Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Nuclear Capabilities (Report Summary)   [open pdf - 850KB]

"The Defense Science Board Task Force on Nuclear Capabilities was asked by the Secretary of Defense to consider the issues associated with the current nuclear stockpile, nuclear production complex, management of the nuclear enterprise, and examine plans to transform the nuclear enterprise to provide a capability to respond to 21st Century security needs. The Task Force concluded that there is agreement that the overriding priority for the US nuclear weapons enterprises is to provide and sustain a reliable, safe, secure and credible set of nuclear weapons needed to maintain the nuclear deterrent. However, there is no national consensus on the nature of that need. Currently approved programs are focused on extending the life of existing weapons indefinitely with a production complex that is not configured, managed, or funded to meet minimum immediate stockpile sustainment needs. However, the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RWW) program, if it progresses to production, provides for a path to a sustainable nuclear stockpile. Finally, the current nuclear organization, management, and programs do not provide for a nuclear weapons enterprise capable of meeting the nation's minimum needs. The Task Force believes that the recommendations and considerations contained in this report will get the US on the right track toward achieving a reliable, safe, secure and credible nuclear weapons stockpile and overall nuclear enterprise for the 21st Century. The Task Force urges the senior leaders of this nation to understand the urgent need to act on the report's findings and recommendations."

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