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The U.S. Nuclear War Plan
A Time for Change

This June 2001 report from NRDC's nuclear program offers an independent assessment of the U.S. nuclear war planning process and the assumptions and logic of the SIOP, or Single Integrated Operational Plan, a Cold War relic that continues to guide U.S. nuclear war plans. Using customized computer software and a vast aggregation of declassified and open-source data to closely approximate the tools that SIOP planners use, NRDC has simulated a U.S. attack against Russian nuclear forces and attacks against Russian cities. The report includes a description of the history, evolution and working process of SIOP; detailed descriptions of the NRDC nuclear war simulation model and target database; and policy recommendations.

Photo of report cover
  For printed copies of this report, see our Publications List.

Press release
Summary article
PowerPoint Presentation

This report is available in full in pdf format. Clicking on a pdf link will open the file in your browser window. If you plan to save the files on your own computer, we recommend right-clicking instead to save time by saving without first viewing the files. See note re printing.

The Executive Summary is also available as an html webpage.

Table of ContentsPDF Files
Executive Summary TOC to Ch. 2 - 102k
Chapter One: Purpose and Goals
Chapter Two: U.S. Single Integrated Operational Plan and U.S. Nuclear Forces
Chapter Three: The NRDC War Simulation Model Ch. 3 - .99M
Chapter Four: Attacking Russia's Nuclear Forces Ch. 4 - 3.13M
Chapter Five: Attacking Russian Cities: Two Countervalue Scenarios Ch. 5 - 1.2M
Chapter Six: Conclusions and Policy Recommendations Ch. 6 to End - 280k
Appendix A: Functional Classification Codes
Appendix B: Data Fields in the NRDC Russian Target Database
Appendix C: NRDC Russian Target Database Target Classes, Categories and Types
Appendix D: Nuclear Weapons Effects Equations
About the Authors

Note regarding printing: Chapters 3, 4 and 5 are large files and contain many maps, photos, charts, and other images. Older printers or printers with limited memory may have difficulty printing these files. We recommend printing page-by-page or in batches.

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