The Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration’s (DOE/NNSA) Fiscal Year 2019 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan – Biennial Plan Summary (SSMP) describes DOE/NNSA’s plans to ensure the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile and to maintain the scientific and engineering tools, capabilities, and infrastructure that underpin the nuclear security enterprise. The SSMP is a companion to the Prevent, Counter, and Respond: A Strategic Plan to Reduce Global Nuclear Threats report, which outlines NNSA’s equally vital missions to reduce the threats of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. In keeping with our commitment to Congress, updated versions of these reports are published each year.
The fiscal year (FY) 2019 SSMP summarizes the activities being performed within DOE/NNSA’s national laboratories, production facilities, and security site in support of our enduring national security missions. In particular, this report describes the path to completing production of W76-1 warheads by FY 2019; delivering the first production unit of the B61-12 gravity bomb by FY 2020; delivering the first production unit of the W88 Alteration 370 by FY 2020; and achieving a first production unit of the W80-4 warhead by FY 2025. With four modernization programs underway, NNSA is at its busiest since the Cold War era.
The FY 2019 SSMP also reflects DOE/NNSA’s increased commitment to revitalizing and reinvigorating the facilities and corresponding infrastructure that make up the nuclear security enterprise. DOE/NNSA infrastructure has long been underfunded and overdue for the upgrades necessary to create a modern, efficient, nuclear complex that can meet NNSA’s national security missions today and into the future. With the assistance and support of Congress, NNSA will be able to continue to halt the growth of deferred maintenance and modernize the nuclear security enterprise. As expressly stated in the Nuclear Posture Review (DOD 2018), there is no margin for further delay in the sustainment of a modern, resilient, and responsive infrastructure for the enterprise.
Continued investment in the repair and recapitalization of DOE/NNSA’s laboratories, production facilities, and security site are crucial to NNSA’s capabilities and most importantly, to our workforce. NNSA’s workforce is our greatest asset, and providing quality facilities is necessary to recruit and retain the world-class scientific and engineering talent on which our nuclear deterrent, and indeed the security of the United States, so greatly depends.
In addition to summarizing the achievements and status of the current program of record, the FY 2019 SSMP describes the work that NNSA will execute in support of the Nuclear Posture Review, which addresses worsening global threat conditions and underscores the need for a modern, flexible, and resilient nuclear enterprise. DOE/NNSA’s program of record for maintaining the nuclear weapons stockpile is being updated in coordination with the Nuclear Weapons Council and the interagency process that weighs and prioritizes missions and resources.
The challenges facing our Nation are real and pressing. The unprecedented range and mix of threats underscore the need for the United States to maintain a diverse set of nuclear capabilities that can provide flexible, tailored options to enhance deterrence and to achieve objectives should deterrence fail. As described in this report, the scientific and technological expertise found at DOE/NNSA’s laboratories, production facilities, and other sites is the intellectual backbone through which the United States can continue to deter adversarial aggression and preserve peace for our Nation and our allies.