DOCI: DODD 3150.2
TITL: DODD 3150.2 DoD Nuclear Weapon System Safety Program, December 23, 1996,
(a) DoD Directive 3150.2, "Safety Studies and Reviews of Nuclear Weapon
Systems," February 8, 1984 (hereby canceled)
(b) DoD Directive 3150.1, "Joint Nuclear Weapons Development Studies and
Engineering Projects," December 27, 1983
(c) DoD Directive 5000.1, "Defense Acquisition" March 15, 1996
(d) DoD 5025.1-M, "DoD Directives System Procedures," August 1994,
authorized by DoD Directive 5025.1, June 24, 1994
(e) through (9), see enclosure 1
A. REISSUANCE AND PURPOSE
1. Reissues reference (a) to establish the DoD Nuclear Weapon System
2. Issues DoD nuclear weapon system safety policy, reissues the four DoD
nuclear weapon system safety standards, assigns responsibilities for the
management of the DoD Nuclear Weapon System Safety Program, and requires
safety to be considered during joint DoD-Department of Energy (DoE)
nuclear weapon life-cycle activities under reference (b) and nuclear
weapon system acquisition activities under reference (c).
3. Authorizes the publication of DoD 3150.2-M, "DoD Nuclear Weapon System
Safety Program Manual," consistent with reference (d), providing principal
guidance on execution of the DoD Nuclear Weapon System Safety Program.
4. Assigns responsibilities for the Nuclear Weapons Technical Inspection
System and the DoD Nuclear Weapon System Safety Training Program.
This Directive applies to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD),
the Military Departments, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the
Combatant Commands, and the Defense Agencies (hereafter referred to
collectively as "the DoD Components").
Terms used in this Directive are defined in enclosure 2.
1. It is DoD policy that four DoD Nuclear Weapon System Safety Standards
shall serve as the foundation for all nuclear weapons safety matters, as
a. There shall be positive measures to prevent nuclear weapons involved
in accidents or incidents, or jettisoned weapons, from producing a nuclear
b. There shall be positive measures to prevent DELIBERATE prearming,
arming, launching, or releasing of nuclear weapons, except upon execution
of emergency war orders or when directed by competent authority.
c. There shall be positive measures to prevent INADVERTENT prearming,
arming, launching, or releasing of nuclear weapons in all normal and
credible abnormal environments.
d. There shall be positive measures to ensure adequate security of
nuclear weapons, under DoD Directive 5210.41 (reference (e)).
2. It is further DoD policy that:
a. Nuclear weapon systems shall require special consideration because of
their political and military importance, their destructive power, and the
potential consequences of an accident or unauthorized act.
b. Nuclear weapon systems shall be evaluated throughout their DoD
life-cycles for compliance with the four DoD Nuclear Weapon System Safety
Standards, through a formal studies and review process.
c. Nuclear weapon systems shall be designed or improved to the maximum
extent practical with current and approved advanced safety technologies,
consistent with cost and operational feasibility.
d. Nuclear weapons systems shall be designed, maintained, transported,
stored, and employed to incorporate maximum safety, consistent with
e. Procedures, personnel, equipment, facilities, and organizations shall
be certified before conducting operations with nuclear weapons or nuclear
f. Safety rules, technical and operational procedures, and other positive
measures shall be developed and approved for each nuclear weapon system,
through a formal approval process, and shall apply to each nuclear weapon
or weapon system in the custody of the Department of Defense.
9. Personnel involved in nuclear operations shall receive appropriate
training and will be continually evaluated as required by DoD Directive
5210.42 (reference (f)).
h. Nuclear weapon system safety, security, survivability, and use control
are interrelated. Decisions concerning one shall not be made without
consideration of the effect of those decisions on the others.
i. Nuclear weapons and nuclear weapon systems shall not be intentionally
exposed to abnormal environments, and there shall be no deviation from
established procedures, except in an emergency.
1. The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology shall:
a. Ensure that the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and
Chemical and Biological Defense Programs (ATSD(NCB)) shall do the
(1) Be responsible to the Secretary of Defense for all matters associated
with nuclear weapon system safety under DoD Directive 5134.8 (reference
(9)), establish safety policy, and monitor compliance with the DoD Nuclear
Weapon System Safety Program.
(2) Serve as the OSD principal point of contact with the DoD Components,
the DoE, the Department of State, the Joint DoD-DoE Nuclear Weapons
Council, and other Government Agencies in executing safety
responsibilities. Communication with the Combatant Commands shall be
through the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
b. Ensure that the ATSD(NCB)shall ensure that the Director, Defense
Special Weapons Agency, shall do the following:
(1) Provide technical advice and assistance to the OSD, the Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Secretaries of the Military Departments
in the execution of the DoD Nuclear Weapon System Safety Program.
(2) Support the Military Departments and the Combatant Commands on
nuclear weapon system safety matters.
(3) Develop and maintain nuclear weapon safety databases as requested by
a Military Department.
(4) In coordination with the Military Departments, chair a joint Service
working group to define requirements for the maintenance of nuclear weapon
(5) Develop, implement, and operate a DoD nuclear weapon system safety
(6) Conduct defense nuclear surety inspections for the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff.
2. The Secretaries of the Military Departments shall do the following:
a. Ensure the safety and security of all nuclear weapons and nuclear
weapon systems for which the Military Department has a DoD life-cycle
b. Conduct nuclear weapon system safety studies, reviews, and safety
assessments on U.S. nuclear weapons and Allied systems using U.S. nuclear
weapons to support the DoD Nuclear Weapon System Safety Program.
c. Ensure that nuclear weapons technical inspections are conducted.
d. Establish safety design and evaluation criteria for nuclear weapon
e. Conduct safety certifications of nuclear weapon systems, including DoD
support equipment and software that affects nuclear safety.
f. In coordination with the Defense Special Weapons Agency, participate
in a joint Service working group to define requirements for the
maintenance of nuclear weapon safety databases.
3. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall do the following:
a. Advise the Secretary of Defense on nuclear weapon system safety
b. Establish nuclear weapons technical inspection policy and monitor
implementation of the inspection system.
4. The Commanders of the Combatant Commands shall do the following:
a. Ensure the safety and security of all nuclear weapons and nuclear
weapon systems for which the Combatant Command has responsibility.
b. Provide assistance to the responsible Military Departments for the
conduct of required safety studies, reviews, and inspections of Allied
forces that will use U.S. nuclear weapons.
F. EFFECTIVE DATE
This Directive is effective immediately.
John P. White
Deputy Secretary of Defense
Enclosures - 2
(e) DoD Directive 5210.41, "Security Policy for Protecting Nuclear
Weapons," September 23, 1988
(f) DoD Directive 5210.42, "Nuclear Weapon Personnel Reliability Program
(PRP)," May 25, 1993
(g) DoD Directive 5134.8, "Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for
Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Defense Programs (ATSD(NCB)),"
June 8, 1994
1. DoD Nuclear Weapon System Safety Program. A program integrating
safety policy, organizational responsibilities, and formalized procedures
throughout a nuclear weapon system's life-cycle to protect nuclear weapon
systems. The program involves identifying, evaluating, controlling, and
reducing risks related to nuclear weapons. Positive measures are used to
enhance the safety of nuclear weapon systems.
2. Emergency. An unexpected occurrence or set of circumstances in which
personnel or equipment unavailability, due to accident, natural event, or
combat, may demand immediate action that may require extraordinary
measures to protect, handle, service, transport, jettison, or employ a
3. Life-Cycle Process. The breadth of activities applicable to a nuclear
weapon throughout its lifetime that includes development, testing,
production, transportation, acceptance, storage, maintenance, upgrades,
retirement, and dismantlement, as well as approved operations.
4. Nuclear Weapon. A device in which the explosion results from the
energy released by reactions involving fission or fusion (of atomic
5. Nuclear Weapon System. A nuclear weapon and a means for delivering it
to the target, with associated support equipment, facilities, procedures,
personnel, and any vehicles peculiar to the system used for weapon
6. Nuclear Weapon System Safety. The applicat