Stockpile stewardship the 'right program'

Secretary of Energy, lab director, express confidence in program

Stockpile Stewardship was the focus of the first week of hearings on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Secretary of Energy Federico Peña underscored the value of the Stockpile Stewardship program in testimony today. He said, “...I have visited each of the Department’s three weapons laboratories, and have personally engaged each of the weapons laboratory directors in discussions about the strength and adequacy of Stockpile Stewardship. I have also met with other experts both within and outside of the Department, and I am pleased to report that there is a strong consensus that Stockpile Stewardship is the right program to address the challenges of maintaining our nuclear deterrent without underground nuclear testing.... We can enter into the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty with confidence that the safety and reliability of our nuclear deterrent can be maintained.”
Secretary Peña, commenting on the annual certification process to assure that the stockpile remains safe and reliable said, “I have spoken to each of the weapons laboratory directors, and the Commander in Chief of Strategic Command to ensure that they are confident in their assessment -- and they are -- of the safety and reliability of the stockpile.”
Bruce Tarter, Director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in a written statement provided to a committee earlier this week, said he was “quite optimistic” that the program will enable the United States to maintain confidence in the stockpile.
The lab director wrote, “My responsibility is to assure the President that nuclear weapons in the enduring U.S. arsenal remain safe and reliable. To date I have been able to provide such assurances with confidence even though we last conducted a nuclear test in 1992.”
He continued, “The [Stockpile Stewardship program] is making use of -- and in some cases driving -- tremendous advances in technology. We are rapidly advancing the state of the art in supercomputing and we are


pursuing the design and construction of major experimental facilities that will enable weapon scientists and engineers to resolve important stockpile issues.... These new capabilities will be developed and tested by experienced weapons scientists and engineers, who will then train the next generation of stockpile stewards to use the new tools correctly.”

Produced by the White House Working Group on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
For more information on the CTBT: Phone: 202-647-8677 Fax: 202-647-6928