August 10, 2018

HMM: In Alarming New Study, Nuclear Lab Scientists Question U.S. Weapons’ Performance.

Here are some excerpts from the scientific paper:

“Nuclear tests gave decisive, direct evidence about the behavior of new weapons destined for the stockpile….Virtually no comparable data exist on the nuclear performance of stockpiled weapons in their current state.”

“The nuclear weapons laboratories have a continuing responsibility for maintaining the safety, performance and reliability of these weapons as long as they remain in service….This responsibility cannot adequately be met within the SSP.” (Stockpile Stewardship Program)

“But this approach does not take into account the facts that in the past some serious problems were revealed only as a result of a nuclear test, or that nuclear test data are required to develop and validate the scientific judgement and computer codes that must be used to assess the nuclear performance of weapons .”

“We note further that in the absence of testing the current stockpile maintenance program inevitably promotes a shift in the standard of assurance for the performance of stockpiled weapons from ‘decisive, direct evidence of proper performance’ to ‘absence of evidence of unacceptable performance.’ In so doing, the nuclear weapons program is clearly flying in the face of extensive experience concerning the standards that must be met to confirm the safety, performance and reliability of complex, high-consequence systems.”

Sure would be nice if we could test the damn things once in a while.