenda will be widely scattered across the interagency. Therefore an interagency mapping exercise should be performed to identify the keymore » points of engagement within NNSA and other agencies for creating effective policy coordination mechanisms. These can include informal networks, working groups, coordinating committees, interagency task forces, etc. It will be important for NA-20 and NA-24 to get a seat at the table and a functional role in many of these coordinating bodies. The arms control and nonproliferation agenda comprises both mature and developing policy initiatives. The more mature elements such as CTBT ratification and a follow-on strategic nuclear arms treaty with Russia have defined milestones. However, recent press reports indicate that even the START follow-on strategic arms pact that is planned to be complete by the end of 2009 may take significantly longer and be more expansive in scope. The Russians called for proposals to count non-deployed as well as deployed warheads. Other elements of the agenda such as FMCT, future bilateral nuclear arms reductions following a START follow-on treaty, nuclear posture changes, preparations for an international nuclear security summit, strengthened international safeguards and multilateral verification are in much earlier stages of development. For this reason any survey of arms control capabilities within the USG should be structured to address potential needs across the near-term (1-4) years and longer-term (5-10) years planning horizons. Some final observations include acknowledging the enduring nature of several key objectives on the Obama Administration's arms control and nonproliferation agenda. The CTBT, FMCT, bilateral nuclear arms reductions and strengthening the NPT have been sought by successive U.S. Administrations for nearly thirty years. Efforts towards negotiated arms control, although de-emphasized by the G.W. Bush Administration, have remained a pillar of U.S. national security strategy for decades and are likely to be of enduring if not increasing importance for decades to come. Therefore revitalization and expansion of USG capabilities in this area can be a positive legacy no matter what near-term arms control goals are achieved over the next four years. This is why it is important to reconstruct integrated bureaucratic, legislative, budgetary and diplomatic strategies to sustain the arms control and nonproliferation agenda. In this endeavor some past lessons must be taken to heart to avoid bureaucratic overkill and keep interagency policy-making and implementation structures lean and effective. On the Technical side a serious, sustained multilateral program to develop, down select and performance test nuclear weapons dismantlement verification technologies and procedures should be immediately initiated. In order to make this happen the United States and Russia should join with the UK and other interested states in creating a sustained, full-scale research and development program for verification at their respective nuc1ear weapons and defense establishments. The goals include development of effective technologies and procedures for: (1) Attribute measurement systems to certify nuclear warheads and military fissile materials; (2) Chain-of-custody methods to track items after they are authenticated and enter accountability; (3) Transportation monitoring; (4) Storage monitoring; (5) Fissile materials conversion verification. The remainder of this paper focuses on transparency and verification for nuclear arms and fissile material reductions.« less
  • Transparency on warhead stockpiles, warhead dismantlement, and fissile material stockpiles in nuclear weapons states will become increasingly important in the move beyond START II toward lower quantities of warheads. Congressional support for further warhead reductions will likely depend on the degree of irreversibility, or in other words, the rapidity with which warhead inventories could be reconstituted. Whether irreversibility considerations can be satisfied will depend on monitoring dismantlement as well as constraining the available stockpile of fissile materials for possible refabrication into warheads. Measurement techniques designed to address the above problems will need to consider NPT Article 1 obligations as wellmore » as Russian and US classification regulations, which prohibit or restrict the transfer of nuclear warhead design information to other states. Classification considerations currently limit the potential completeness of future inspections of weapons materials. Many conventional international safeguards approaches are not currently viable for arms control applications because they would reveal weapons design information. The authors discuss a variety of technical measures that may help to improve transparence of warhead and fissile material stockpiles and may enable limited warhead dismantlement transparency.« less
  • Historically, U.S. arms control policy and the U.S. nuclear weapons enterprise have been reactive to each other, rather than interdependent and mutually reinforcing. One element of the divergence has been the long timescale necessary to plan and create substantive changes in the infrastructure vs. the inherent unpredictability of arms control outcomes. We explore several examples that illustrate this tension, some of the costs and implications associated with this reactive paradigm, and illustrate that, while the nuclear weapons enterprise has long considered the implications of arms control in sizing capacity of its missions, it has not substantively considered arms control inmore » construction requirement for capabilities and products. Since previous arms control agreements have limited numbers and types of deployed systems, with delivery systems as the object of verification, this disconnect has not been forefront. However, as future agreements unfold, the warhead itself may become the treaty limited item and the object of verification. Such a scenario might offer both the need and the opportunity to integrate nuclear weapons and arms control requirements in unprecedented ways. This paper seeks to inspire new thinking on how such integration could be fostered and the extent to which it can facilitate significant reduction in nuclear stockpiles.« less