Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

U.S. Must Re-establish Global Leadership In Nuclear Arms Control, U.S. Experts Urge

Date:
December 10, 2008
Source:
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Summary:
The United States must re-establish its global leadership in nuclear arms control while continuing to update its nuclear arsenal as necessary, but it should not add any new nuclear capabilities in the process, a joint working group of scientists and policy experts says in a study meant to inform decision making by the incoming Obama administration.

The United States must re-establish its global leadership in nuclear arms control while continuing to update its nuclear arsenal as necessary, but it should not add any new nuclear capabilities in the process, a joint working group of scientists and policy experts says in a study meant to inform decision making by the incoming Obama administration.

The study by a working group of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, offers options that would allow the United States to refurbish its nuclear stockpile without pursuing totally new, untested weapon designs.

The study, "Nuclear Weapons in 21st Century U.S. National Security," notes that the "truly pressing nuclear issues that will demand presidential attention are few in number." They include preventing the spread of nuclear weapons to countries such as North Korea and Iran; securing and reducing global inventories of nuclear materials to prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorists; and reversing Russia's apparent increasing reliance on nuclear weapons in its security policy.

As part of a new dialogue with Russia, the study says, the United States should reinvigorate efforts to renew the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), which is scheduled to lapse in December 2009. The treaty has verification and compliance procedures that are lacking in the more recent Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty of 2002. The new administration should pursue deeper reductions in both the number of deployed nuclear warheads and in overall nuclear inventories, the study says.

It also urges the U.S. to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and to work to close a loophole in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) that gives non-nuclear weapons states the opportunity to seek nuclear technologies, such as uranium enrichment, and then divert them to more nefarious uses without penalty. The NPT will be the subject of a review conference in 2010. The study says that will be an opportunity for the United States to re-assert its leadership on nonproliferation, arms control and disarmament.

The lack of a well-articulated strategy on nuclear weapons in the post Cold War, post 9/11 era has produced a policy vacuum that must be addressed by the new administration, the study says.

While noting President-elect Barack Obama's call for a world free of nuclear weapons, the study says the United States will need to have a credible nuclear deterrent as long as other nations have nuclear weapons. It urges a centrist approach to upgrading U.S. nuclear weapons that recognizes a "spectrum of options" beyond the extremes of simply replicating weapons as they were originally produced (using outdated manufacturing processes) or replacement of aging weapons with new designs that have not been subjected to nuclear testing.

The study says upgrading of the nuclear stockpile should be limited to "those activities that would typically be done to any existing weapon system as it ages," such as replacement of worn, dysfunctional or no longer reliable components with the same or newer materials and technologies. "Such actions may make the weapon more reliable, safer and more secure," the study says, "but they do no provide any new military characteristics or capabilities."

The study says the "spectrum of options" approach would include incremental steps to extend the life of a warhead, extensive reuse of parts from existing warheads, and development of replacement warheads "with robust margins but not new capabilities." The approach would allow different weapons types to be kept in the stockpile with varying degrees of modification rather than calling for a wholesale replacement of warheads (such as had been proposed in the Bush administration's Reliable Replacement Warhead program).

The "spectrum of options" approach could be a less expensive way to extend the lifetime of existing weapons, the study says, and could avoid large investments in new production facilities.

To retain a credible nuclear deterrent, the United States also needs to recruit, retain and sustain highly skilled and motivated scientists and engineers, the report says. "Very few of the scientists and engineers having nuclear test experience remain at the laboratories and many of the most experienced weapons experts will retire in the next five to ten years," the study says. "Recruiting the next generation workforce and passing on this experience to that new generation is critical to the continued success of the stockpile stewardship program."

The study was drawn from a series of workshops in the first half of 2008 with more than 100 nuclear experts from the scientific, defense and diplomatic policy communities. The complete text of the study with supporting documentation is available online at: http://cstsp.aaas.org/content.html?contentid=1792


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association for the Advancement of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Association for the Advancement of Science. "U.S. Must Re-establish Global Leadership In Nuclear Arms Control, U.S. Experts Urge." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081210122234.htm>.
American Association for the Advancement of Science. (2008, December 10). U.S. Must Re-establish Global Leadership In Nuclear Arms Control, U.S. Experts Urge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081210122234.htm
American Association for the Advancement of Science. "U.S. Must Re-establish Global Leadership In Nuclear Arms Control, U.S. Experts Urge." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081210122234.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins