Stockpile Surveillance - Past and Future

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C the criteria developed under section a of this title including any updates to such criteria. B a strategy for using the science-based tools including advanced simulation and computing capabilities of each national security laboratory to ensure that the nuclear weapons stockpile is safe, secure, and reliable without the use of nuclear testing;. C an assessment of the science-based tools including advanced simulation and computing capabilities of each national security laboratory that exist at the time of the assessment compared with the science-based tools expected to exist during the period covered by the future-years nuclear security program; and.

D an assessment of the core scientific and technical competencies required to achieve the objectives of the stockpile stewardship program and other weapons activities and weapons-related activities of the Administration, including-. A a description of the modernization and refurbishment measures the Administrator determines necessary to meet the requirements prescribed in-.

Warhead Safety and Reliability and the Science Based Stockpile Stewardship Program

B a schedule for implementing the measures described under subparagraph A during the year period following the date of the plan;. C the estimated levels of annual funds the Administrator determines necessary to carry out the measures described under subparagraph A , including a discussion of the criteria, evidence, and strategies on which such estimated levels of annual funds are based; and.

I the metrics based on industry best practices used by the Administrator to determine the infrastructure deferred maintenance and repair needs of the nuclear security enterprise; and. II the percentage of replacement plant value being spent on maintenance and repair needs of the nuclear security enterprise; and. A an estimate of the period of time that would be necessary for the Administrator to conduct an underground test of a nuclear weapon once directed by the President to conduct such a test;. B a description of the level of test readiness that the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, determines to be appropriate;.

C a list and description of the workforce skills and capabilities that are essential to carrying out an underground nuclear test at the Nevada National Security Site;. D a list and description of the infrastructure and physical plants that are essential to carrying out an underground nuclear test at the Nevada National Security Site; and. E an assessment of the readiness status of the skills and capabilities described in subparagraph C and the infrastructure and physical plants described in subparagraph D.

A An assessment of the baseline science issues necessary to understand plutonium aging under static and dynamic conditions under manufactured and nonmanufactured plutonium geometries. B An assessment of scientific and testing instrumentation for plutonium at elemental and bulk conditions. C An assessment of manufacturing and handling technology for plutonium and plutonium components. D An assessment of computational models of plutonium performance under static and dynamic loading, including manufactured and nonmanufactured conditions. E An identification of any capability gaps with respect to the assessments described in subparagraphs A through D.

F An estimate of costs relating to the issues, instrumentation, technology, and models described in subparagraphs A through D over the period covered by the future-years nuclear security program under section of this title. G An estimate of the cost of eliminating the capability gaps identified under subparagraph E over the period covered by the future-years nuclear security program. H Such other items as the Administrator considers important for the integrated management of plutonium for stockpile and stockpile stewardship needs.

A for each site in the nuclear security enterprise, a description of the technologies deployed to address the physical and cybersecurity threats posed to that site;. B for each site and for the nuclear security enterprise, the methods used by the Administration to establish priorities among investments in physical and cybersecurity technologies; and. C a detailed description of how the funds identified for each program element specified pursuant to paragraph 1 in the budget for the Administration for each fiscal year during that five-fiscal-year period will help carry out that plan.

B An analysis of whether the plan adequately addresses the requirements for infrastructure recapitalization of the facilities of the nuclear security enterprise.

C If the Nuclear Weapons Council determines that the plan does not adequately support modernization and refurbishment requirements under subparagraph A or the nuclear security enterprise facilities infrastructure recapitalization requirements under subparagraph B , a risk assessment with respect to-. Section of title 10 , referred to in subsec.

U.S. Department of State

For provisions related to national defense strategy similar to those contained in former section prior to repeal, see section g of Title 10 , Armed Forces. Section was formerly set out as a note under section of Title 42 , The Public Health and Welfare, prior to renumbering by Pub. Provisions similar to those in this section were contained in the following prior authorization act:. Since the end of the Cold War, the perception has been that the threats facing the United States have not required any basic change in the capability of the nuclear deterrent. Over the past two decades, Congress has restricted new NEP design studies and DOD has not required any fundamentally new warhead designs, nor have there been any of the associated design competitions that were so.

Because of this lack of new NEP design work, essential capabilities have not been exercised in a generation and are at risk. The approved programs for the future e. To keep this from happening, the NNSA complex needs a way to exercise the full suite of nuclear weapons design, development, and production capabilities. A true design competition would exercise the full spectrum of skills and activities needed to produce a weapon that qualifies for inclusion in the stockpile. Such capabilities might be needed, for example, if evolving military requirements require an adjustment to an NEP.

Conclusion 4: In contrast to the robust state of peer review at the NNSA laboratories, the state of design competition is not robust. Looking to the future, maintaining nuclear weapon design skills at the NEP laboratories—as well as production skills within the NNSA complex—is essential to achieve three objectives:. Recommendation 4: In order to exercise the full set of design skills necessary for an effective nuclear deterrent, the National Nuclear Security Administration should develop and propose the first in what the committee envisions as a series of design competitions that include designing, engineering, building, and non-nuclear testing of a prototype.

The non-nuclear components produced by Sandia should be integrated into the design and fabrication of the prototype. This should be done with the clear understanding that this prototype would not enter the stockpile. Such design competitions should be initiated periodically perhaps once every 5 years to allow learning from mistakes and for the continuous development of judgment and skills of the nuclear weapon enterprise workforce.

This recommendation is not unprecedented. Department of Energy. The prototype product of the design competitions of Recommendation 4 should have the following characteristics:.

The committee realizes that Recommendation 4 will be controversial, particularly its call for NNSA to hold periodic competitions at its laboratories that produce a prototype nuclear weapon. Recommendation 4 might be seen by some critics as promoting an aggressive posture that would put the United States in a position to manufacture new nuclear weapons quickly and thus fuel a new global nuclear arms race.

Key Accomplishments of the Stockpile Stewardship Program

These same arguments were made in the vigorous. Recommendation 4 calls for alternative design competitions that would be much more effective than the recent design studies, but it would entail costs. Roughly speaking, the committee imagines a design competition as involving a few dozen laboratory staff members, with a larger number in the first year of each competition, plus some prototype development and experiments up to and including hydrodynamic tests. Assess how peer review practices related to both nuclear and non-nuclear aspects of nuclear weapons should be adjusted as the three NNSA laboratories transition to a broader national security missions.

The testing program for an unboosted implosion device primarily ensures that the hydrodynamic behavior of the implosion particularly of a hollow pit is correct. In response to funding uncertainty and the needs of other government agencies, the laboratories have worked to build a set of clients beyond DOE. In , Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman formally articulated a vision for the future of the NNSA laboratories as national security laboratories charged with conducting research and development to address a range of national security threats facing the nation.

Several recent reports have noted the benefits that SPP brings to the nuclear weapons mission of the laboratories. For example, SPP provides challenging problems to the laboratory scientists that help attract, develop, and retain key personnel. This results in an intellectual ferment that enriches the weapons program. In the present context of assessing the effects of the evolving national security mission of the NNSA laboratories on peer review in the nuclear weapons program, the committee concludes that SPP will expand the base of technical experts available for peer review by involving 1 expert personnel inside the laboratories but outside the direct weapons programs.

These new sources of expertise could help broaden and diversify laboratory peer reviews, as called for in Recommendation 1. Implementation of the above four recommendations would help ensure that the most important asset—a competent workforce with demonstrated skills and judgment—is being developed and maintained and that all stakeholders including our adversaries have confidence in that workforce.

The National Nuclear Security Administration NNSA is responsible for providing and maintaining the capabilities necessary to sustain a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear weapons stockpile for the nation and its allies. The NNSA National Security Laboratories contribute to that goal by maintaining the skills and capabilities necessary for stewardship of a reliable nuclear stockpile and also by maintaining a high level of technical credibility, which is a component of the nuclear deterrent.

Since it has been U. The resulting technical challenges have been substantial. Whereas a nuclear test was in some sense the ultimate "peer review" of the performance of a particular NEP design, the cessation of nuclear testing necessitated a much greater reliance on both intralab and interlab expert peer review to identify potential problems with weapon designs and define the solution space. This report assesses the quality and effectiveness of peer review of designs, development plans, engineering and scientific activities, and priorities related to both nuclear and non-nuclear aspects of nuclear weapons, as well as incentives for effective peer review.

It also explores how the evolving mission of the NNSA laboratories might impact peer review processes at the laboratories that relate to nuclear weapons.

The Role of ASC in Stockpile Stewardship

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Key Accomplishments of the Stockpile Stewardship Program

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