New confidence-building measures can reduce tensions around subcritical tests

A view of the tunnels of the PULSE underground laboratory, formerly known as the U1a complex, at the US Nevada National Security Site, which the authors visited in November 2023. The PULSE laboratory serves to conduct subcritical and physics experiments as part of NNSA's Stockpile Stewardship Program created to ensure the safety and reliability of the US nuclear weapons stockpile. (Credit: Image courtesy of the National Nuclear Security Administration)

New confidence-building measures can reduce tensions around subcritical tests


Besnard, D. 2006. The Megajoule Laser–A High-Energy-Density Physics Facility. In: Schwoerer, H., Beleites, B., Magill, J. (eds) “Lasers and Nuclei.” Lecture Notes in Physics, vol 694. Berlin: Springer.

Bugos, S. 2020. “Trump administration debates resuming nuclear testing.” Arms Control Association. June 4.

Cheung, E., B. Lendon, and I. Watson. 2023. “Exclusive: satellite images show increase activity at nuclear test sites in Russia, China and US.” CNN. September 23.

Funk, D. J. 2019. “Enhanced Capabilities for Subcritical Experiments (ECSE): Portfolio Overview.” Los Alamos National Laboratory, LA-UR-18-28253. March 11. p. 46.

Hecker, S. S., ed. 2016. “Doomed To Cooperate: How American and Russian Scientists Joined Forces to Avert Some of the Greatest Post-Cold War Nuclear Dangers, Volume 1” Los Alamos, NM: Bathtub Row Press.

Hruby, J. 2023. “Remarks at the CTBT Science and Technology Conference 2023.” National Nuclear Security Admnistration. June 19. US Department of Energy.

IAEA. 2003. “Safeguard techniques and equipment.” International Nuclear Verification Series No. 1 (revised). International Atomic Energy Agency. pp 36-60.

Isachenkov, V. “Russia suspends only remaining major nuclear treaty with US.” AP News. February 21.

JASON. 1994. “Science Based Stockpile Stewardship.” JSR-94-345, MITRE Corporation. November.

MacFarquhar, N. 2023. “Russia pulled out of a nuclear test ban treaty. Here’s what that means.” The New York Times. November 2.

Mikhailov, V. N., et al. n. d. “Nuclear tests of USSR hydronuclear experiments. Plutonium consumption stock-taking.”

National Research Council. 2012. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: Technical Issues for the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. P 104.

Osborn, A. 2023. “Russia accuses US of nuclear testing site activity, says it won’t test unless US does.” Reuters. October 11.

Strömbom, J. 2021. “Natural Fingerprinting of Steel,” Luleå University of Technology.

Tolk, K. M. 1992. “Reflective Particle Technology for Identification of Critical Components.” INMM Annual Meeting.

de Troullioud de Lanversin, J., C. Fichtlscherer, and F. N. von Hippel. 2021. “Onsite Verification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty at Very Low Yields.” INMM & ESARDA Joint Annual Meeting.

US Defense Department. 1996. “DoD Nuclear Weapon System Safety Program Manual.” DoD 3150.2-M. December.

US Department of State. 2011. Key P5 Public Statements on CTBT Score.,%2C%20no%20nuclear%20chain%20reaction.%E2%80%9D

US Department of State. 2013. Scope of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty.

US Department of State. 2019. “Adherence to and compliance with arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements and commitments.Compliance-Report-2019-August-19-Unclassified-Final.pdf (

US Government Accountability Office. 2023. “Program Management Improvements Would Benefit U.S. Efforts to Build New Experimental Capabilities,” GAO-23-105714.

Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. 1969. 1155 U.N.T.S. 331, art. 18.

Together, we make the world safer.

The Bulletin elevates expert voices above the noise. But as an independent nonprofit organization, our operations depend on the support of readers like you. Help us continue to deliver quality journalism that holds leaders accountable. Your support of our work at any level is important. In return, we promise our coverage will be understandable, influential, vigilant, solution-oriented, and fair-minded. Together we can make a difference.

Get alerts about this thread
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments