Joint Statement by Three Nuclear Weapons Laboratory Directors on the Safety and Reliability of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Stockpile

Department of Energy Press Release
October 8, 1999

United States Department of Energy News

October 8, 1999

Joint Statement by Three Nuclear Weapons Laboratory Directors
C. Paul Robinson, Sandia National Laboratories
John C. Browne, Los Alamos National Laboratory
C. Bruce Tarter, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

"We, the three nuclear weapons laboratory directors, have been consistent in our view that the stockpile remains safe and reliable today.

"For the last three years, we have advised the Secretaries of Energy and Defense through the formal annual certification process that the stockpile remains safe and reliable and that there is no need to return to nuclear testing at this time.

"We have just forwarded our fourth set of certification letters to the Energy and Defense Secretaries confirming our judgment that once again the stockpile is safe and reliable without nuclear testing.

"While there can never be a guarantee that the stockpile will remain safe and reliable indefinitely without nuclear testing, we have stated that we are confident that a fully supported and sustained stockpile stewardship program will enable us to continue to maintain America's nuclear deterrent without nuclear testing.

"If that turns out not to be the case, Safeguard F -- which is a condition for entry into the Test Ban Treaty by the U.S. -- provides for the President, in consultation with the Congress, to withdraw from the Treaty under the standard "supreme national interest" clause in order to conduct whatever testing might be required."

- DOE -