The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) was created to safeguard and support our Nation’s security through the application of nuclear science. Since the days of the Manhattan Project, the highly talented men and women of the nuclear security enterprise have applied unique capabilities to promote U.S. security in the face of an ever-evolving global security environment. Nuclear deterrence has been, and remains, the cornerstone of our Nation’s security posture. Providing the tools of deterrence to our military is the highest priority mission for DOE/NNSA.
DOE/NNSA’s Fiscal Year 2020 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan (SSMP) describes 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 document to the annual Prevent, Counter, and Respond: A Strategic Plan to Reduce Global Nuclear Threats: FY 2020 – FY 2023 report to Congress, which outlines the equally vital missions of reducing the threats of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. In keeping with our commitments to Congress and the public, updated versions of these reports are published each year.
The fiscal year (FY) 2020 SSMP summarizes the activities being performed within DOE/NNSA’s national laboratories, production facilities, and security sites in support of our national security missions. In particular, this report describes DOE/NNSA’s plan to achieve the program requirements of: producing at least 80 plutonium pits per year by 2030; achieving the first production unit of the W80-4 warhead by FY 2025; and delivering the first production unit of the B61-12 gravity bomb and the W88 Alteration 370 warhead.
In FY 2019, DOE/NNSA completed production of the W76-1 Life Extension Program, began work on the W76-2 low yield ballistic missile warhead, and restarted design activities for the W78 replacement warhead (the W87-1). The nuclear security enterprise is at its busiest since the demands of the Cold War era.
DOE/NNSA’s ability to execute the priorities outlined in the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review depends upon a modern, flexible, and resilient nuclear security infrastructure. This SSMP reflects continued investments in the repair and recapitalization of the laboratories, production facilities, and security sites that are crucial to deliver on the Nation’s defense priorities and, most importantly, to support our greatest asset, our workforce. Together with continued support from Congress, DOE/NNSA will ensure that our world-class workforce has the resources and the responsive, agile infrastructure needed to steward the systems that comprise our deterrent today and, should the need arise, to design the systems of tomorrow.
The challenges facing our Nation follow only one pattern—that of constant change. This rapidly evolving threat environment underscores the need for the United States to maintain a diverse set of nuclear capabilities that can provide flexible, tailored options to enhance deterrence and 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 that supports the United States’ continued deterrence of adversarial aggression and preservation of peace for our Nation and our allies.
For 75 years, the nuclear security enterprise has met every challenge, leading the country in incredible scientific and engineering endeavors and discoveries that the benefit of the Nation as a whole. As we begin the next decade, DOE/NNSA will continue to stand together to anticipate future security challenges and ensure our Nation is ready to meet them.