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  • Los Alamos Study Group
    Los Alamos Study Group Intern Fall 2000 This paper outlines a broad catalogue of legal instruments that restrict the use of nuclear weapons The paper is largely based on Charles Moxley s analysis of the legality of nuclear weapons in Nuclear Weapons and International Law in the Post Cold War World Dr Charles J Moxley Jr 2000 International Law and Nuclear Weapons in the Post Cold War World Synopsis United

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  • Los Alamos Study Group
    Moxley Jr 2002 Nuclear Posture Review Strategic and Legal Ramifications pdf Redacted Excerpted text of the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review Submitted to Congress on December 31 2001 Department of Defense Briefing on the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review Additional Resources on the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy Western States Legal Foundation Articles May 6 2002 Senator Bingaman Where Do You Stand Key Vote on President s Nuclear

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/legal/legal-policy.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Los Alamos Study Group
    for example deep underground bunkers or bio weapon facilities p 12 13 Missile defenses could defeat small scale missile attacks intended to coerce the United States into abandoning an embattled ally or friend Defenses that provided protection for strike capabilities of the New Triad and for other power projection forces would improve the ability of the United States and its allies and friends to counterattack an enemy They may also provide the President with an option to manage a crisis involving one or more missile and WMD armed opponents p 13 COMMAND CONTROL PLANNING AND INTELLIGENCE p 15 As forces are incrementally changed to meet the New Triad force requirements command and control C2 becomes more critical to ensure the effectiveness of the elements of the residual force structure Strike options will require intricate planning flexibility and interface with decision makers throughout the engagement process Command and control will become more complex and the supporting systems and platforms will require augmentation modernization and replacement p 15 Accurate and timely targeting information can increase both the lethality of strike capabilities and the possibilities for non nuclear strike capabilities to substitute for nuclear weapons or provide for the timely positioning of missile defense assets p 15 DEFENSE POLICY GOALS AND RELATED NUCLEAR WEAPONS REQUIREMENTS p 15 In a fluid security environment the precise nuclear force level necessary for the future cannot be predicted with certainty The goal of reducing over the next decade the U S operationally deployed strategic nuclear force to the range of between 1 700 and 2 200 warheads provides a degree of flexibility necessary to accommodate changes in the security environment that could affect U S nuclear requirements p 15 SIZING THE NUCLEAR F0RCE p 16 In setting requirements for nuclear strike capabilities distinctions can be made among the contingencies for which the United States must be prepared Contingencies can be categorized as immediate potential or unexpected Immediate contingencies involve well recognized current dangers Current examples of immediate contingencies include an Iraqi attack on Israel or its neighbors a North Korean attack on South Korea or a military confrontation over the status of Taiwan Potential contingencies are plausible but not immediate dangers For example the emergence of a new hostile military coalition against the United States or its allies in which one or more members possesses WMD and the means of delivery is a potential contingency that could have major consequences for U S defense planning including plans for nuclear forces p 16 Unexpected contingencies are sudden and unpredicted security challenges like the Cuban Missile Crisis Contemporary illustrations might include a sudden regime change by which an existing nuclear arsenal comes into the hands of a new hostile leadership group or an opponents surprise unveiling of WMD capabilities Ibid North Korea Iraq Iran Syria and Libya are among the countries that could be involved in immediate potential or unexpected contingencies All have longstanding hostility toward the United States and its security partners North Korea and Iraq in particular have been chronic military concerns All sponsor or harbor terrorists and all have active WMD and missile programs Ibid Due to the combination of China s still developing strategic objectives and its ongoing modernization of its nuclear and non nuclear forces China is a country that could be involved in an immediate or potential contingency p 16 17 Russia maintains the most formidable nuclear forces aside from the United States and substantial if less impressive conventional capabilities There now are however no ideological sources of conflict with Moscow as there were during the Cold War The United States seeks a more cooperative relationship with Russia and a move away from the balance of terror policy framework which by definition is an expression of mutual distrust and hostility As a result a nuclear strike contingency involving Russia while plausible is not expected p 17 U Adjusting U S immediate nuclear force requirements in recognition of the changed relationship with Russia is a critical step away from the Cold War policy of mutual vulnerability and toward more cooperative relations p 17 S Russia s nuclear forces and programs nevertheless remain a concern Russia faces many strategic problems around its periphery and its future course cannot be charted with certainty U S planning must take this into account In the event that U S relations with Russia significantly worsen in the future the U S may need to revise its nuclear force levels and posture p 17 OPERATIONALLY DEPLOYED AND RESPONSIVE NUCLEAR FORCES The operationally deployed forces are sized to provide the capabilities required to meet the U S defense goals in the context of immediate and unexpected contingencies That is a sufficient number of forces must be available on short notice to counter known threats while preserving a small additional margin in the event of a surprise development The 1700 2200 warheads the United States is scheduled to deploy in 2012 would constitute the operationally deployed force p 17 The responsive force is intended to provide a capability to augment the operationally deployed force to meet potential contingencies The responsive force retains the option for leadership to increase the number of operationally delayed forces in proportion to the severity of an evolving crisis A responsive force need not be available in a matter of days but in weeks months or even years For example additional bombs could be brought out of the non deployed stockpile in days or weeks By contrast adding additional weapons to the ICBM force could take as long as a year for a squadron in a wing The responsive force also provides a reserve from which replacements can be provided for operationally deployed weapons that evidence reliability problems US NUCLEAR FORCE SIZE Based on current projections an operationally deployed force of 1700 2200 strategic nuclear warheads by 2012 will support U S deterrence policy to hold at risk what opponents value including their instruments of political control and military power and to deny opponents their war aims The types of targets to be held at risk for deterrence purposes include leadership and military capabilities particularly WMD military command facilities and other centers of control and infrastructure that support military forces The planned force structure for 2012 comprises 14 Trident SSBNs with two of the 14 in overhaul at any time 500 Minuteman III ICBMs 76 B 52H bombers and 21 B 2 bombers THE PATH FOR NUCLEAR REDUCTIONS A conceptual path toward an operationally deployed force of 1 700 2 200 warheads in 2012 eliminates Peacekeeper ICBMs removes 4 Trident SSBNs from strategic service and downloads weapons from Trident SLBMs Minuteman III ICBMs and B 52H and B 2 bombers This will result in 3 800 operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads by 2007 SLBM warheads for SSBNs in overhaul will not be counted as operationally deployed because those submarines are unavailable for alert patrols p 19 Subsequent reductions below the 3 800 operationally deployed warheads can be achieved through a variety of methods The precise method will be determined in the course of periodic reviews the Department will conduct beginning in 2003 The Secretary of Defense will direct that these reviews be undertaken with the participation of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff the Commander in Chief of U S Strategic Forces Command and the NNSA Administrator p 19 III CREATING THE NEW TRIAD To meet the demands of the New Triad an overhaul of existing capabilities is needed This includes improving the tools used to build and execute strike plans so that the national leadership can adapt pre planned options or construct new options during highly dynamic crisis situations p 23 In addition the technology base and production readiness infrastructures of both DoD and NNSA must be modernized so that the United States will be able to adjust to rapidly changing situations adjustments may be needed to match capabilities of the remaining nuclear forces to new missions a need may arise to modify upgrade or replace portions of the extant nuclear force or develop concepts for follow on nuclear weapons better suited is the nation s needs It is unlikely that a reduced version of the Cold War nuclear arsenal will be precisely the nuclear force that the United States will require in 2012 and beyond p 23 The FY04 DPG Defense Planning Guidance will provide guidance to coordinate and deconflict requirements for nuclear and non nuclear systems p 24 Initiatives reflected in the proposed FY03 07 Future Years Defense Plan FYPD include Mobile and Relocatable Targets DoD proposed to develop a systems level approach applied across the Services for holding at risk critical mobile targets Defeating Hard and Deeply Buried Targets DoD would implement a program to improve significantly the means to locate identify characterize and target adversarial hard and deeply buried targets Long Range Strike DoD will pursue a systems level approach to defeat critical fixed and mobile targets at varying ranges in all terrain and weather conditions and in denied areas Guided Missile Submarines SSGNs DoD has proposed to fund the conversion of four SSBNs withdrawn from the strategic nuclear service to SSGN configuration Precision Strike Effort to increase the number of targets than can be attacked on a single mission Elements include a Multifunction Information Distribution System to provide a jam resistant secure digital network for exchange of critical information for strike capabilities a Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile A Small Diameter Bomb and the Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle New Strike System DoD will begin in FY03 to explore concepts for a new strike system that might arm the converted SSGNs Desired capabilities for this new strike weapon include timely arrival on target precision and the ability to be retargeted rapidly p 24 25 Ballistic Missile Defense The President has stated that the mission for missile defense is to protect all 50 states our deployed forces and our friends and allies against ballistic missile attacks The Department has rerganized its ballistic missile defense program The program is pursuing missile defense based an the following guidance Missile defense is most effective if it is layered that is able to intercept ballistic missiles of any range in all phases of their flight The United States seeks effective defenses against attacks by small numbers of longer range missiles as well as defenses against attacks by larger numbers of short and medium range missiles Missile defense systems like all military systems can be less than 100 percent effective and still make a significant contribution to security by enhancing deterrence and saving lives if deterrence fails p 25 Other than the PAC 3 the United States has not yet chosen systems for deployment that decision will depend on the evolution of both technology and the threat The Department is exploring a wide range of alternative approaches There are two dimensions to the missile defense program near term emergency capabilities and improved variants of these capabilities leading to more robust operational systems Several near term and mid term options 2003 2008 that could provide an emergency missile defense capability are under consideration including A single Airborne Laser for boost phase intercepts may be available for limited operations against ballistic missiles of all ranges A rudimentary ground based midcourse system consisting of a small number of interceptors taken from the test program and an upgraded Cobra Dane radar in Alaska could be available against longer range threats to the United States and A sea based Aegis system could be available to provide rudimentary midcourse capability against short to medium range threats p 26 Based on the technical progress of these systems the United States could deploy operational capabilities beginning in the 2006 2008 period including 2 3 Airborne Laser aircraft Additional ground based midcourse sites 4 sea based midcourse ships terminal systems able to defend against shorter range threats PAC 3 which began deployment in 2001 and THAAD which could be available by 2008 p 26 DOD will develop the low orbit constellation of SBIRS Low satellites to support missile defense This system will provide capabilities to track enemy ballistic missiles and to assist in the discrimination of reentry vehicles and other objects in flight p 28 Command and Control Intelligence the Secretary of Defense established a Federal Advisory Committee FAC to conduct an independent end to end review of all activities involved in maintaining the highest standards of nuclear weapons safety security control and reliability This End to End Review was conducted concurrently with the NPR but was not completed before the NPR deadline While the review is not yet final the FAC presented an urgent preliminary finding to the Secretary subsequent to the events of September 11 identifying the need to expand the current nuclear command and control C2 architecture to a true national command and control conferencing system p 26 The attacks of September 11 dramatically highlighted the requirement for secure wideband communications between fixed and mobile command centers and national decision makers The Department is developing a secure wideband communications architecture and procedures The Department will initiate a satellite communications system in FY03 the Advanced Wideband System AWS that incorporates interoperable laser communications and will be designed to meet the needs of the defense and intelligence community for wideband tactical protected tactical replaces Advanced EHF satellites broadcast and relay communications with a planned system first launch during FY09 The Department supports the effort to implement a secure wideband capability on all strategic C2 platforms Wideband complements but does not replace the requirement for assured survivable and enduring nuclear C2 p 27 The 2001 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States provided immediate upgrades to aircraft for national leadership and the Department has programmed funding for additional wideband upgrades including the E 4 National Airborne Operations Center aircraft Three Advanced Extremely High Frequency AEHF spacecraft are planned for an initial operating capability of FY08 that will provide nuclear survivable e g against high altitude electromagnetic pulse anti jam low and medium data rate communications to strategic and tactical users The Department will initiate in FY03 an Extremely High Frequency EHF communications satellites program primarily for national and strategic users requiring nuclear protected communications in the mid latitude and polar regions with a planned first launch during FY09 Survivable jam resistant secure voice conferencing among principal nuclear C2 decision makers remains essential to facilitate discussions of tactical warning and assessment response options and force management p 27 substantial investment in nuclear C2 cryptographic systems new nuclear C2 capabilities must be leveraged with new technologies p 27 Intelligence Significant capability shortfalls currently exist in finding and tracking mobile and relocatable targets and WMD sites locating identifying and characterizing hard and deeply buried targets HDBTs and providing intelligence support to Information Operations and federated intelligence operations p 28 To provide continuous and persistent intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance of critical regions the Department proposes to develop in its FY03 07 FYDP a system of systems that consists of space airborne surface and subsurface capabilities Sensors for this system will include a mix of phenomenology allow for agile and flexible response and operate across the electro magnetic spectrum p 28 New concepts for persistent surveillance from air and space based platforms including hyper spectral imaging are proposed in the FY03 budget ibid Intelligence for Information Operations IO Information Operations targeting weaponeering and execution requires intelligence collection of finer granularity and depth than is currently available The intelligence community lacks adequate data on most adversary computer local area networks and other command and control systems Additionally there is limited analytical capability to exploit these networks using IO tools Investments must continue in order to upgrade and populate the Modernized Integrated Database to enable effective IO targeting weaponeering and combat assessment essential to the New Triad Adaptive Planning p 29 The current nuclear planning system including target identification weapons system assignment and the nuclear command and control system requirements is optimized to support large deliberately planned nuclear strikes In the future as the nation moves beyond the concept of a large Single Integrated Operational Plan SIOP and moves toward more flexibility adaptive planning will play a much larger role Deliberate planning creates executable war plans prepared in advance for anticipated contingencies Adaptive planning is used to generate war plans quickly in time critical situations Deliberate planning provides the foundation for adaptive planning by identifying individual weapon target combinations that could be executed in crises For contingencies for which no adaptive planning has been done fully adaptive planning will be required The desire to shorten the time between identifying a target and having an option available will place significant stress on the nuclear planning process as it currently exists Presently 12 48 hours is required to develop a plan to attack a single new target depending on the weapon system to be employed A more flexible planning system is needed to address the requirements of adaptive planning To make the Strategic Warfare Planning System SWPS more responsive to adaptive planning scenarios a comprehensive SWPS Transformation Study has been initiated and is being conducted by U S Strategic Command Results will be available in late spring 2002 To meet the requirements of adaptive planning an upgrade of the existing nuclear C2 architecture is needed DOD Infrastructure Issues DOD has identified shortfalls in current infrastructure sustainment programs far nuclear platforms These include the following solid rocket motor design development and testing technology for current and future strategic systems improved surveillance and assessment capabilities command and control platforms and systems and design development and production of radiation hardened parts p 30 In support of this effort the Defense Science Board Task Force on System Technology for the Future US Strategic Posture is considering strategies for enhancing the ability of the U S technology base to deal with or hedge against uncertainties in the nature and timing of potential strategic threats the capability of the technology and industrial base to respond in a timely manner and the adequacy and responsiveness of science and technology programs related to possible future strategic capabilities In addition the U S Strategic Command Advisory Group on Strategic Platforms is addressing weapon system viability arid nuclear force readiness p 30 The Current U S Nuclear Warhead Infrastructure Underinvestment in the infrastructure in particular the production complex has increased the risks that if substantial problems in the stockpile are discovered future options to refurbish or replace existing designs will be limited For example although an interim pit production capability will be established later in this decade no current capability exists to build and certify plutonium pits certain secondary components or complete warheads p 30 The need is clear for a revitalized nuclear weapons complex that will be able if directed to design develop manufacture and certify new warheads in response to new national requirements and maintain readiness to resume underground nuclear testing if required p 30 Stockpile Maintenance DOD and NNSA are in the preliminary stages of determining the requirements for nuclear warheads for the New Triad As the New Triad is developed and fielded DoD and NNSA will have to reassess how the warheads in the stockpile are characterized At present the warhead stockpile is divided into two categories active and inactive Active stock pile warheads are maintained in a ready for use configuration with tritium and other limited life components installed They incorporate the latest warhead modifications The active stockpile includes all deployed warheads warheads for the responsive force and logistics spares for each warhead type Inactive stockpile warheads do not have limited life components installed and may not have the latest warhead modifications These warheads serve a number of purposes ranging from reliability replacements that act as a hedge against the discovery of a problem with a large number of active warheads to the more predictable replacement of warheads consumed by quality assurance and reliability testing This hedge is required because the United States will not have for a decade or more the capacity to produce certain new components for warheads The time it would take to deploy warheads in the inactive stockpile depends on the delivery system and availability of tritium gas and other limited life components These warheads or their components could also be used to provide new capabilities This time would range from weeks in the case of bombers to years in the case of ICBMs p 31 32 There are almost 8 000 warheads in the active stockpile today As the initial nuclear warhead reductions are implemented some warheads will be transferred from the active to the inactive stockpile For example the removal from strategic service of the 4 SSBNs will result in the transfer of over 700 W76 warheads to the inactive stockpile By 2012 approximately 3 000 warheads now in the active stockpile are planned to be transferred to the inactive stockpile or retired p 32 Some of the W87 Peacekeeper warheads will be redeployed on Minuteman ICBMs under the Safety Enhanced Reentry Vehicle SERV program Each W87 warhead will displace one W62 or three W78 warheads currently deployed on Minuteman To provide warhead diversity in the force some SERV modified Minuteman missiles would carry the W78 warhead A number of W78 and W87 warheads will be retained as reliability replacements and surveillance assets to support the responsive force In addition the W62 will be retired by the end of Fiscal Year 2009 p 32 The active stockpiles also includes the nonstrategic nuclear weapons The United States will retain an inactive stockpile of nuclear weapons The size of that stockpile is yet to be determined It will be driven by the capacity of the nuclear weapon complex to refurbish and dismantle weapons For example today the complex can process either refurbish or dismantle roughly 350 weapons per year If the NNSA s proposed plan is funded that number should increase to roughly 600 per year p 32 A major challenge for nuclear weapons programs over the next two decades will be to refurbish and thereby extend the life of at least seven types of nuclear warheads a table lists these as B61 3 4 10 B61 7 11 W76 W78 W80 0 1 B83 0 B83 1 W87 and W88 Restoring Production Infrastructure Warhead Assembly and Disassembly Plans are underway to expand the capacity and capability of the Pantex Plant to meet the planned workload for dismantlement and remanufacturing of existing weapons p 33 Uranium Operations At least seven to eight years of effort will be required to restore the capability to produce a complete nuclear weapon secondary at the Y 12 Plant in Tennessee Qualified processes for some material and manufacturing steps are not currently in place Plans are underway to expand the capacity and capability of the Y 12 Plant to meet the planned workload for replacing warhead secondaries and other uranium components p 33 Plutonium Operations One glaring shortfall is the inability to fabricate and certify weapon primaries or so called pits Work is underway to establish an interim capability at Los Alamos National Laboratory late in this decade to meet current demand created by destructive surveillance testing on the W88 warhead For the long term a new modern production facility will be needed to deal with the large scale replacement of components and new production p 33 Other Component and Material Production Tritium production halted since 1988 is programmed to resume in FY03 with first deliveries to the stockpile scheduled for FY06 Additionally warhead refurbishment plans require modern facilities at Y 12 s Special Materials Complex for manufacturing unique materials p 14 NNSA Initiatives for Nuclear Weapons Programs As a result of the NPR NNSA will undertake several initiatives Advanced Concepts Initiative There are several nuclear weapon options that might provide important advantages for enhancing the nation s deterrence posture possible modifications to existing weapons to provide additional yield flexibility in the stockpile improved earth penetrating weapons EPWs to counter the increased use by potential adversaries of hardened and deeply buried facilities and warheads that reduce collateral damage p 34 35 To further assess these and other nuclear weapons options in connection with meeting new or emerging military requirements the NNSA will reestablish advanced warhead concepts teams at each of the national laboratories and at headquarters in Washington This will provide unique opportunities to train our next generation of weapon designers and engineers DoD and NNSA will also jointly review potential programs to provide nuclear capabilities and identify opportunities for further study including assessments of whether nuclear testing would be required to field such warheads p 35 The Feb 2001 Foster Panel recommendation that DOE NNSA assess the feasibility and cost of reducing the time to resume testing to well below the Congressionally mandated one year sense of the Congress as expressed in the 1996 Resolution of Ratification for the START II Treaty was addressed as part of the NPR p 35 Test Readiness is maintained principally by the participation of nuclear test program personnel in an active program of stockpile stewardship experiments carried out underground at the Nevada Test Site NTS There are two concerns about the current test readiness program First the current 2 3 year test readiness posture will not be sustainable as more and more experienced test personnel retire Not all of the techniques and processes required to carry out underground nuclear tests including nuclear diagnostic instrumentation containment design and emplacement of diagnostic equipment in a vertical shaft drillback and radiochemical analysis are exercised with the subcritical experimentation work carried out a the NTS As experienced personnel retire it will become more difficult to train new people in these techniques further degrading test readiness This argues for an approach in which all key capabilities required to conduct underground nuclear tests are identified and exercised on projects making use of a variety of nuclear testing related skills p 35 36 Second the 2 3 year posture may be too long to address any serious defect that might be discovered in the future Given the certainty of surprise in the future and the broad spectrum of threats the United States also must have the capability to understand the technological implications of nuclear weapon concepts and countermeasures tested by other states to ensure that U S weapons and delivery platforms including advanced conventional strike systems perform effectively If necessary this will enable the United States to initiate research into whether it needs to develop an entirely new capability one that it not a modification of an existing weapon in time to address the threat p 36 To address these concerns NNSA proposes over the next three years to enhance test readiness by augmenting key personnel and increasing their operational proficiency beginning the mentoring of the next generation of testing personnel conducting additional field experiments including additional subcritical experiments and test related exercises of appropriate fidelity replacing key underground test unique components e g Field Test Neutron Generators modernizing certain test diagnostic capabilities and decreasing the time required to show regulatory and safety compliance DoD and NNSA will work to refine test scenarios and evaluate cost benefit tradeoffs in order to determine implement and sustain the optimum test readiness time chat best supports the New Triad p 36 Meeting Warhead Production Commitments to DoD A key capability that must be recovered is manufacture of plutonium pits In addition to our efforts to establish a limited production capability at Los Alamos NNSA will accelerate preliminary design work on a modern pit manufacturing facility so that new production capacity can be brought on line when it is needed p 36 People with Critical Skills The DoD and NNSA will jointly support opportunities that provide end to end demonstration of integrated capabilities involved with warhead design development manufacturing and warhead weapon integration A key objective is to exercise critical skills for adapting warheads to DoD weapon delivery systems NNSA will include the following as goals for the new Advanced Concepts Initiative Transfer of warhead design knowledge from the current generation of designers to the next generation Exercise of DoD NNSA program integration skills Nuclear Force Sustainment and Modernization No plans to phase out dual capable F 15E Phase out F 16 once dual capable JSF is deployed Concerning ICBMs The focus of the Department s efforts are to extend the life of the MM III weapons system until 2020 while beginning the requirements process for the next generation ICBM A comprehensive set of sustainment programs are planned or underway Guidance Replacement Program GRP Propulsion Replacement Program PRP Propulsion System Rocket Engine PSRE life extension program replaces aging components in the post boost vehicle Rapid Execution and Combat Targeting REACT service life extension program Environmental Control System ECS Safety Enhanced Reentry Vehicle SERV program The SERV program reconfigures the MM III ICBM to carry the Mk21 reentry vehicle which is currently deployed on Peacekeeper missiles p 41 Peacekeeper deactivation will occur over a 36 month period beginning in FY03 with missiles remaining on alert and fully mission capable throughout the deactivation period The Department analyzed the role of the Peacekeeper against projected threats in the post Cold War environment and judged that its retirement would not have an adverse effect on the sufficiency of U S nuclear forces DoD plans to retain the booster stages for potential future uses such as space launch or target vehicles p 41 Follow on ICBM The Air Force Systems Command AFSPC led the Ballistic Missile Requirements BMR Study 1998 to 2000 which documented a number of needs beyond the current baseline ICBM mission such as extended range trajectory shaping strategic relocatable targets and hardened deeply buried targets that the next generation ICBM could address The Land Based Strategic Nuclear Deterrence Mission Needs Statement MNS drew from the analysis done in the BMR study in documenting the need for ICBMs beyond 2020 To expand on the MNS and address alternatives for the follow on ICBM AFSPC plans to conduct an analysis of alternatives in FY04 and FY05 with an IOC by 2018 This work will ensure the requirements generation process and the acquisition process remain on track for the future ICBM force p 41 Trident SSBN The Administration intends to convert four SSBNs from the current force of 18 submarines to carry special operations forces as well as conventional cruise missiles Achieving this force structure also requires converting four of the eight Trident I C 4 SSBNs to carry the Trident D 5 missile The Navy has extended the Trident hull life to 44 years This in turn will require the DoD to extend the service life of the D 5 SWS Strategic Weapons System as well The first of the 14 Trident SSBNs remaining in service will he retired in 2029 p 42 Trident II SLBM DoD will fund the D 5 Life Extension Program which continues production of D 5 missiles and upgrades the guidance and missile electronics systems on existing missiles The continued production of additional D 5 missiles is needed in order to prevent a shortage of missiles in the next decade p 42 Follow on SSBN DoD assumes the continued requirement for a sea based strategic nuclear force Therefore the timeframe when the next generation SSBN will need to be deployed is about 2029 when the first of the remaining operational Trident SSBNs is planned to be retired The Navy is currently studying two options for future follow on SSBNs 1 a variant of Virginia class nuclear attack submarines SSN and 2 a dedicated SSBN either a new design or a derivative of the Trident SSBN If the decision is made to develop a new dedicated SSBN a program would have to be initiated around 2016 to ensure that a new platform is available in 2029 p 42 Follow on SLBM A new SLBM would be needed in about 2029 to match the schedule for a follow on SSBN The Navy has begun studies to examine range payload requirements and missile size but no specific plans for a follow on SLBM at this point other than extending the service life of the Trident D 5 p 42 Common Missile The Department of Defense doe not plan to pursue a common ICBM SLBM ballistic missile at this time However the Air Force and Navy are currently cooperating in research and development on common technologies related to current and future ballistic missiles the Guidance Applications Prograrn GAP Reentry Systems Applications Program RSAP Propulsion Applications Program PAP and Technology for the Sustainment of Strategic Systems TSSS programs p 42 43 Heavy Bombers Air Launched Cruise Missiles p 43 Strategic Bombers The Air Force plans to keep the current B 2 and B 52 fleet operational far another 35 40 years An aggressive sustainment and modernization effort for both platforms is required to support this plan In particular upgrades to communications avionics processors radar systems displays and navigation equipment are essential to keep the fleet affordable and operationally relevant throughout this period Assured worldwide survivable two way connectivity between the National Command Authorities and the strategic bomber force is a fundamental element of strategic command and control B 52s and B 2s must transition to Advanced Extremely High Frequency AEHF satellite communications in order to ensure continued Connectivity with National Command elements Situational Awareness SA and electronic countermeasures ECM remain the highest priority B 52 upgrades The inability to adapt to and counter threats the high failure rate of SA and ECM equipment components parts obsolescence and a vanishing vendor base severely limit the B 52 s ability to operate in a combat environment To that end the Electronic Countermeasure Improvement Situational Awareness Defense Improvement and Low Mid Band Jammer replacement programs are essential to ensuring the B 52 remains a viable combat asset beyond 2006 The B 52 also requires a highly reliable and accurate navigation system to conduct worldwide tasking and nuclear weapons deliveries The Inertial Navigation system INS represents the heart of the B 52 navigation suite but is reaching the end of service life and is increasingly cost prohibitive to support The Avionics Mid Life Improvement program addresses this issue by replacing the INS and other obsolete B 52 avionics components required for precision navigation and weapons delivery Several upgrades are currently underway on the B 2 These upgrades include AHFM Alternate High Frequency Material which improves the ability to maintain the low observable materials of the aircraft UHF SATCOM upgrade JASSM upgrade Mk 82 Smart Bomb Rack Assembly upgrade and Link 16 upgrade Air Launched Weapons Systems The Air Force recently determined that its current force of cruise missiles can be sustained until 2030 p 43 Follow on Strategic Bombers Based on current estimates a new bomber will need to be operational by approximately 2040 A need for additional or improved bomber capabilities could however move the need date closer to the present The Air Force recently funded a science and technology effort for the Long Range Strike Aerospace Platform X to further explore options p 43 44 Follow on Air Launched Weapon Systems There are no plans at this time for a follow on nuclear ALCM However conventional cruise missile programs such as the Extended Range Cruise Missile are planned that could support an accelerated timetable if necessary but would have to be modified to carry nuclear warheads Dual Capable Aircraft DoD is considering options and their associated costs to either extend the life of the dual capable F 16C Ds and F 15Es or make a block upgrade to the Joint Strike Fighter JSF aircraft The Operational Requirements Document for the JSF requires that initial design permit nuclear capability to be incorporated at a later date after IOC currently scheduled for 2012 at an affordable price Dual capable aircraft and nuclear weapons in support of NATO DoD will not seek any change to the current posture in FY02 but will review both issues to assess whether any modifications to the current posture are appropriate to adapt to the changing threat environment A

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  • Stockpile Stewardship
    Affidavits April 17 1997 Press Release LASG Prevails January 23 1998 DOE Charged with Contempt February 19 1998 DOE in Contempt April 20 1998 Press Release lawsuit against DOE Ask Few Questions Get Few Answers February 1 1995 The JASONs Science Based Stockpile Stewardship Study A Review for Tri Valley CAREs Articles and Guest Editorials November 10 2002 Why Make More Plutonium Pits October 24 2002 No Need for a

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  • Plutonium in Pits Stable to 150 yrs, press release, 6 Dec 2012
    to Secretary O Leary in October of 1996 pdf given the statements made to us that year by senior Los Alamos National Laboratory LANL officials that LANL has found no aging phenomena which would significantly decrease pit performance in the first few decades of pit life assuming there are no design errors or manufacturing defects In 1996 as we wrote then the first few decades was the outer envelope of confident pit life By 2002 it was 45 60 years By 2007 it was at least 85 years Now it is 150 years While pits contain other shell s made of other materials some of which could in principle corrode or otherwise degrade only the two plutonium hemishells need be manufactured and joined in a plutonium facility Pits can be otherwise assembled and the more peripheral components exchanged in far less expensive facilities as was done at the Rocky Flats Plant As far as we know no such pit repairs are needed or planned The Pantex nuclear weapons plant near Amarillo TX has a pit requalification work station in which the outer layer of the pit can be removed for inspection and replaced if needed Thus it is the aging of the plutonium components themselves not anything else which is germane to plutonium infrastructure decisions Study Group Director Greg Mello Taken together with other information this new finding has a number of important implications These include The probability of prior results being mistaken despite the extensive peer review they had and therefore of acute pit failure is now lower than ever Pit production for the stockpile is not needed unless somehow a grossly uneconomical scheme is devised in which the present inventory of roughly 5 000 backup pits beyond the roughly 5 000 pits now in the nuclear stockpile is deemed insufficient For stockpile pit inventory and other details see U S Plutonium Pit Production Additional Facilities Production Restart are Unnecessary Costly and Provocative pdf Extensive further resources can be found at http www lasg org CMRR open page htm Such a cockamamie scheme indeed has been devised It is the so called W78 W88 Life Extension Project including a large build of new hedge warheads It may not endure politically or managerially Let us hope not Barring such artificial created needs no large new plutonium pit manufacturing capability is needed to maintain an extremely large diverse nuclear stockpile for the foreseeable future for generations For sound reasons the U S has signed a binding treaty promising complete nuclear disarmament the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons NPT It would be counterproductive to plan or design for such a large facility now because the planning and design bases would change so much prior to any necessity for construction that the effort would need to be updated again and again In today s world national security threats from other sources have eclipsed the unique and nearly absolute claim nuclear weapons once had on appropriations In our view the most

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  • Los Alamos Study Group
    Brief History of Pit Production The first plutonium atomic bomb core pit was made at Los Alamos in 1945 and detonated near Alamogordo on July 16 The second core was detonated over Nagasaki Japan a few days later destroying the city and 74 000 of its inhabitants Los Alamos continued to make all the pits for the U S nuclear stockpile first at Building D where the Los Alamos Inn is today and then at DP Site TA 21 until 1949 when the Hanford site in WA began pit production supplemented by Rocky Flats in 1952 Rocky took over plutonium machining completely in 1965 Los Alamos and Livermore continued to make pits for nuclear testing and possibly for the stockpile until 1992 In 1988 the Department of Energy DOE realized that the mounting environmental safety and moral protest problems at Rocky would doom the plant and issued the first of many plans to replace it In 1989 Rocky closed partial cleanup is estimated to cost 12 billion Since then every new plan for a new plant has so far been defeated by citizen protest and intervention Where We Stand Today In September 2002 DOE NNSA issued its notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement EIS for a new pit production facility called the Modern Pit Facility MPF with a proposed capacity of 125 450 pits year This facility was estimated to cost 2 4 billion to build at one of five sites It was to begin production in 2019 The siting decision was expected in April 2004 as of this writing it is being held up until a plan for the size and composition of the nuclear stockpile is submitted to Congress Meanwhile Los Alamos has begun trial production and is aiming at a capacity of 50 pits year within a few years Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory can also make pits if needed Many organizations including ours along with many Democrats in Congress have been trying to kill the MPF with mixed success to date It has probably been delayed one year so far The entire NM delegation supports the MPF Some Democrats are arguing that the Los Alamos pit production capacity should be expanded by as much as threefold to avoid building the MPF To End Nuclear Weapons Production At least five proposals for a new large scale pit factory have been advanced by DOE since 1988 Three have been cancelled or withdrawn and one the proposal for a 50 pit year capacity at Los Alamos was delayed exactly ten years from its original deadline by citizen opposition led by the Los Alamos Study Group The fifth proposal is still looming but in the meantime a sixth proposal halt opposition in NM and triple the planned production capacity at Los Alamos has been floated by arms control groups Not since the beginning of nuclear resistance has there been so much defeatism in the arms control community and in the major foundations which control the direction of most

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/technical/plutoniumprimer.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Los Alamos Study Group
    work may be interspersed and masked for public relations purposes with so called aging studies Proof tests of newly manufactured pits may also be done Since the safety of existing designs is an intrinsic property of the design and has already been certified any so called safety studies will refer to the safety of new designs The history of the Appaloosa program and its predecessors is shrouded in secrecy It is not known how many explosions have been conducted what the size of the explosions has been how many of those explosions involved the special Pu 242 isotope or what the purposes of the experiments have been We believe the program was idle but for one test during the 1982 1992 period The Study Group has photographs of vessels used in the historic Appaloosa program as well as working drawings of the some of the vessels to be used in the current program vessel specifications invoices and related documents In 1970 an internal safety study suggested that the need for the experiments had been reevaluated in light of the potential for widespread contamination and radiation exposure that could result in the event of catastrophic vessel failure In addition to subcritical tests at Nevada and Los Alamos additional dynamic studies of shocked plutonium have recently begun at LANL s Materials Science Laboratory These are the so called plutonium mini flyer experiments where lasers are used to accelerate metal plates that strike plutonium at high speeds These experiments can be conducted on a one day turnaround basis giving very rapid data acquisition Dynamic experiments are also done at LANL s main plutonium facility which houses a high speed plutonium gas gun for dynamic measurements These four categories of dynamic experiments together with a wide battery of static laboratory tests comprise a highly

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/technical/press-lanl-tests.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Los Alamos Study Group
    Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board DNFSB has also been evaluating the risk and hazard from such an accident Statements from LANL that this accident is not credible are belied by all this study as well as by common sense This accident is only one scenario however among many LANL is embarked on a dramatic increase in its storage transportation processing fabrication and explosive testing of plutonium and plutonium weapon components that greatly increase the variety and likelihood of possible accidents We believe that in addition to routine nuclear waste production and increased worker exposures accidents small or large are not at all unlikely in the long run Rocky Flats which conducted some of these activities in the past was subject to hundreds of fires LANL has recently been the subject of scathing safety reviews by DOE and internal investigators following serious accidents The Study Group suggests that these investigation results support aspects of what is known as normal accident theory which postulates that organizational and sociological factors place an upper limit on the safety that can be achieved by real institutions that use complex and dangerous technologies especially in a democratic society The radiological doses and deposition patterns fallout were calculating using nuclear accident software obtained from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory LLNL They generally agree with the analysis published by the DOE in the DARHT EIS and with other authors The attached broadside published today in the Santa Fe Reporter summarizes the salient points of the analysis further details are available upon request It should be noted that the complexities of terrain wind variations and mode of release mock attempts to predict doses and fallout patterns exactly Real plumes are not so predictable The effects of an entire population inhaling plutonium are likewise not fully known The dose effect relationship used is the standard one it assumes no shielding from buildings on the one hand and that everyone is a nonsmoking adult on the other Smokers are extremely vulnerable to plutonium inhalation perhaps 200 times more so than nonsmokers There may also be other especially vulnerable groups for whom plutonium inhalation is particularly carcinogenic Not discussed by the DOE s analysis is the possibility that in the event of an accident high levels of plutonium deposition could render portions of LANL itself unusable including the plutonium facilities at TA 55 Today s results focus on possible economic environmental and public health impacts of one aspect of DOE s planned increase in nuclear weapons activities The Study Group Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety the Natural Resources Defense Council and dozens of other groups filed suit in Washington on May 2 to force DOE to examine alternatives to its massive new nuclear weapons program slated to cost 40 billion over the next ten years more than the Department spent on average during the Cold War on comparable activities All told the nation has spent 4 trillion on nuclear weapons according to an authoritative ongoing study at the Brookings Institution The DARHT facility

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/technical/press-lanl-pu.htm (2016-02-16)
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