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Title: Stockpile stewardship past, present, and future

The U.S. National Academies released a report in 2012 on technical issues related to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. One important question addressed therein is whether the U.S. could maintain a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear-weapons stockpile in the absence of nuclear-explosion testing. Here we discuss two main conclusions from the 2012 Academies report, which we paraphrase as follows: 1) Provided that sufficient resources and a national commitment to stockpile stewardship are in place, the U.S. has the technical capabilities to maintain a safe, secure, and reliable stockpile of nuclear weapons into the foreseeable future without nuclear-explosion testing. 2) Doing this would require: a) a strong weapons science and engineering program that addresses gaps in understanding; b) an outstanding workforce that applies deep and broad weapons expertise to deliver solutions to stockpile problems; c) a vigorous, stable surveillance program that delivers the requisite data; d) production facilities that meet stewardship needs. We emphasize that these conclusions are independent of CTBT ratification-they apply provided only that the U.S. continues its nuclear-explosion moratorium.
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Institute for National Security Education and Research, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77843-3133 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22280419
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 1596; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: Short course on nuclear weapon issues in the 21st century, Washington, DC (United States), 2-3 Nov 2013; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
98 NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, SAFEGUARDS AND PHYSICAL PROTECTION; CTBT; MONITORING; NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS; NUCLEAR WEAPONS; ON-SITE INSPECTION; SECURITY; STOCKPILES; TESTING