New Tools Needed for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Verification


Runs 1/16/15 through 1/23/15

(THEME UP AND UNDER) This is the CCNS News Update, an overview of the latest nuclear safety issues, brought to you every week by Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety. Here is this week’s top headline:

* New Tools Needed for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Verification

This week, nonproliferation expert, Dr. James Doyle, released his study, “Essential Capabilities for Nuclear Security:  A National Program for Nonproliferation and Verification Technology Development,”  that supports expansion of U.S. nonproliferation programs as essential for nuclear security. Expansion includes the development and/or deployment of new and existing verification and monitoring technologies that would help make a future world free of nuclear weapons more technically and politically feasible. Doyle argues that it should be funded as a core aspect of the nation’s nuclear infrastructure modernization plan, and implemented jointly by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Department of Defense, with guidance from the State Department, intelligence community and National Academy of Sciences.

In recent years Congress cut funding for nonproliferation programs, while providing funding for modernization of the nuclear weapons complex, including large construction projects that are over-budget and behind schedule.

Doyle said, “As America allegedly reduces its reliance on nuclear weapons and hopefully further reduces the size of its stockpile, it needs new tools and new capabilities to keep weapons and materials secure and verify that other nations are complying with similar obligations. To meet these needs a new, integrated multiagency program to develop nonproliferation, verification and monitoring technologies for nuclear security should be initiated without delay.”

Doyle continued, “Nonproliferation and arms verification have for too long been considered ‘soft power’ tools of the diplomatic and arms control communities. Real nuclear security requires that we now consider these capabilities as vital elements of our national security infrastructure. They are potent ‘smart power’ tools offering unique advantages in a rapidly evolving nuclear security environment, which unfortunately includes the threat of nuclear terrorism. Aggressive verification and monitoring technologies will produce a far greater national security return on the taxpayer dollar than will exorbitant ‘modernization’ programs for an unnecessarily oversized nuclear arsenal.”

Doyle’s latest study was written in collaboration with Nuclear Watch New Mexico and funded by the Ploughshares Fund. For more information, please visit

Jay Coghlan, of Nuclear Watch, said, “The nuclear weapons establishment is planning to spend more than a trillion dollars to ‘modernize’ existing weapons, and build new missiles, subs and bombers. Meanwhile, the NNSA is cutting nonproliferation and dismantlement programs to help pay this colossal bill. This is exactly upside down. We should be making smart investments into new nonproliferation, verification and monitoring technologies that will help make a world free of nuclear weapons feasible, eliminating the threat for all time.”

While in Washington, DC this week, Doyle met with the Department of Energy officials about his whistleblower complaint regarding termination from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) after his study entitled “Why Eliminate Nuclear Weapons?” was published. LANL initially cleared his study for release, but then retroactively classified it, even though it was readily available on the Internet.


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