The Bush Administration's Stockpile Reduction Plan
Too Many, Too Slow
The recent announcement by the Bush administration to significantly reduce the U.S. nuclear weapon stockpile is a welcome and positive step, but there are several caveats that warrant further discussion. An NRDC analysis of the proposal found it lacking for two main reasons: It will still leave approximately 6,000 nuclear weapons in the U.S. stockpile, and it will take eight years to accomplish.
On June 1, National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator Linton F. Brooks submitted a classified report to Congress detailing plans that have been approved by the Energy and Defense departments. In a conference call with reporters, Ambassador Brooks said the reductions would be "almost half" of the current stockpile. While the government does not discuss precise numbers, it is possible to estimate what is planned. NRDC's analysis concludes that over 4,300 warheads of six types are slated for retirement and disassembly. These include:
|W62 (MM III)||730|
|W78 (MM III)||425|
|W76 (Trident I)||1,350|
This will leave a future stockpile of nearly approximately 6,000 warheads of seven types;
|W78 (MM III ICBM)||400|
|W87 (MM III ICBM)||545|
|W76 (Trident I/II SLBM)||1,840|
|W88 (Trident II SLBM)||400|
This projected 2012 inventory would consist of nuclear warheads for strategic forces of 500 Minuteman III ICBMs and 14 Trident submarines, and nuclear bombs for 76 B-52 and 21 B-2 bombers. Non-strategic weapons would include nuclear bombs for F-16, F-15E and NATO Tornado aircraft and nuclear sea-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs) for attack submarines.
The following tables provide a breakdown of the current and future stockpiles.
last revised 6/7/2004
Sign up for NRDC's online newsletter
- The Clean Energy Way to Fight Climate Change
- posted by Frances Beinecke, 11/8/13
- The Many Ways the Government Shutdown Hurt Public Health and the Environment
- posted by Frances Beinecke, 10/17/13
- Springdale, Utah, a "ghost town," Mayflower spill response slowed and massive furloughs for oversight of nuclear plants in Day 11 of the GOP's government shutdown
- posted by Scott Slesinger, 10/11/13
Nuclear Document Bank
- NRDC’s Perspectives on the Economics of Small Modular Reactors
- NRDC's Amicus Response in Support of Friends of the Earth
- An Evaluation of the NRC Response to the Fukushima Nuclear Accident
Related NRDC Press Releases
- NRDC Senior Nuclear Scientist Unveils Radiation Dosage Data at Senate Hearing
- Nuclear Security Summit Fosters an Illusion of Achievement, Says NRDC
- NRDC Reacts to the Obama Administration's Nuclear Posture Review
NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs
- Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating.
- Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.
- NRDC meets the highest standards of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau.