The American Physical Society sees a direct link between an effective national security and healthy scientific research activities. For the past fifty years, research and development at the Department of Defense (DOD) have paid high dividends in giving the United States military a high-tech capability, demonstrated successfully in recent conflicts in the Persian Gulf, the Balkans, and Afghanistan. As well, APS sees the United States as a leading role model in the world in nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and material. The society supports both the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and feels further testing is not necessary to have confidence in the country’s nuclear stockpile. The society also does not support a National Missile Defense (NMD) system that has not been proven, through analysis and through intercept tests, effective against the types of offensive countermeasures that an attacker could reasonably be expected to deploy with its long-range missiles.
Society Statements on Defense:
- Nuclear Testing
- DOD Funding for Basic Research
- National Missile Defense System Technical Feasibility and Deployment
- National Security and the Open Conduct of Science
- The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
Read more APS positions and statements.
Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW)
The Nuclear Weapons Complex Assessment Committee (NWCAC), in which the APS is informally participating, had its second meeting at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The NWCAC received both classified and unclassified briefings on the technical issues associated with the proposed Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW). A report is anticipated to be completed by early next year.
POPA Nuclear Forensics Report
The APS Panel on Public Affairs and the AAAS have established a study group on Nuclear Forensics technology and techniques. The chair is Michael May, Emeritus Director of Lawrence Livermore National Lab and Professor Emeritus at Stanford University; other members of the group include Al Carnesale, Phil Coyle, Jay Davis, Bill Dorland, Bill Dunlop, Steve Fetter, Alex Glaser, Ian Hutcheon, Don Kerr, Francis Slakey, & Benn Tannenbaum. The first panel meeting will be held this summer, with the report scheduled to be completed early next year. (See June edition of the Washington Dispatch)
Important Items Concerning Defense
Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW)
Modern Pit Facility
- Section of the House Appropriations Bill regarding the Modern Pit Facility. Once again it suspends funding for the MPF pending the results of the accelerated pit aging experiments [Link to Section of Bill] (9/05)
- Representative Hobson, Chair of the House Energy and Water Appropriations Committee, says a Modern Pit Facility will be much smaller than what the Department of Energy currently envisions and that more research is needed on the aging of plutonium used in existing triggers. [Download Article]
- Defense Authorization Bill requires a report on production capabilities of the Modern Pit Facility [Download Report]
- Senator Bingaman's amendment requiring independent assessment of plutonium aging program [Download Amendment]
- Section of House Appropriations Bill regarding the Modern Pit Facility. It suspends funding for the MPF pending the results of the accelerated pit aging experiments [Download Report]
- APS Panel on Public Affairs issues an assessment of the Modern Pit Facility [Download Report]
- NNSA delays Modern Pit Facility Site Selection [Download Report]
- CRS reports on the Modern Pit Facility [Download Report]
- Senator Bennett (R-UT) sponsored a bill that "halts nuclear testing without an open public process and congressional vote."