For decades, President Reagan’s 1981 National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 7 remained entirely classified. According to a 1999 listing of Reagan NSDDs issued by the National Security Council, even the title of NSDD 7 was classified.
In 2008, the document was partially declassified, bearing the title “[deleted] Weapons.” It stated: “The production and stockpiling of [deleted] weapons is authorized with stockpiling being restricted to the United States [deleted].”
What is this all about? What mysterious weapons were to be produced and stockpiled that could not be acknowledged three decades later?
In all likelihood, said Hans Kristensen of FAS, the deleted term describing the weapons is “enhanced radiation.” Two enhanced radiation weapons started production in August/September 1981, he noted: the W70 (Lance warhead) and the W79 (artillery shell).
That likelihood is actually a certainty, said our colleague Allen Thomson, who pointed to the 1991 Bush directive NSD 59. The Bush directive, declassified in 1996, listed the title of NSDD 7 with no redactions: Enhanced Radiation Weapons.
To empower new voices to start their career in nuclear weapons studies, the Federation of American Scientists launched the New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship. Here’s what our inaugural cohort accomplished.
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The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]
According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ August 2023 pulse panel, 60% of public schools were utilizing a “community school” or “wraparound services model” at the start of this school year—up from 45% last year.