in the News
C. Bruce Tarter
Certification Takes a Snapshot of Stockpile Stewardship
the Pits in the Weapons Stockpile
into the Shadow World
C. Bruce Tartar
Director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Security Is Our Unifying Theme
is the one unifying mission of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
In that respect, no element of our mission is more important than
Annual Certification, a formal assessment of the nations
nuclear stockpile. As Laboratory director, my role in Annual Certification
includes sending a letter to the secretaries of Energy and Defense,
stating whether a resumption of underground nuclear testing is
warranted to resolve a safety or reliability issue in a Livermore-designed
nuclear weapon system. I make that determination following a thorough
review of Lawrence Livermores stockpile stewardship activities.
As described in
the article entitled Annual Certification
Takes a Snapshot of Stockpile Stewardship, the complex Annual
Certification process involves experts at Lawrence Livermore,
Los Alamos, and Sandia national laboratories; Department of Defense
agencies; and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA),
a semiautonomous agency that began operation in March 2000. Congress
created NNSA as a way to place under one roof all the national
security activities of the Department of Energy.
include maintenance of a safe, secure, and reliable stockpile
of nuclear weapons and associated materials capabilities and technologies;
promotion of international nuclear safety and nonproliferation;
and management of the naval nuclear propulsion program. More than
three-quarters of our funding comes under the auspices of NNSA.
Practically speaking, NNSA is our landlord.
John Gordon, NNSAs administrator, has visited the Laboratory
several times, and he was on hand to help celebrate our first
Science Day in March and, on April 10, the final certification
of the W87 weapon system refurbished through the Life Extension
Program. During the March visit, Gordon spoke of the need for
scientists and security experts to collaborate so that both missions
operate at optimum levels at the national laboratories.
has had three essential tasks to fulfill: build a long-term, stable
budget for the agency and its programs; create a new organization
from scratch; and find good people to fill the jobs. Hes
already presented a five-year budget to Congress that received
high praise. And hes adopted an organizational structure
that mirrors that of the national laboratories. Within this framework,
just as most of Livermores operational and institutional
oversight is done in the Directors Office, similar responsibilities
are handled by NNSA at its headquarters. The research directorates
in which most of our programmatic and technical work is performed
would correspond to NNSAs Defense Programs and Defense Nuclear
All of us at Lawrence
Livermore are looking forward to close and effective relations
with our new Washington sponsor. To aid that effort, Ive
named Michael Anastasio, formerly associate director of Defense
and Nuclear Technologies, to the new post of deputy director for
Strategic Operations. Mike will be working closely with NNSA managers.
As the former head of the directorate most responsible for stockpile
stewardship, Mike has the background and experience that can only
strengthen our interactions with NNSA.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Operated by the University of California for the U.S.
Department of Energy
August 29, 2001