Nuclear Agency Surpasses Dismantlement Goal

The National Nuclear Security Administration announced that it exceeded its Fiscal 2012 goal for dismantling nuclear weapons in the US stockpile that the Obama Administration has deemed as excess. NNSA reached 112 percent of its dismantlement target last fiscal year, handling an undisclosed number of B61 and B83-0/1 bombs and W76-0, W80-0, W84, and W78 warheads, according to the agency’s Dec. 3 release. “NNSA delivered on President Obama’s commitment to reduce the numbers of US nuclear weapons declared excess to the stockpile and awaiting dismantlement,” said Don Cook, NNSA deputy administrator for defense programs. He added, “Our stockpile today is smaller, but the deterrent remains just as safe, secure, and effective as it was.” Dismantlement allows for recycling of the material for national defense uses such as weapons refurbishment and fuel for the Navy’s nuclear-powered fleet, according to NNSA. Some of the highly enriched uranium from the former weapons is also downblended to a less concentrated form for use in commercial nuclear reactors. (See also Last B-53 Nuclear Bomb Dismantlement.)