In my most recent article, After the Reliable Replacement Warhead, in Arms Control Today I mention the so-called “extensive reuse” Life Extension Program (erLEP), in which components are mined from other warhead designs to make more reliable weapons:
One option that falls between current LEPs and the RRW program, proposed in a joint study by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, is the extensive reuse of components from dismantled warhead types to extend the lifetime of those warheads that remain in the stockpile.
Try not to think of Frankenstein’s monster.
And, whatever you do, don’t call it the FrankenLEP.
Anyway, that AAAS–APS–CSIS paper Nuclear Weapons in 21st Century U.S. National Security is now online — with all the working papers and the meeting summaries. In particular, I draw your attention to:
– Sidney Drell and Marvin Adams, Technical Issues in Keeping the Nuclear Stockpile Safe, Secure, and Reliable
– Bruce Goodwin and Glenn Mara, Stewarding a Reduced Stockpile
I will post the charts to my article online. If you want to comment on my article, give the ACT comment site a try.