The Future of Nuclear Power in the United States

In the wake of the devastating meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, many Americans are now reevaluating the costs and benefits of nuclear energy. If anything, the accident underscores that constant vigilance is needed to ensure nuclear safety. Policymakers and the public need more guidance about where nuclear power in the United States appears to be heading.

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The Stockpile Stewardship Program: Fifteen Years On

Nuclear weapons, while simple in principle, are technically complex devices with a multitude of components. As with any complicated piece of equipment, there may be concern that, over time, a weapon’s reliability could decline. To coordinate efforts to maintain the nation’s existing nuclear weapons, the Department of Energy developed a Stockpile Stewardship Program (SSP). This report reviews the status of the experimental devices that support the SSP, describes how each experiment is supposed to work, and identifies the problems that have been encountered.

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