GS (UK/US) 6: Written evidence from the British Pugwash Group

 

 

Global Security: UK-US Relations

1. The Foreign Affairs Committee has announced that it is taking evidence on the relationship between the UK and the US and the implications this has on UK foreign policy, and has invited interested groups or individuals to submit their views on six specific issues:

 

the basis of the bilateral relationship between the UK and US;

UK and US views on the nature and value of the bilateral relationship and the contribution of the UK-US foreign policy relationship to global security;

the extent to which UK and US interests align in key foreign policy related areas including security, defence, and intelligence co-operation;

the extent to which the UK is able to influence US foreign policy and UK policy is influenced by the US under the Obama administration;

the extent to which "the special relationship" still exists and the factors which determine this; and

the implications of any changes in the nature of the bilateral relationship for British foreign policy.

 

2. The British Pugwash Group (BPG) wishes to offer the following thoughts on these six issues, as set out below. The BPG is affiliated to the international Pugwash movement, which has for over 50 years provided independent expert advice to national governments on matters affecting international security, particularly in relation to nuclear weapons. For example, it played major roles in the development of arms control treaties, including the NPT, the Partial Test Ban Treaty, and the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions. The British Pugwash Group has been an active participant in the work of International Pugwash since the movement started. It has strong international connections, and has technical expertise in many areas related to security, nuclear weapons (and other weapons of mass destruction), arms control and disarmament. It has recently produced a significant report on the Management of the UK Stockpile of Separated Plutonium. Copies of this report can be provided on request.

 

3. The basis of the bilateral relationship between the UK and US

3.1 The roots of the bilateral relationship between the UK and US reach back into the 17th century, and the relationship has had high and low points ever since. The so-called 'special relationship' was forged during the second World War: it owed a great deal to the personal relationship between Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, but has survived to the present day in spite of periodic tensions. In recent years, some of the most significant structural foundations of that relationship have been the close collaboration between the two countries in the areas of nuclear weapons and intelligence. In both areas there have been a series of formal agreements and informal cooperative practices.

3.2 In the nuclear area, among the most important of these have been 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. It is known, however, that the agreement provides for extensive cooperation on nuclear warhead and reactor technologies, in particular the exchange of classified information concerning nuclear weapons to improve "design, development and fabrication capability". The agreement also provides for the transfer of nuclear warhead-related materials. The agreement was renewed in 2004 for a further 10 years.

3.3 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.

3.4 The second area is intelligence cooperation. Exchange of intelligence information between the US and UK agencies has been routine since the 1930s, but was greatly expanded during the second World War, and in relation to signals intelligence (SIGINT) it was formalised on 17 May 1943 with the conclusion of the still-secret, and possibly still-active, BRUSA COMINT agreement. More general exchanges of information continue to this day, though periodically threatened by espionage scandals (eg the Philby affair).

 

4. UK and US views on the nature and value of the bilateral relationship and the contribution of the UK-US foreign policy relationship to global security

4.1 A consequence of these agreements is that the UK has always been heavily dependent on the United States for its ongoing deployment of strategic nuclear weapons. Without ongoing US support the UK would very probably cease to be a nuclear weapon state. 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 cooperation. A more general consequence of the particularly close cooperation in these two areas has been that the UK has felt constrained to support the United States in other areas of military activity, including interventionist activities in the Middle East, and in sharing the 'burden' of the conventional and nuclear defence of NATO.

4.2 These 'distorting' effects of the 'special relationship' in these two key areas has meant that the UK has periodically been subject to criticism from other international players, and particularly from the European Community, for paying insufficient attention to the international policy objectives of its other partners.

4.3 A particular issue where the UK has been seen to pay undue attention to US foreign policy has been the so-called 'War on terror'. It is now widely believed that statements made by President Bush on this subject were counter-productive, but the UK at no stage expressed public reservations about these.

 

More generally, the UK has been inhibited from developing its own foreign policy in relation to cases of actual or threatened nuclear weapon proliferation such as Israel, North Korea and Iran.

 

5. The extent to which UK and US interests align in key foreign policy related areas including security, defence, and intelligence co-operation

5.1 The foreign policy interests of the UK and the US are naturally and properly aligned in a number of areas. Both have a strong interest in sustaining and strengthening the Non-Proliferation Treaty, in exerting pressure on those countries which have not already signed the NPT to do so, and to subscribe to the Additional Protocol. Both have a strong interest in deterring acts of terrorism, including particularly nuclear terrorism. Both have a strong interest in protecting the environment, particularly against the threat of global warming. Both have a consequential interest in promoting the 'nuclear renaissance' and other low-carbon means of generating electric power. Both have a strong interest in the establishment of safe means of disposing of nuclear waste, and in the management of fissile materials.

5.2 However within this broad area of coincidence of interest, there are a number of actual or potential divergences.

5.3 Independent nuclear deterrent. The UK has always prided itself on its possession of an independent nuclear deterrent, and the US has always been outwardly supportive, and has indeed taken active steps to assist the UK in this, to the extent that the UK deterrent cannot really be described as 'independent' (see attachment 1). However recent developments in US policy (as formulated by President Obama) raise the question as to whether it is really in US interests for the UK to continue to pursue this policy. It is arguable that US policy objectives would be better served if the UK were to take a lead, among the nuclear powers, in abandoning its nuclear weapons altogether, either as a unilateral step, or as part of a bargaining process. The BPG takes the view that no-one (politician, journalist, academic or whomever) has devised a plausible scenario in which an independent British nuclear weapon might actually be used, either now or in the foreseeable future.

5.4 Openness in strategic policy formation. The UK has over many years operated a policy of forming international policy within government and behind closed doors, and has used the Offical Secrets Act as a means of preventing the unauthorised disclosure of information to outsiders. The recent Freedom of Information Act has done little to change this. By contrast, in the US, policy formation is much more open. One disadvantage of UK practice in this area is that government is unable to make effective use of advice on such matters coming from NGOs, academia etc, because those sources are unable to tap into the existing state of thinking within government. In the US, there are various mechanisms which make this possible - eg the mechanism of the JASON Defense Advisory Group, which gives expert outsiders access to classified information. One of the drivers behind the UK policy has been the belief that disclosure of information by the UK might prejudice UK-US cooperation in such areas as nuclear weapon development or intelligence. To remove this concern, there is a need for the UK and US governments to reach a common understanding about how to open up this channel of expert advice, without damaging real security interests.

5.5 Constraints upon the nuclear renaissance. During the past three decades, the US and UK have operated highly divergent policies on the subject of reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. The US policy - to prohibit reprocessing internally and to exert strong pressure on other nations not to embark on it - was triggered by its concern over the Indian nuclear weapon test in 1974, in which the plutonium came from reprocessing technology supplied by the US. By contrast, the UK and France have actively engaged in reprocessing since the 1950s, and have in recent years offered a commercial reprocessing service to countries which have not developed their own capability. There are still authoritative voices in the US which argue that the US should maintain its policy, and take active steps to discourage reprocessing world-wide. On this view, only the once-through nuclear fuel cycle should be pursued, and those countries (like the UK and France) which have large stockpiles of separated plutonium should stop producing more, and take active steps to dispose of their stockpiles immediately in a manner which does not facilitate retrieval. On the other hand, there is a strong argument that if the nuclear renaissance is to be sustained for more than a few decades, it will become essential to engage in reprocessing, and to make the resulting plutonium available for a fast reactor programme. The existing stockpiles would therefore need to be either securely stored, or converted to MOX fuel for burning in suitable power reactors. The BPG has explored the arguments for and against each of these views in the report cited above, and has concluded that it is impossible to reach a decision without having access to information which is not in the public domain. It has recommended that HMG should make sufficient information available to permit a rational debate on the matter. When a firm UK policy in these matters emerges, it may be desirable to convince the US government that it is correct.

5.6 Negotiating positions at the 2010 NPT review meeting. It is widely recognised that the 2005 NPT review meeting was a nearly-disastrous failure, and that if the NPT regime is to be sustained, the 2010 review meeting must have a more successful outcome. The UK government has published a document entitled The road to 2010 which sets out the steps which it believes need to be taken to this end. Various policy statements are made in that document which are not self-evidently consistent with the approach which is currently being taken by the US. These include:

 

(a) advocating the introduction of a 'fourth pillar' into the NPT framework - securing fissile material against the risks from clandestine diversion or nuclear terrorism;

(b) development of multilateral approaches to the fuel cycle, so that countries developing new nuclear programmes can reliably access the fuel they need to generate power without having to establish individual national facilities;

(c) strengthening the powers and organisation of the IAEA so that it can play a stronger role in securing fissile material and preventing proliferation.

 

Important though such issues are, they may well be overshadowed at the review meeting by complaints from non-nuclear signatories that the five nuclear powers recognised by the Treaty are not doing enough to honour the spirit, if not the letter, of Article VI of the Treaty. In this respect, the UK position is currently looking less credible than the US position.

 

6. The extent to which the UK is able to influence US foreign policy and UK policy is influenced by the US under the Obama administration

6.1 It is clear that because of the long history of collaboration in many areas of foreign policy, the US and UK have always had a strong mutual influence. Specifically in the nuclear area, the pattern of collaborative agreements and informal cooperative practices has again led to mutual influence, though with the US as the predominant partner for obvious economic reasons. In recent years, the collaboration on the development of next-generation nuclear warheads, nuclear missiles and submarine delivery systems has been particularly complex (for details and supporting evidence see attachment 1).

6.2 The UK's policy on warhead development has largely been driven by two parallel US programmes which started in the 1990s - to extend the life of the W76 warhead, and to develop new warhead designs to replace it. These programmes evolved into the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) programme, which Congress funded in 2004 but subsequently stripped of further funding in 2007 and 2008, and which was formally terminated by the Obama administration in March 2009. The UK faces (but has not yet taken) a decision on whether to extend the life of its Trident warheads or develop its own version of an RRW. It is currently undertaking a number of exploratory activities jointly with the United States under the MDA, including work which is being undertaken by a Warhead Pre-Concept Working Group at AWE. Some of this research is being undertaken with the US, and it is reported that AWE is "keenly, keenly interested" in the US RRW programme. The two countries have also conducted joint 'sub-critical' nuclear tests using fissile material, in tests that do not produce a nuclear explosion. The UK 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". US nuclear weapon laboratories have used AWE experimental facilities to conduct tests using non-fissile plutonium isotopes that are prohibited by US law. US nuclear weapons labs will also have access to the Orion Laser at Aldermaston under the MDA. 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 thereby ensure that benefits from the relationship are two-way.

6.3 As regards missile development, the UK government has already committed itself to the US Navy's programme to refurbish and extend the service life of its Trident missiles.

6.4 As regards next-generation ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) development, the US Navy is 4-5 years behind the UK. 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. In consequence the UK has already begun working with the United States on possible new submarine designs, and 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. In December 2008 the US General Dynamics Electric Boat Corporation was awarded a contract to perform studies and design of a Common Missile Compartment (CMC) for the successor submarines to both the existing US and UK submarines, paid for by the UK but run through the US Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington.

6.5 The above represents what might be termed 'business as usual'. However during the past two years, a new theme has emerged, commonly referred to as 'getting to zero' or 'a nuclear-weapon-free world'. This idea has been put onto the international political agenda, as a result of the ground-breaking open letter of Schultz, Perry, Kissinger and Nunn (4 January 2007), the speech made by Margaret Beckett to the Carnegie Foundation (25 June 2007), and recent speeches and publications by eminent UK politicians and generals, including some recent statements by Foreign Secretary Miliband, and Barak Obama's recent address to the UN General Assembly.

6.6 It is rather clear that to reach the eventual goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world, the international community will have to proceed in steps. There is an immediate and pressing need to prevent the current situation from deteriorating further. This requires the strengthening of the non-proliferation treaty regime, encouraging those countries that have not already signed the treaty and the Additional Protocol to do so, and ensuring that those countries which have signed abide by its provisions. In parallel with this, there is a need for those countries which have already acquired nuclear weapons to start or continue arms reduction, arms limitation and other confidence-building measures, both to fulfil their obligations under the NPT and to move in the direction of a nuclear-weapon-free world. In the longer term, there is a need to create the international security framework within which nations could abandon nuclear weapons altogether as an element of their defence policy.

6.7 In the context of this long-term goal, there is an urgent need for leadership, and a particularly useful suggestion was made by Margaret Beckett in her speech of 25 June 2007, that the UK should become the 'disarmament laboratory' of the world. The BPG has been seeking to develop this idea, and has proposed the creation of a British institution (which it has named BRINPARDI) which would bring together all the expertise which exists in this country in these matters, and which would contribute an element of British leadership to the international efforts which are required. It should be both British and International, in the same way that SIPRI is both Swedish and International - i.e. located in the UK, and predominantly funded from British sources - but open to both individual experts from around the world, and to funding from outside the UK. It should be a predominantly non-classified institution, but should be able to draw on the advice of experts with security clearance as necessary, as is possible in the US JASON system. It should operate in such a way that it earns the respect of the international community as an objective, fair-minded organisation, not subject to undue influence from any national, political or military faction, but should be regarded by the British government as a reliable source of information and advice on policy in this area. This idea is developed further in attachment 2.

 

7. The extent to which "the special relationship" still exists and the factors which determine this

The importance of the 'special relationship' can easily be exaggerated. However it still exists, and is likely to survive spats such as that over the repatriation of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi. It was strengthened by the US-UK partnership as allies during the second World War, and by the UK support for US policy in Iraq, and draws on strong linguistic and cultural links. It could be strengthened further if the UK and US adopt a common approach to the NPT review and take parallel steps towards a nuclear-weapon-free world.

 

8. The implications of any changes in the nature of the bilateral relationship for British foreign policy

8.1 The most significant change during the next decade or two will be driven by the shift from the US as the sole super-power to a multi-polar world in which China and other countries move towards economic, and perhaps also military, parity with it. The UK, as a country which has been through the experience of losing an empire, can perhaps help the US to develop a useful role in this new world. The US certainly still needs encouragement to show sufficient respect to international institutions.

8.2 The US has recently experienced some major set-backs in the exercise of power, with Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, North Korea (to name but five) proving that they are able to thwart its foreign policy. The UK may be able to help find diplomatic solutions to problems which the US has been unable to solve by the exercise or threat of military power.

8.3 In the nuclear sphere, the US has taken a number of policy decisions (eg on reprocessing) which, with hindsight, were perhaps ill-advised. The UK may be able to help it to move forward.

8.4 During the past decade, the UK has adopted a number of foreign relations policies which, with hindsight, showed undue subservience to US policy. It would benefit the bilateral relationship if the UK were able to find ways to dissociate itself from US policy in certain areas, without undermining a long history of fruitful collaboration.

 

9. Recommendations

9.1 The UK should explore with the US government whether its policy objectives would be better served if the UK were to take a lead, among the nuclear powers, in abandoning its nuclear weapons altogether, either as a unilateral step, or as part of a bargaining process.

9.2 The UK and US governments should seek to reach a common understanding about how to open up the channel of expert advice from UK NGOs, academics and other experts on nuclear policy matters, without damaging the real security interests of either country. One specific possibility that should be followed up is to explore the applicability of the JASON model in the UK.

9.3 The UK government should develop, in consultation with NGOs, academics and other experts, a policy on reprocessing and plutonium stockpile management, and should then seek to convince the US government that it is correct.

9.4 The UK and US should seek to develop common negotiating positions for the 2010 NPT review meeting, having regard to any concerns that the US may have about the policies outlined in The Road to 2010, and Article VI of the NPT Treaty.

9.5 The UK government should take forward the suggestion which was made by Margaret Beckett in her speech of 25 June 2007, that the UK should become the 'disarmament laboratory' of the world, for example by establishing an institution such as BRINPARDI (see attachment 2). The precise form that this institution should take could usefully be explored with interested NGOs, academics and other experts.

9.6 The UK should try to find ways to dissociate itself from US policy in selected areas, without undermining a long history of fruitful collaboration.

 

 

23 September 2009


Attachment 1

 

'US-UK Special Relationship'

 

Understanding current US-UK nuclear weapons cooperation

 

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

 

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.[1] 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 cooperation. Nuclear weapons cooperation is one of several dependency dimensions of the UK's relationship with the US, one other primary area being intelligence cooperation.

 

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,[2] and in part to share the 'burden' of the nuclear defence of NATO,[3] whilst at the same time being highly dependent upon the United States for the provision and operation of its nuclear capability.

 

MDA and PSA

 

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.[4] It is known, however, that the agreement provides for extensive cooperation on nuclear warhead and reactor technologies, in particular the exchange of classified information concerning nuclear weapons to improve "design, development and fabrication capability".[5] The agreement also provides for the transfer of nuclear warhead-related materials. The agreement was renewed in 2004 for a further 10 years.[6] Every 18 months a review, or 'stock take', of US-UK nuclear cooperation 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).[7]

 

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.[8] 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.[9]

 

The Trident system

 

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".[10] 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.[11]

 

UK nuclear targeting is also integrated into US nuclear targeting plans through the UK Liaison Cell at US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) in Omaha, Nebraska.[12] STRATCOM develops and coordinates 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.[13]

 

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.[14] The purpose of the UK presence at STRATCOM is therefore to coordinate and 'deconflict' NATO and US nuclear targeting plans as they affect UK nuclear forces and avoid possible duplication and fratricide in nuclear war plans.[15] It is unclear whether NATO or the UK still maintain standing nuclear war plans.[16]

 

Trident replacement

 

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.[17] 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.[18]

 

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.[19] The US Navy is 4-5 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.[20]

 

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.[21] 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.[22]

 

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.[23] MoD is also contracting out additional aspects of its own concept studies to US companies.[24]

 

The government has already committed itself to the US Navy's programme to refurbish and extend the service life of is Trident missiles.[25]

 

US and UK Stockpile Stewardship Programmes

 

In 1996 President Bill Clinton signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBYT) 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).[26]

 

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.[27] 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.[28]

 

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.[29] The UK Trident warhead is an 'Anglicised' version of the W76 warhead. The refurbished US warhead is known as W76-1.[30] 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.[31]

 

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."[32] 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.[33]

 

US and UK Stockpile Stewardship and W76 life extension cooperation

 

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".[34]

 

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".[35]

 

In addition the US and UK have conducted joint hydrodynamic experiments under the auspices of the MDA.[36] 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".[37]

 

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".[38] 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.[39]

 

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".[40] US nuclear weapons labs will also have access to the Orion Laser at Aldermaston under the MDA.[41]

 

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.[42] 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".[43]

 

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.[44] 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.[45]

 

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 cooperation 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".[46]

 

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.[47] Then Defence Secretary Des Browne confirmed that this upgrade is taking place and would be introduced over the next decade.[48]

 

Cooperation on Reliable Replacement Warheads

 

In the mid-1990s the US began to explore potential new warhead designs to replace the W76.[49] Development of these designs ran parallel to the W76 warhead life extension programme.[50] 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".[51]

 

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.[52] 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.[53] 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.[54] It is now likely that a compromise package will be agreed by Congress and the Obama administration for a hybrid LEP/RRW programme.[55]

 

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 (2010-2015).[56] 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 Cooperation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defence Purposes."[57]

 

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.[58] 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".[59]

 

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.[60] The government has denied any direct involvement in the US RRW programme[61] and insists that it is not developing a new warhead at Aldermaston.[62] 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".[63]

 

In 2004 the Mutual Defence Agreement was extended for a further 10 years and amended to facilitate US-UK cooperation 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 cooperation than in the past, and this has to do with the RRW effort".[64] 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".[65] 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".[66]

 

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.[67] 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".[68] 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.[69] 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.[70] 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".[71]

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'".[72]

 

Dependency continues

 

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 cooperation on nuclear weapon systems is already shaping the UK programme, for example through cooperation 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 cooperation 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

 


Attachment 2

 

British International Non-Proliferation, Arms Reduction and Disarmament Institute (BRINPARDI)

 

This note seeks to define the mission and scope of a possible new British institution, which would draw together the resources and experience of government organisations, academia and non-governmental organisations with an interest in the role that Britain might play in moving the international community towards a nuclear-weapons-free future. The underlying idea is that such a future is now on the international political agenda, as a result of the ground-breaking letter of George Schultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn in the Wall Street Journal on 4 January 2007, the speech made by Margaret Beckett to the Carnegie Institute on 25 June 2007, recent speeches made by the Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary, and the letter from Douglas Hurd, Malcolm Rifkind, David Owen and George Robertson in the Times on 30 June 2008. There is an urgent need to take these ideas forward, by promoting studies of the concrete political, financial and technical steps which need to be taken over the next few years if such a goal is to be realised, and by creating a centre of excellence in which the necessary expertise can be built up and sustained, and the necessary international leadership can be promoted.

 

It is rather clear that to reach the eventual goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world, the international community will have to proceed in steps. There is an immediate and pressing need to prevent the current situation from deteriorating further. This requires the strengthening of the non-proliferation treaty regime, encouraging those countries that have not already signed the treaty and the Additional Protocol to do so, and ensuring that those countries which have signed abide by its provisions. In parallel with this, there is a need for those countries which have already acquired nuclear weapons to start or continue arms reduction, arms limitation and other confidence-building measures, both to fulfil their obligations under the NPT and to move in the direction of a nuclear-weapon-free world. In the longer term, there is a need to create the international security framework within which nations could abandon nuclear weapons altogether as an element of their defence policy.

 

The approach proposed in this note is the creation of a British institution (hereinafter referred to as BRINPARDI) which would bring together all the expertise which exists in this country in these matters, and which would contribute an element of British leadership to the international efforts which are required. It should be both British and International, in the same way that SIPRI is both Swedish and International - i.e. located in the UK, and predominantly funded from British sources - but open to both individual experts from around the world, and to funding from outside the UK. It should be a predominantly non-classified institution, but should be able to draw on the advice of experts with security clearance as necessary. It should operate in such a way that it earns the respect of the international community as an objective, fair-minded organisation, not subject to undue influence from any national, political or military faction, but should be regarded by the British government as a reliable source of information and advice on policy in this area.

 

Historically, the organisation within the British government which has provided the key technical leadership in this area has been AWE Aldermaston, and it is clear that in the foreseeable future it will continue to have a very important part to play. However there are various reasons why it should not be the only player in this field:

(i) Its current mandate from MoD is to concentrate strongly on its 'core mission', which is to maintain the existing UK nuclear deterrent, and to undertake the necessary development work to permit the construction of a next generation of UK nuclear weapons and deployment systems if the UK government so decides. Its so-called 'Threat Reduction' work, which covers some of the work which would be undertaken in BRINPARDI, is on a much smaller scale than its core mission work, has a lower priority, and is subject to a number of constraints.

(ii) Arising from the demands of its 'core mission', it operates a rigid security policy which severely limits access to buildings within the fence to individuals who do not have full security clearance. Access would be particularly difficult for non-UK nationals, especially from countries which might be able to make an important contribution to BRINPARDI's objectives.

(iii) The majority of its staff, particularly its senior staff who have the necessary experience to make a major contribution in this field, are highly committed to its core mission, and do not have a track record of making and publishing innovative contributions in this field. Although AWE has a substantial, and growing, programme of collaboration with British universities, this is overwhelmingly on topics related to its core mission.

(iv) It does not possess, and would probably not claim to possess, a very high level of expertise in the economic and international political aspects of this programme, or in technical aspects which have historically been funded by branches of the UK government other than MoD.

For all these reasons, this proposal envisages the creation of a Centre of Excellence in this area, which is physically located outside the AWE fence, and is not subject to the problems listed above. Nevertheless, its relationship with AWE would be rather close, and it would aim to develop a pattern of collaboration with AWE which is similar to the relationship between the US JASON organisation and the US defense establishments - i.e. enjoying mutual confidence, sharing information to the extent that national security permits, making use of AWE research facilities where that can be arranged etc.

 

The range of activities which this Centre of Excellence, referred to as BRINPARDI, would cover would include:

 

Nuclear Non-proliferation

International political, economic and technical data gathering related to the NPT

Development of rationales for signing & adhering to the NPT

Analysis of loopholes in the NPT regime, and development of counter-measures

Technical & political aspects of monitoring for compliance with NPT

Identification of countries, groups and individuals with responsibility for non-compliance with NPT

Development of database on trafficking in nuclear materials and dual-use materials, and technology relating to the detection of such trafficking

Development of expertise on the potential for the creation of radiological threats ('dirty bombs' etc) and counter-measures

Development and implementation of a nuclear forensic capability

Development of 'proliferation-resistant' civil nuclear power and an acceptable international inspection regime

 

Arms Reduction, Arms Limitation and Confidence Building measures

Development of arms reduction, arms limitation and confidence-building strategies, including test bans, regional non-nuclear zones, cut-off treaties etc

Development of rationales to persuade individual countries to adopt such strategies (political, military and economic)

Monitoring/verification of compliance with such agreements, including the dismantling of withdrawn weapons in ways that avoid further proliferation, or un-necessary intrusion into matters affecting national security or commercial practice.

Secure management of stockpiles of nuclear materials in NW states

 

Disarmament Implementation

Identification of political and military disincentives to complete nuclear disarmament, especially in the final stages, and finding means of countering those disincentives

Creation of non-nuclear security regimes

Identification of economic and social implications of winding down nuclear weapons establishments, and/or converting them to civilian missions

Intensification of the compliance verification regime as appropriate for the final stages in disarmament

 

Nuclear weapon 'breakout', both within NPT-signatory countries and post-disarmament

Creation of an acceptable international inspection regime

Development of technology to make such a regime effective in detecting breakout at an early stage

Development of an effective international regime to deter breakout.

 

To be effective, BRINPARDI would need to have a leader with the outstanding management and communication skills required in a strongly interdisciplinary centre, who could command the respect of all those who would contribute to its mission. It should be located somewhere which is not too far from the key contributory organisations. It would need to have a significant permanent staff, and also the ability to attach staff from other organisations for specific tasks. Above all, it would need to have a significant budget - perhaps 10M pa initially- if it is to undertake work at a sufficient speed to make a real impact on this urgent national/international task. In view of the interest in the 'disarmament laboratory' concept which has been expressed by a number of senior UK government figures, it seems not unreasonable to hope that it could provide a significant fraction of the required funding.

 

Christopher Watson and John Finney

11 October 2008

 



[1]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).

[2] Nick Ritchie, "Trident and British Identity", Department of Peace Studies report (University of Bradford: Bradford, September 2008). Available at: http://www.brad.ac.uk/acad/bdrc/nuclear/trident/briefing3.html.

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

[4] Mark Bromley and Nicola Butler, "Secrecy and Dependence: The UK Trident System in the 21st Century" (BASIC: London, November 2001). Available at <http://www.basicint.org/pubs/Research/2001UKtrident1.htm>.

[5] 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, July 3, 1958.

[6] 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).

[7] Official Report, House of Commons, February 27, 2009, column 1150.

[8] For details see Peter Hennessy, Cabinets and the Bomb (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2007).

[9]Official Report, House of Commons, January 12 1998, column 140.

[10] Ainslie, "The Future of the British Bomb", p. 12.

[11] Ibid., p. 67.

[12] Ibid., and Interview with Frank Miller by Jessica Yeats, CSIS, January 28, 2008. Audio files available at <http://csis.org/program/us-uk-nuclear-cooperation-after-50-years>.

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

[14] Ainslie, "The Future of the British Bomb", p.66.

[15] Ibid., p. 52.

[16] 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.

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

[18] "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, October 12, 2007.

[19] 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, July 17, 2005.

[20] Elaine Grossman, "Strategic Arms Funds Tilt Conventional in 2009", Global Security Newswire, November 7, 2008. Available at <http://www.nti.org/d_newswire/issues/2008/11/7/2E8D226C-261C-4209-8B38-147F3CD8012B.html>; "Sub officials: missiles will decide design of strategic deterrent", Inside the Navy, February 23, 2009.

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

[22] Defence Secretary Des Browne, House of Commons, Official Report, December 3, 2007, Column 843W.

[23] "CMC Contract to Define Future SSBN Launchers for UK, USA", Defense Industry Daily, December 26, 2008.

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

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

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

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

[28] 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).

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

[30] Hans Kristensen, "Administration Increases Submarine Nuclear Warhead Production Plan", FAS Blog, Federation of American Scientists, August 30, 2007. Available at <http://www.fas.org/blog/ssp/2007/08/us_tripples_submarine_warhead.php >.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Defence Secretary Des Browne, Official Report, House of Commons, July 13, 2006, column 1944W.

[33] 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, D.C., 2008), p. 31; Keith O'Nions, Robin Pitman and Clive Marsh "Science of Nuclear Warheads", Nature, Vol. 415, February 21, 2002.

[34] House of Commons Defence Committee, "Progress of the Trident Programme", HC 350 (HMSO: London, July 1995), p.24.

[35] Official Report, House of Commons, March 23, 2009, column 17W.

[36] Official Report, House of Commons, February 27, 2009, column 1151W.

[37] O'Nions et al., "Science of Nuclear Warheads", p. 856.

[38] 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.

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

[40] Interview with Stan Orman by Tara Callahan, CSIS, January 24, 2008. Audio files available at <http://csis.org/program/us-uk-nuclear-cooperation-after-50-years>.

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

[42] 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 <http://csis.org/program/us-uk-nuclear-cooperation-after-50-years>.

[43] Brooks, "The Future of the 1958 Mutual Defense Agreement", p. 155.

[44] Bromley and Butler, "Secrecy and Dependence", citing "Hunting-BRAE Annual Report", 1998, p. 41. Available at <http://www.basicint.org/pubs/Research/2001UKtrident1.htm>.

[45] 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.

[46] Interview with Steve Henry by Michael Gerson, CSIS, 2008. Audio files available at <http://csis.org/program/us-uk-nuclear-cooperation-after-50-years>.

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

[48] Official Report, House of Commons, March 28, 2007, column 1524W.

[49] 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, D.C., 1997. Available at <http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/endrun/erintro.asp>.

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

[51] Medalia, "The Reliable Replacement Warhead Program", p. 1.

[52] Medalia, "The Reliable Replacement Warhead Program", p. 11.

[53] "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.

[54] "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.

[55] Bruce Goodwin and Glenn Mara, "Stewarding a Reduced Stockpile", AAAS Technical Issues Workshop, Washington, D.C., April 24, 2008. See also Jeffrey Lewis, "After the Reliable Replacement Warhead: What's Next for the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal?", Arms Control Today, December 2008.

[56] MoD & FCO, The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent, p. 7.

[57] MoD & FCO, The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent, p. 31.

[58] Defence Secretary Des Browne, Official Report, House of Commons, November 28, 2007, Column 452W.

[59] Official Report, House of Commons, March 23, 2009, column 17W.

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

[61] Official Report, House of Commons, February 27, 2009, column 1150W.

[62] Official Report, House of Commons, March 21, 2006, column 364W.

[63] Cited in Geoff Brumfiel, "The next nuke", Nature, vol. 442, no. 6, July 2006.

[64] Interview with John Harvey by Jessica Yeats, CSIS, January 23, 2008. Audio files available at <http://csis.org/program/us-uk-nuclear-cooperation-after-50-years>.

[65]Interview with John Harvey.

[66] Interview with John Harvey.

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

[68] Ibid., p. 100.

[69] Ibid., p. 105.

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

[71] Interview with Frank Miller by Jessica Yeats, CSIS, January 28, 2008. Audio files available at <http://csis.org/program/us-uk-nuclear-cooperation-after-50-years>.

[72] Tim Reid, "In the Wilderness, a Computer Readies a New Nuclear Arsenal", The Times, April 7, 2006.