Magazine article Issues in Science and Technology

Stockpile Stewardship

Magazine article Issues in Science and Technology

Stockpile Stewardship

Article excerpt

"The Stockpile Stewardship Charade" by Greg Mello, Andrew Lichterman, and William Weida (Issues, Spring 1999) correctly asserts that "It is time to separate the programs required for genuine stewardship from those directed toward other ends." They characterize genuine stewardship as "curatorship of the existing stockpile coupled with limited remanufacturing to solve any problems that might be discovered." The "other ends" referred to appear in the criteria for evaluating stockpile components set forth in the influential 1994 JASON report to the Department of Energy (DOE) rifled Science-based Stockpile Stewardship.

The JASON criteria are (italics added by me): "A component's contribution to (1) maintaining U.S. confidence in the safety and reliability of our nuclear stockpile without nuclear testing through improved understanding of weapons physics and diagnostics. (2) Maintaining and renewing the technical skill base and overall level of scientific competence in the U.S. defense program and the weapons labs, and to the nation's broader scientific and engineering strength. (3) Important scientific and technical understanding, including in particular as related to national goals."

Criteria 1 and 2, without the italic text, are sufficient to evaluate the components of the stewardship program. The italics identify additional criteria that are not strictly necessary to the evaluation of stockpile stewardship but provide a basis for support of the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the Sandia Z-Pinch Facility, and the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI), in particular. Mello et al. consider these to be "programmatic and budgetary excesses" directed toward ends other than genuine stewardship.

The DOE stewardship program has consisted of two distinct parts from the beginning: A manufacturing component and a science-based component. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.