Nuclear Weapons Safety After the Cold War: Technical and Organizational Opportunities for Improvement
Working Paper

Published By


August 1994

The end of the Cold War creates both new challenges and new opportunities for improving nuclear weapons safety. Several post Cold War developments are likely to have negative effects on the safety of existing nuclear weapons arsenals. These potentially dangerous trends include an apparent decline of morale in the laboratories and military organizations responsible for weapons safety, the potential proliferation of nuclear weapons to new states, the likely discontinuation of nuclear testing for safety related purposes, and the introduction of new nuclear weapons operations, including large-scale warhead dismantlement and the relocation and long-term storage of large numbers of nuclear weapons.

In an effort to explore such challenges and opportunities, a NATO Advanced Research Workshop was held in Oxford, England from August 25th through 27th, 1994. The workshop produced seven specific proposals for consideration to increase nuclear weapons safety and security. The proposals represent a summary of the points discussed at the workshop and are not intended to imply complete consensus of all participants.

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