Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Los Alamos Directors Roundtable

Los Alamos National Laboratory directors, past and present, declare the Stockpile Stewardship Program a success but say it is not enough for national security.
February 1, 2014
Los Alamos Directors Roundtable

Right to left are Charlie McMillan, the Laboratory’s current director; Mike Anastasio, director from 2006 to 2011; Bob Kuckuck, director from 2005 to 2006; and Pete Nanos, director from 2003 to 2005.

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Who in their right mind thinks we can extend weapons concepts from the 1970s for 40 more years?

Four Laboratory directors met in July 2013 to assess the Stockpile Stewardship Program. Through life-extension programs, stockpile stewardship refurbishes the United States’ aging nuclear weapons, thus keeping today’s stockpile safe, effective, and reliable. But how long will that stay true? The United States is not building new weapons to replace those built more than 20 years ago, and there are no new designs on the table. In addition, the next generation of weapons designers may not have the training to take on those tasks if necessary. The directors warned that we might be risking our national security in the Second Nuclear Age. They called for the United States to keep itself at the forefront of nuclear weapons technology by investing in its nuclear weapons scientists and their laboratories. A first step would be reviving the Laboratory’s languishing experimental program.


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