December 18, 2001

Management of the Stockpile Surveillance Program’s Significant Finding Investigations

A prime purpose of the Department of Energy’s (Department) Stockpile Stewardship Program is to maintain a “high confidence” in the nuclear weapons stockpile so that the Department can certify to the President that there is no need to resume underground testing. To fulfill the responsibility for the annual reporting and certification requirement, the Directors of the three Department nuclear weapons laboratories annually assess and report the condition of the weapon systems for which their laboratories are responsible. The laboratory Directors rely on a robust alternative program for “science-based” weapons evaluation. The overall performance of the Department’s Stockpile Stewardship Program is one of its highest national security priorities.