As the U.S. considers potential paths towards nuclear arms reduction, key considerations are asymmetry (the state of the US nuclear stockpile deterrent and variations in international nuclear capabilities) and risk (degree of transparency/trust and ability to verify commitments). As stockpile numbers go down, each weapon takes on increased importance and stability of deterrence will be essential. Technically we can achieve reduced risk levels in our stockpile and the ability to verify compliance, if we plan and prepare. Increased transparency and dialogue could enable better understanding of the risks and help direct future negotiations in an environment of increased confidence.
BRUCE GOODWIN is the Associate Director at Large for National Security Policy and Research and the Director of the Center for Global Security Research (CGSR). In these roles he is responsible for the LLNL Nation Security Office and CGSR. He previously was the Principal Associate Director for Weapons and Complex Integration at Lawrence Livermore from 2001 until 2013. He has been a key player in the success of the nuclear weapons program since 1981, first at Los Alamos National Laboratory and then at LLNL since 1985. He led the process to certify LLNL nuclear weapons and was responsible for establishing priorities, developing strategies and designing and maintaining LLNL’s nuclear weapons; for the past 12 years he has been responsible for leading the Stockpile Stewardship Program. Goodwin was instrumental in developing the Quantification of Margins and Uncertainties methodology for sustaining the deterrent without nuclear testing. He lead the development of innovative reuse methods to extend stockpile lifetimes and streamline manufacturing. He championed cutting edge high performance computing for national security and competitiveness. He won the Department of Energy E.O. Lawrence Award for innovative weapons science for demonstrating that plutonium behaves in a fundamentally different way than previously thought – now the basis for understanding weapons performance. Goodwin received his doctorate and master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois, and a bachelor’s degree in Physics from City College of New York. He is a recipient of many awards and the author of numerous technical and policy papers. As one of the world’s leading theoretical experts in plutonium and implosion dynamics, he often presents weapons physics to the community, officials and members of Congress.