Global Security: UK-US Relations - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents




  Any understanding of the US-UK "special relationship" must address the long-standing nuclear weapons co-operation that underpins it. This attachment outlines the contemporary state of that co-operation.

Anchoring itself to the US is a fundamental part of British security strategy, and nuclear weapons are seen as both an important part of the anchor and a symbol of its strength.[6] The UK, however, remains heavily dependent on the United States for its ongoing deployment of strategic nuclear weapons in the Trident system. Without ongoing US support the UK would likely cease to be a nuclear weapon state.

  As long as HMG deems it imperative that the UK deploy strategic nuclear weapons for the country's security it will remain dependent upon the United States in this area. This inevitably constrains the UK's national security policies and actions insofar as they must not destabilise its relationship with the US for fear of dilution or even withdrawal of nuclear weapons co-operation. Nuclear weapons co-operation is one of several dependency dimensions of the UK's relationship with the US, one other primary area being intelligence co-operation.

  The UK is, in fact, in a circular nuclear relationship with the United States in which it deems it essential to deploy strategic nuclear forces to reinforce and reproduce its role and commitment as the United States' primary political and military ally, in part to facilitate its willingness to support the US militarily in interventionist activity,[7] and in part to share the "burden" of the nuclear defence of NATO,[8] whilst at the same time being highly dependent upon the United States for the provision and operation of its nuclear capability.


  Nuclear dependence upon the United States was cemented in the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement (MDA) and the 1963 Polaris Sales Agreement (PSA). The 1958 MDA, formally known as the Agreement for Co-operation on the use of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defence Purposes, has a number of appendices, amendments and memoranda of understanding, many of which are still classified.[9] It is known, however, that the agreement provides for extensive co-operation on nuclear warhead and reactor technologies, in particular the exchange of classified information concerning nuclear weapons to improve "design, development and fabrication capability".[10] The agreement also provides for the transfer of nuclear warhead-related materials. The agreement was renewed in 2004 for a further 10 years.[11] Every 18 months a review, or "stock take", of US-UK nuclear co-operation is conducted involving senior officials from the US and UK. More frequent interaction between the US and UK nuclear weapons laboratories and defence bureaucracies takes place via a range of Joint Working Groups (JOWOGs).[12]

The 1963 Polaris Sales Agreement allows the UK to acquire, support and operate the US Trident missile system. Originally signed to allow the UK to acquire the Polaris SLBM system in the 1960s, it was amended in 1980 to facilitate purchase of the Trident I (C4) missile and again in 1982 to authorise purchase of the more advanced Trident II (D5) in place of the C4. In return the UK agreed to formally assign its nuclear forces to the defence of NATO except in an extreme national emergency under the terms of the 1962 Nassau Agreement reached between President John F Kennedy and Prime Minister Harold Macmillan to facilitate negotiation of the PSA.[13] Under the Polaris Sales Agreement, as amended for Trident, the UK is involved in a number of other working groups, including a Joint Steering Task Group, supported by the Trident Joint Re-Entry Systems Working Group and the Joint Systems Performance and Assessment Group.[14]


  Britain's single remaining nuclear weapon system comprises three core components: four Vanguard-class nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs); 50 US-designed and built Trident II (D5) submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) drawn from a common pool of Trident missiles based in the US; and 160 operational nuclear warheads. Collectively, and sometimes misleadingly, the composite system is usually referred to as Trident.

The UK is entirely dependent upon the United States for supply and refurbishment of its Trident II (D5) submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM). The missiles themselves are produced and serviced in the United States by Lockheed Martin. The UK does not actually own any individual missiles, but purchased the rights to 58 missiles from a common pool held at the US Strategic Weapons facility at the Kings Bay Submarine Base, Georgia. British Trident submarines also conduct their missile test firings at the US Eastern Test Range, off the coast of Florida.

  The UK is also dependent upon the United States for the software used for targeting and firing its Trident missiles. Ainslie reports that "targeting data on British Trident submarines is processed in the Fire Control System by software produced in America. This data is created in the Nuclear Operations and Targeting Centre in London. The Centre relies on US software".[15] Ainslie also reports that both UK and US Trident submarines use the Mk 98 Fire Control System produced by General Dynamics Defense System (GDDS) to carry out the calculations to prepare and launch the Trident missiles.[16]

  UK nuclear targeting is also integrated into US nuclear targeting plans through the UK Liaison Cell at US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) in Omaha, Nebraska.[17] STRATCOM develops and co-ordinates US nuclear targeting plans. This used to involve periodic revision of a Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) covering all US nuclear forces. It now involves an "adaptive planning" system comprising a family of nuclear war plans for different scenarios together with the ability to rapidly create new nuclear targeting plans for unexpected contingencies.[18]

  The UK Trident force is formally declared to NATO. Ainslie argues that it is likely that detailed target planning for NATO use of strategic nuclear forces, including the UK Trident system, is also conducted at STRATCOM.[19] The purpose of the UK presence at STRATCOM is therefore to co-ordinate and "deconflict" NATO and US nuclear targeting plans as they affect UK nuclear forces and avoid possible duplication and fratricide in nuclear war plans.[20] It is unclear whether NATO or the UK still maintain standing nuclear war plans.[21]


  In December 2006 the government presented their decision to replace the current Vanguard-class submarines nuclear weapon system when it reaches the end of its service life in a White Paper on The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent.[22] In March 2007 Parliament voted in favour of the decision.

The government stated that the Vanguard submarines that carry the Trident missiles have a service life of 25 years. In order to maintain the current "continuous-at-sea deterrence" posture with one submarine at sea on operational patrol at all times, a new submarine will be required by the time the oldest Vanguard submarine retires in 2024. The government argued in its 2006 White Paper that it will take approximately 17 years to design, build and test a new submarine, hence a decision on whether or not to proceed was required in 2007. In October 2007 MoD's Defence Equipment and Support (DES) department formally established a Future Submarines Integrated Project Team (FSM-IPT) to develop a concept design for a new submarine over two years.[23]

  The future of the British nuclear weapons programme is intimately linked to the United States. The UK will look to the US for political and technical support in replacing its Vanguard SSBNs and modernising the Trident system.[24] The US Navy is four to five years behind the UK in planning a replacement for its Ohio-class submarines that carry its Trident missiles having opted to extend the life of its submarines by 15-20 years in. The UK plans to introduce its first successor submarine in 2024 but the US only provisionally plans to introduce a new submarine in 2028-29.[25]

  The UK has already begun working with the United States on possible new submarine designs and in February 2008 it set up a programme office in the US to facilitate liaison on the design process in the US for an Ohio-class successor SSBN.[26] MoD reported in December 2007 that since March 2007 UK and US experts in the Joint Steering Task Group that oversees the Polaris Sales Agreement had already met three times during which concept studies for a new successor submarine were discussed.[27]

  In December 2008 it was reported that US General Dynamics Electric Boat Corporation had been awarded a contract to perform studies and design of a Common Missile Compartment (CMC) for both the UK Vanguard-class and the US Ohio-class successor submarines paid for by the UK but run through the US Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington.[28] MoD is also contracting out additional aspects of its own concept studies to US companies.[29]

  The government has already committed itself to the US Navy's programme to refurbish and extend the service life of is Trident missiles.[30]


  In 1996 President Bill Clinton signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) banning all nuclear tests. In order to maintain the long-term safety, security and reliability of the US nuclear arsenal in an era of zero testing the Clinton Administration established a science-based Stockpile Stewardship Program (SSP).[31]

The programme was designed to sustain a consolidated Cold War legacy nuclear arsenal well into the future. It would use data from past nuclear tests, small-scale laboratory experiments, large scale experimental facilities, and detailed examination of warheads and their constituent parts to development of a comprehensive understanding of the functioning of all aspects of nuclear weapons under extreme conditions and the behaviour of the materials involved as they aged. This knowledge would be used to develop and improve powerful computer codes that simulate aspects of weapons performance and enhance understanding and prediction of defects in warheads.[32] The primary objective of the SSP was to maintain the capability to identify problems in nuclear warheads, repair any problems and certify the repairs, or replace complete warheads or their component parts that could not be repaired, all without explosive nuclear testing.[33]

  A central part of the SSP was the modification and refurbishment of several types of nuclear warhead through extensive modernisation and life extension programmes (LEPs), including the W76 Trident warhead.[34] The UK Trident warhead is an "Anglicised" version of the W76 warhead. The refurbished US warhead is known as W76-1.[35] The first test flight of the W76-1 on a Trident missile took place in December 2002 with a series of further tests resulting in a first production unit in 2007.[36]

  The UK has pursued a comparable programme, albeit on a much smaller scale, labelled the Warhead Assurance Programme designed to "ensure the safety, effectiveness and durability of the UK nuclear warhead stockpile."[37] The comparable purpose is to develop highly accurate computer models that can be used to predict the physical processes of the many materials used in the Trident warhead which occur when a weapon is detonated and validate those models against as wide a range of experimental data as possible, as well as against the database of previous nuclear tests.[38]


  The US and UK have collaborated on many aspects of their stockpile stewardship programmes. As early as 1995 MoD stated that the UK's stockpile stewardship programme would be "undertaken in continuing co-operation with the United States, which will contribute to the safe stewardship of Trident throughout its service life as well as sustaining capabilities to meet future requirements".[39]

In 2009 then Defence Secretary John Hutton stated that "Research, including trials, and experiments, is conducted on a regular basis, by the Atomic Weapons Establishment as part of its responsibility for maintaining the safety, security, and effectiveness of the UK nuclear stockpile in the absence of live testing. Some of this research is undertaken in collaboration with the United States under the auspices of the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement".[40]

  In addition the US and UK have conducted joint hydrodynamic experiments under the auspices of the MDA.[41] O'Nions et al state that "In addition to future [hydrodynamic] tests planned at AWE, complementary experiments are being carried out in collaboration with the US weapons laboratories, including some at their U1A facility in Nevada".[42]

  The two countries have also conducted joint "sub-critical" nuclear tests using fissile material in tests that do not produce a nuclear explosion. O'Nions, Pitman and Anderson, for example, state that the UK has conducted a number of sub-critical nuclear experiments at the US Nevada Test Site in 2002 and 2006 "that provided data of direct benefit to both the U.S. and UK warhead certification efforts".[43] The permissibility of sub-critical tests under the terms of the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is controversial but both the UK and US government insist they are permitted because they do not establish conditions for an exponentially growing fission chain reaction.[44]

  US nuclear weapon laboratories have similarly used AWE experimental facilities to conduct tests that Congress had prohibited in the United States. Stanley Orman, former Deputy Director of AWE, stated in 2008 that "we also devised a technique|of imploding a non-fissile plutonium isotope. Now because it was plutonium the laws in the States would not allow you to implode this even though it was non-fissile, because it was plutonium. So again the American scientists would come across and use our laboratories because they couldn't use theirs".[45] US nuclear weapons labs will also have access to the Orion Laser at Aldermaston under the MDA.[46]

  In fact, an important rationale for additional UK government investment in AWE expertise and advanced experimental facilities is to ensure that AWE can continue to make a valuable contribution to US nuclear weapon programmes, including a credible peer-review capability, and ensure benefits from the relationship are two-way. Under-investment in experimental facilities and high-fidelity computer modelling capability and atrophying expertise would risk undermining AWE's vital relationship with the US by appearing to have little to offer the US nuclear weapons laboratories in exchange for their invaluable support.[47] As Linton Brooks, former head of the US National Nuclear Security Administration, argues: "The major revitalisation conducted in recent years at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston, will improve British technical capability and thus the technical value of ongoing exchanges".[48]

  The UK has been involved in the US W76 LEP under the Stockpile Stewardship banner, although to what extent is unclear. According to AWE's 1998 Annual Report, AWE participated significantly, as an independent contributor, in the United States Dual Revalidation Programme that reviewed the status of the US W76 Trident warhead as the first stage of the LEP process.[49] It has also been revealed that an April 1998 US Stockpile Stewardship Plan: Second Annual Update report from the US Department of Energy that set out the work plan for the W76 LEP between 1999 and 2001 included an engineering, design and evaluation schedule for the UK Trident warhead.[50]

  Furthermore, Steven Henry, Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Nuclear Matters) under George W Bush, stated in an audio interview for the US Center for Strategic and International Studies in 2008 that in the mid 1990s, when the US began developing Life Extension Programs (LEP) for various warheads: "As part of that exchange we also did exchanges with the UK to find out what kind of information did they know through their surveillance program and what kind of concerns did they have with their own unique weapons systems that would help us learn and to make decisions as to what kind of components would we replace and at what time would we replace those components. So we entered into a co-operation with the UK looking at Life Extension itself for the different warheads. We entered into a program of sharing information for the Enhanced Surveillance program and we also looked at more innovative ways of being able to do production so that we could gain efficiencies".[51]

  One clear instance where the UK has benefitted directly from the W76 LEP is through the design and production in the US of a new Arming, Fusing and Firing system (AF&F) for the Mk4A re-entry body. The Mk4A AF&F is being installed on UK warheads and AWE has been recruiting a number of new staff to work on AF&F. A recruitment notice for one of these posts referred to work on introducing the Mk4A AF&F into UK warheads.[52] Then Defence Secretary Des Browne confirmed that this upgrade is taking place and would be introduced over the next decade.[53]


  In the mid-1990s the US began to explore potential new warhead designs to replace the W76.[54] Development of these designs ran parallel to the W76 warhead life extension programme.[55] This evolved into the Reliable Replacement Warhead programme that Congress funded in 2004 to "improve the reliability, longevity and certifiability of existing weapons and their components".[56]

RRWs were conceived as completely re-engineered and remanufactured warheads based on existing tested designs that would incorporate less exacting design requirements and enhanced safety features. They would also be easier to monitor and maintain than the existing arsenal of Cold War-era warheads that had tight performance margins designed to minimise weight and size and maximise yield giving very little room for error as weapons age.[57] The first planned RRW, labelled WR-1, would replace some, and perhaps eventually all, of the W76 warheads for the US Trident II (D5) SLBM fleet.[58] Nevertheless, Congress remained unconvinced as the necessity and expense of the RRW programme and stripped funding in 2007 and 2008. In March 2009 the Obama Administration formally terminated the RRW programme in its current iteration.[59] It is now likely that a compromise package will be agreed by Congress and the Obama Administration for a hybrid LEP/RRW programme.[60]

  The UK faces a decision on whether to refurbish its Trident warheads through a full LEP comparable to the W76-1 process in the US or develop its own version of an RRW. In its 2006 White Paper on Trident replacement the government stated that a decision on whether to refurbish or replace the current UK Trident warhead is likely to be needed during the next parliament (2010-15).[61] The White Paper stated that "The current warhead design is likely to last into the 2020s, although we do not yet have sufficient information to judge precisely how long we can retain it in-service. Decisions on whether and how we may need to refurbish or replace this warhead are likely to be necessary in the next Parliament. In order to inform these decisions, we will undertake a detailed review of the optimum life of the existing warhead stockpile and analyse the range of replacement options that might be available. This will include a number of activities to be undertaken with the United States under the 1958 UK-US Agreement for Co-operation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defence Purposes."[62]

  In November 2007 the government stated that studies on the potential need for a new warhead were now being undertaken by a Warhead Pre-Concept Working Group at AWE.[63] Some of this research is being undertaken with the US. Then Defence Secretary John Hutton announced that following an exchange of letters between Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George W. Bush in December 2006 "additional research is currently being undertaken, some in collaboration with the US, on how we may need to refurbish or replace our current warheads to help inform decisions, likely to be made in the next parliament".[64]

  It has been suggested that the UK is exploring options for a new RRW-type warhead that could be developed without nuclear testing, a so-called High Surety Warhead.[65] The government has denied any direct involvement in the US RRW programme[66] and insists that it is not developing a new warhead at Aldermaston.[67] Nevertheless, in 2006 David Overskei, Chair of the US Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board reportedly said that "as far as I know they [the British] are not involved with the RRW ... but they are keenly, keenly interested".[68]

  In 2004 the Mutual Defence Agreement was extended for a further 10 years and amended to facilitate US-UK co-operation on nuclear warhead research related to the RRW concept. In 2008 John Harvey, policy and planning director at the US National Nuclear Security Administration, stated in an audio interview for the US Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), that "we have recently, I can't tell you when, taken steps to amend the MDA, not only to extend it but to amend it to allow for a broader extent of co-operation than in the past, and this has to do with the RRW effort".[69] He added that the MDA had been amended to give the UK access to information on US technologies to secure warheads against possible unauthorised use, for example by a terrorist group that managed to steal or otherwise gain access to a US nuclear weapon. This technology had not previously been explicitly declared as an area of cooperative research under the MDA. Harvey said that it "is such an integral part of our RRW efforts we will need to have the Brits involved in that if we are going to have them involved in RRW".[70] Harvey also stated that UK scientists "are observers on some of the working activities that are chaired by the Navy for the Reliable Replacement Warhead".[71]

  This is supported by the most recent US nuclear weapons budget for FY2010 that shows AWE is continuing to collaborate with US nuclear weapons laboratories on a programme of "Enhanced Surety" for nuclear warheads.[72] This is research into ways of making warheads safer and introducing new technologies to prevent unauthorised use "for consideration in scheduled stockpile refurbishments, life extension programs (LEP), and future stockpile strategies".[73] Warhead research of this type was previously associated with the RRW programme. It constituted one of the concept's core rationales and formed a critical part of the RRW design competition. One specific area of future joint research collaboration between Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and AWE Aldermaston is the design of a Multi-Point Safe warhead.[74] Current UK Trident warheads are designed to be one-point safe, meaning that an accident leading to detonation of the high explosive trigger at one single point will not cause the warhead to go critical.[75] Re-designing the current UK Trident warhead to make it Multi-Point Safe could be difficult, suggesting that this collaborative UK-US research is for a potential future warhead design.

  A number of other interviews in the CSIS series suggest that the UK has worked closely with the US on the RRW programme. Frank Miller, a civil servant who was Senior Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control at the National Security Council under George W Bush and previously held senior positions in the Department of Defense with responsibility for nuclear weapons policy under Reagan, Bush senior and Clinton, stated in 2008 that "They [UK] will need a Reliable Replacement Warhead of their own. In fact they are working on one. It has a different name. It's got a different acronym. But they are working on the same kind of a thing for their W76 variant".[76]

  It was also reported that data from the 2006 UK sub-critical Krakatau test conducted at the US Nevada Test Site would be used in the US RRW study. The Times stated that "Jacob Perea, project manager at Los Alamos, told The Times that data from Krakatau, a British-US test, was being used to help the US to work out how to build its new generation of weapons. Although he said that the project was American, he added: `It would be pretty surprising if they (the British) weren't watching this pretty closely'".[77]


  The historical record shows that the UK nuclear weapons programme, including work on the UK Trident nuclear warhead at AWE Aldermaston, has been heavily dependent upon the United States since the late 1950s through provision of nuclear weapon systems, materiel, design assistance and operational support. It is clear that:

    1. This extends to the current Trident system where dependencies are reflected in provision of the Trident missile, assistance with the development and production of the UK Trident warhead, including the Mk4 re-entry body, operational targeting, and in-service support for the weapon system.

    2. The UK has embarked on a long process of replacing the current Trident system beginning with the procurement of a new fleet of ballistic missile submarines to carry the Trident missile. US-UK co-operation on nuclear weapon systems is already shaping the UK programme, for example through co-operation with the US on a new Common Missile Compartment for both countries' next generation SSBNs.

    3. Both the US nuclear weapons laboratories and AWE Aldermaston have developed extensive science-based stockpile stewardship/warhead assurance programmes focussing on high-energy laser experiments, hydrodynamic experiments, powerful computing capabilities to simulate nuclear explosions, archived nuclear test data and surveillance of individual warheads in the operational stockpile and that the US nuclear weapons laboratories and AWE Aldermaston have conducted joint stockpile stewardship experiments and used each other's facilities stockpile stewardship activities.

    4. The US nuclear weapons laboratories have undertaken a major life extension programme to refurbish a significant quantity of its W76 Trident warhead stockpile and that AWE Aldermaston has participated in aspects of the W76 LEP and has benefited from some of its outputs, notably the new Arming-Fusing and Firing system.

    5. The US nuclear weapons laboratories have developed a new Reliable Replacement Warhead design based on tested weapon designs to replace some, or all, of the W76 stockpile and that evidence suggests AWE Aldermaston has been involved in RRW design studies at US nuclear weapons laboratories and that it is currently involved in "enhanced surety" studies to develop warhead use-control technologies integral to the RRW concept.

    6. The UK government has stated that a decision on whether to refurbish or replace the current warhead will be required in the next parliament; that it has established a programme at AWE to explore these options; and that it is working with the United States on these options under the auspices of the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement.

  Current co-operation with the US on new ballistic missile submarine designs, the W76 warhead LEP and possibly RRW R&D programmes, and the Trident missile life extension programme reflect the deep cultural and bureaucratic institutionalisation of these relationships. They constitute a largely unquestioned norm from which the UK is seen to derive enormous benefit whilst the wider opportunity costs go unexamined and unquestioned.

Nick Ritchie
Bradford Disarmament Research Centre
Department of Peace Studies
University of Bradford

September 2009

6   John Dumbrell, A Special Relationship: Anglo-American Relations in the Cold War and After, (Macmillan: Basingstoke, 2001); John Simpson, The Independent Nuclear State: The United States, Britain, and the Military Atom (MacMillan: London, 1983). Back

7   Nick Ritchie, Trident and British Identity, Department of Peace Studies report (University of Bradford: Bradford, September 2008). Available at: Back

8   See Michael Quinlan, "The future of nuclear weapons: policy for Western possessors", International Affairs 69: 3, July 1993, p 489. Back

9   Mark Bromley and Nicola Butler, Secrecy and Dependence: The UK Trident System in the 21st Century (BASIC: London, November 2001). Available at

10   Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the United States of America for Co-operation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defence Purposes, signed in Washington, 3 July 1958. Back

11   See Nigel Chamberlain, Nicola Butler and Dave Andrews US-UK Nuclear Weapons Collaboration under the Mutual Defence Agreement: Shining a Torch on the Darker Recesses of the `Special Relationship', BASIC Special Report 2004.3 (BASIC: London, June 2004). Back

12   Official Report, House of Commons, February 27, 2009, column 1150. Back

13   For details see Peter Hennessy, Cabinets and the Bomb (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2007). Back

14   Official Report, House of Commons, January 12 1998, column 140. Back

15   Ainslie, The Future of the British Bomb, p 12. Back

16   Ibid, p 67. Back

17   Ibid, and Interview with Frank Miller by Jessica Yeats, CSIS, January 28, 2008. Audio files available at Back

18   Nick Ritchie, US Nuclear Weapons Policy after the Cold War (Routledge: Abingdon, 2009), pp 25, 65. Back

19   Ainslie, The Future of the British Bomb, p 66. Back

20   Ibid, p 52. Back

21   On NATO see Ibid, p 52. On the UK see Michael Quinlan, "The British Experience", in Henry Sokolski (ed), Getting MAD: mutual assured destruction, its origins and practice, Strategic Studies Institute (Army War College, Carlisle, PA), November 2004, p 265. Back

22   Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent, Command 6994 (HMSO: London, December 2006). Back

23   "Birth of Son of Trident, at Yard", North-West Evening Mail, October 11, 2007; "Future Submarines Integrated Project Team Office Officially Opens", News Release, BAE Systems, 12 October 2007. Back

24   It was reported in July 2005 that Defence Secretary John Reid had authorized officials to begin negotiations with Washington on the nature of Britain's post-Vanguard nuclear force. David Cracknell, "Talks start with U.S. on Trident's 15bn successor", The Sunday Times, 17 July 2005. Back

25   Elaine Grossman, "Strategic Arms Funds Tilt Conventional in 2009", Global Security Newswire, 7 November 2008. Available at;
"Sub officials: missiles will decide design of strategic deterrent", Inside the Navy, 23 February 2009. Back

26   Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence to the Committee of Public Accounts hearing on The United Kingdom's Future Nuclear Deterrent Capability, 19 November 2008, p 19. Back

27   Defence Secretary Des Browne, House of Commons, Official Report, 3 December 2007, Column 843W. Back

28   "CMC Contract to Define Future SSBN Launchers for UK, USA", Defense Industry Daily, 26 December 2008. Back

29   "UK WTS Training Implementation Plan Future Hull", Defense Contract Management Agency, solicitation number N00030-07-G-0044NJ57, 28 May 2008. Back

30   Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent, Command 6994 (HMSO: London, December 2006). Back

31   William J. Clinton, "The President's Radio Address", 3 July 1993, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, vol 29, no 27, pp 1229-1296 (Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.). Back

32   Jonathan Medalia, "The Reliable Replacement Warhead Program: Background and Current Developments", CRS Report for Congress (Congressional Research Service, Washington, D.C., 2007), p 7. Back

33   Siegfried Hecker, "Testimony by Dr Siegfried S Hecker, Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory", Hearing before the Senate Committee on Armed Services, March 19, 1997 (Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.), pp 206-207; Tom Collina & Ray Kidder, "Shopping Spree Softens Test-Ban Sorrows", Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, vol 50 no 4 (July/August 1994). Back

34   Stockpile Stewardship Program: 30-Day Review (U.S. Department of Energy: Washington, D.C., 1999), pp 2-1. Back

35   Hans Kristensen, "Administration Increases Submarine Nuclear Warhead Production Plan", FAS Blog, Federation of American Scientists, 30 August 2007. Available at Back

36   IbidBack

37   Defence Secretary Des Browne, Official Report, House of Commons, 13 July 2006, column 1944W. Back

38   Caroline Handley (a scientist in the Design Physics Department at AWE) "Nuclear Weapon Design and Certification in the CTBT Era" in A Collection of Papers from the 2007 PONI Conference Series, Project on Nuclear Issues (Center for Strategic and International Studies: Washington, DC, 2008), p 31; Keith O'Nions, Robin Pitman and Clive Marsh "Science of Nuclear Warheads", Nature, Vol 415, 21 February 2002. Back

39   House of Commons Defence Committee, Progress of the Trident Programme, HC 350 (HMSO: London, July 1995), p 24. Back

40   Official Report, House of Commons, 23 March 2009, column 17W. Back

41   Official Report, House of Commons, 27 February 2009, column 1151W. Back

42   O'Nions et al, Science of Nuclear Warheads, p 856. Back

43   Keith O'Nions, Roy Anderson and Robin Pitman, "Reflections on the Strength of the 1958 Agreement", in Mackby, J and Cornish, P U.S.-UK Nuclear Cooperation After 50 Years (CSIS Press: Washington, D.C., 2008), p 182. Back

44   See Suzanne Jones and Frank von Hippel, "Transparency Measures for Subcritical Experiments under the CTBT", Science & Global Security, vol 6, 1997, pp 291-310. Back

45   Interview with Stan Orman by Tara Callahan, CSIS, 24 January 2008. Audio files available at

46   Stephen Jones, "Recent Developments at the Atomic Weapons Establishment", Standard Note SN/IA/05024 (House of Commons Library: London, March 2009), p 7. Back

47   See, for example, interview with Everet Beckner, former deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, National Nuclear Security Administration, by Cassandra Smith, CSIS, 2008. Audio files available at Back

48   Brooks, The Future of the 1958 Mutual Defense Agreement, p 155. Back

49   Bromley and Butler, Secrecy and Dependence, citing "Hunting-BRAE Annual Report", 1998, p 41. Available at Back

50   Tara Callahan and Mark Jansen, "UK Independence or Dependence", in Mackby, J and Cornish, P U.S.-UK Nuclear Cooperation After 50 Years (CSIS Press: Washington, D.C., 2008), p 31. Back

51   Interview with Steve Henry by Michael Gerson, CSIS, 2008. Audio files available at Back

52   Recruitment notice for a Warhead Electrical Engineer for AWE as publicised by Beechwood Recruitment Agency, 2 February 2007, reference CA829v27. Back

53   Official Report, House of Commons, 28 March 2007, column 1524W. Back

54   US Department of Energy's 1996 "Green Book" on "Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan", p V-9. Reprinted in End Run: Simulating Nuclear Explosions under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (National Resources Defense Council: Washington, DC, 1997. Available at Back

55   Bruce Tarter, Director, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, The National Nuclear Security Administration's Budget Request for FY2002, Hearing of the Committee on Armed Services, 25 April 2001 (Government Printing Office: Washington, DC), p 7. Back

56   Medalia, The Reliable Replacement Warhead Program, p 1. Back

57   Medalia, The Reliable Replacement Warhead Program, p 11. Back

58   Interim report of the Feasibility and Implementation of the Reliable Replacement Warhead Program, Submitted to the Congressional Defense Committees in response to section 3111 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006, Public Law 109-163, by the Secretaries of Defense and Energy in consultation with the Nuclear Weapons Council, p 3. Back

59   America's Strategic Posture, Final Report of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States (United States Institute of Peace Press: Washington, D.C., 2009), p 41. Back

60   Bruce Goodwin and Glenn Mara, Stewarding a Reduced Stockpile, AAAS Technical Issues Workshop, Washington, DC, 24 April 2008. See also Jeffrey Lewis, "After the Reliable Replacement Warhead: What's Next for the US Nuclear Arsenal?", Arms Control Today, December 2008. Back

61   MoD & FCO, The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent, p 7. Back

62   MoD & FCO, The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent, p 31. Back

63   Defence Secretary Des Browne, Official Report, House of Commons, 28 November 2007, Column 452W. Back

64   Official Report, House of Commons, 23 March 2009, column 17W. Back

65   Ian Bruce, "Britain in top-secret work on new atomic warhead", The Herald, 4 September 2007. Back

66   Official Report, House of Commons, 27 February 2009, column 1150W. Back

67   Official Report, House of Commons, 21 March 2006, column 364W. Back

68   Cited in Geoff Brumfiel, "The next nuke", Nature, vol. 442, no 6, July 2006. Back

69   Interview with John Harvey by Jessica Yeats, CSIS, January 23, 2008. Audio files available at Back

70   Interview with John Harvey. Back

71   Interview with John Harvey. Back

72   FY2010 Congressional Budget Request, National Nuclear Security Administration (U.S. Department of Energy: Washington, D.C., May 2009), volume 1, p 101. Back

73   Ibid, p 100. Back

74   Ibid, p 105. Back

75   See "JSP 538-Regulation of the Nuclear Weapons Programme", NIS Technical Briefing Note (Nuclear Information Service: Reading, August 2008), p 4. Back

76   Interview with Frank Miller by Jessica Yeats, CSIS, January 28, 2008. Audio files available at Back

77   Tim Reid, "In the Wilderness, a Computer Readies a New Nuclear Arsenal", The Times, 7 April 2006. Back

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