NNSA Thanks JASONs for Technical Review of LEP Programs

Press Release
Nov 19, 2009

Washington, DC – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that it has transmitted a classified technical review of the Lifetime Extension Programs (LEPs) to the Congressional committee that requested it. The review was conducted by the JASONs at the request of the former Chair and former Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. 

NNSA Administrator spokesman Damien LaVera issued the following statement thanking the JASONs for their review:  

"At the request of the former Chair and former Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) contracted with the JASONs to conduct a technical review of the Lifetime Extension Programs (LEPs) aimed at extending the lifetimes of weapon systems in the U.S. stockpile in the absence of nuclear testing.  We thank the JASONs for their efforts to help find a way forward to a sustainable nuclear security enterprise.

"The JASON's review confirms the challenges associated with adding performance margin and incorporating modern safety and security features into aging weapons systems, acknowledges the need to preserve our workforce, and reaffirms our long held belief that the strength of the science, technology and engineering at the laboratories and plants is the key to our success.
 
"While we endorse the recommendations and consider them well-aligned with NNSA's long-term stockpile management strategy, certain findings in the unclassified Executive Summary convey a different perspective on key findings when viewed without the context of the full classified report.  The full report addresses them comprehensively and validates our basic scientific approach to warhead life extension programs, specifically our commitment to evaluating each weapon system on a case-by-case basis and applying the best technological approach from a spectrum of options." 

The full review is classified, but a copy of the unclassified Executive Summary of the JASONs technical review is available upon request. 

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation's national security enterprise.  NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.  Visit www.nnsa.energy.gov for more information.

 

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371