Science, Stewards, and the Stockpile

Njema Frazier, National Nuclear Security Administration, U.S. Department of Energy

Photo of Njema Frazier

Twenty-five years ago, the United States committed to the cessation of underground nuclear explosive testing, a national posture that forever changed the paradigm of stockpile stewardship and nuclear deterrence. Within 10 years, the nation had established a Stockpile Stewardship Program (SSP), adopted the strategy of science-based stockpile stewardship (SBSS), and erected a semi-autonomous agency – the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) – to intensify the management and oversight of the SSP and the larger nuclear security enterprise. Within 20 years, the nation had built a multi-billion dollar enterprise with flagship capabilities in modeling and simulation and in experimentation that allowed the U.S. to gain insight into weapons science, solidifying an enduring posture of deterrence without explosive yield. This talk explores the SSP to date and discusses how, as we move into the future, the nation can ensure that we have the science and next-generation stewards for the program and for nuclear deterrence.

Abstract Author(s): Njema Frazier