APS News

Nuclear Testing Not Necessary, Says New Council Statement

In a strongly worded statement passed at its April meeting, the APS Council reaffirmed its position that nuclear testing is not necessary to maintain the reliability of the American nuclear stockpile, and cited possible negative international consesquences if nuclear testing were resumed.

Council also called on the Administration to provide sufficient advance notice of plans to resume testing, in order "to allow adequate time for informed and thorough analysis and public discussion".

In passing the statement, Council referred to a 2002 study by a committee of the National Academy of Sciences, which concluded that "the United States has the technical capabilities to maintain confidence in the safety and reliability of its existing nuclear-weapon stockpile" without nuclear testing, "provided that adequate resources are made available to the Department of Energy's nuclear-weapon complex and are properly focused on this task."

The full text of the Council statement follows:

The American Physical Society reaffirms its April 1997 statement that "fully informed technical studies have concluded continued testing is not required to retain confidence in the safety and reliability of the remaining nuclear weapons in the United States' stockpile."

Resumption of nuclear testing may have serious negative international consequences, particularly on the nonproliferation regime.

In addition the Society strongly urges the Congress and the Administration to provide sufficient notification and justification for any proposed nuclear test to allow adequate time for informed and thorough analysis and public discussion.


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