NPT Compliance

Maintaining the safety, security and effectiveness of the nuclear deterrent without nuclear testing - especially at lower numbers – requires increased investments across the nuclear security enterprise.

Maintaining the safety, security and effectiveness of a smaller nuclear deterrent without nuclear explosive testing requires increased investments across the nuclear security enterprise.

Meeting U.S. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Commitments

NNSA applies its technical expertise and capabilities to the implementation of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions relating to all three pillars of the Treaty – disarmament, nonproliferation, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. NNSA Workers Dismantle a B53 at its Pantex Plant

DISARMAMENT

Consistent with the President’s nuclear security agenda, the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, and U.S. obligations under Article VI of the NPT, the United States continues to reduce the role and number of weapons in its nuclear weapons stockpile, and NNSA remains dedicated to transforming the Nuclear Security Enterprise to manage effectively a smaller stockpile and address the broad range of 21st century national security challenges.  Key NNSA activities relating to the disarmament pillar of the Treaty include:

  • Supporting implementation of the New START Treaty with Russia, which obligates both Parties to limit its deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550 by 2018 – a level not seen in the United States since the 1950s.
  • Dismantling over 10,000 nuclear weapons between 1994 and 2014, and meeting or exceeding annual dismantlement targets during certain periods. This includes complete dismantlement of the W62 intercontinental ballistic missile warhead, the W70 tactical missile warhead, the B53 strategic bomb (9 megatons), which was one of the highest yield weapons recently fielded by the United States, and the W80-0 was totally removed from the stockpile.
  • Ceasing the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons purposes, and making unavailable for weapons use 374 metric tons of highly enriched uranium, and over 60 metric tons of plutonium.
  • Enabling a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent without nuclear explosive testing.
  • Supporting the International Monitoring System and International Data Center and developing on-site inspection capabilities to enable verification of a Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which is awaiting ratification.
  • Monitored the downblending of 500 metric tons (as of December 2013) of Russian weapons-origin HEU, equivalent to approximately 20,000 Russian nuclear warheads permanently eliminated, under the 1993 U.S.-Russia HEU Purchase Agreement.
  • Monitoring over nine metric tons of Russian plutonium oxide under the terms of the Plutonium Production Reactor Agreement to ensure continued non-weapons use.
  • Developing technical verification capabilities to support potential future agreements to further reduce and verify nuclear weapons stockpiles.

NONPROLIFERATION

In addition to playing an important role in meeting U.S. obligations under Article VI of the NPT, NNSA works with other U.S. Government agencies to meet its International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards obligations.  The U.S.-IAEA Safeguards Agreement entered into force in December 1980.  The United States currently has nearly 300 facilities on its Eligible Facilities List (EFL).  Since the Voluntary Offer Agreement entered into force, the IAEA has conducted more than 800 inspections at facilities in the United States listed on the EFL.  Since 1994, the United States has hosted over 600 inspections at five facilities containing material removed permanently from weapons programs. 

The U.S.-IAEA Additional Protocol (AP) entered into force on January 6, 2009.  Under this protocol, the United States accepts all of the provisions of the Model AP, with the addition of a national security exclusion.  The United States made its initial declaration under the AP on July 3, 2009, and has transmitted an updated annual declaration to the IAEA each year since, with more than 300 activities declared in each subsequent year.  The United States made its first report of export of Annex II items (specified equipment and non-nuclear material according to AP Article 2.a. (ix)) in May 2009, and has made regular reports each quarter thereafter.

NNSA also cooperates with many countries to support the implementation of international safeguards in those states.  This cooperation is closely coordinated with the IAEA and provides partners with the capacity and expertise necessary to effectively implement these important measures, which are obligated under Article III of the NPT. NNSA also provides technical support to countries as they prepare to implement the AP.

PEACEFUL USES

In her May 2010 address to the Review Conference (RevCon) for the NPT, Secretary of State Clinton announced the IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI), to expand access to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, in support of Article IV of the NPT.  The PUI supports IAEA projects that apply nuclear technologies to areas that include human health, food security, water resource management, and the development of nuclear power infrastructure.  The United States provided over $50 million to the PUI since 2010. At the 2015 NPT RevCon, the United States announced an additional commitment of $50 million to the Initiative over the next five years. 

Over the Initiative’s first five years, DOE contributed approximately $24.4 million to the PUI.  NNSA contributed $12.4 million of this amount to projects which focused on nuclear power infrastructure development.  NNSA funded projects to build regulatory infrastructure related to enhancing nuclear and radiological security around the world, while also supporting research efforts at facilities where threat reduction activities are active.  NNSA’s Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NSGI), along with the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), funded a broad range of projects related to IAEA efforts to improve human resource development, strengthen regulatory infrastructures, establish national training centers, and upgrade the safety of national nuclear institutions.  The Offices of NE and Science (SC) provided  $12 million of the total initial funding to PUI.  NE funding supported projects on spent fuel performance, small and medium sized reactor development and deployment, and nuclear power infrastructure development. SC funding has largely focused on non-power projects.

HELPFUL INFO

*NNSA officials have briefed different U.N.-sponsored bodies on the U.S. record of compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and other U.S. efforts to advance nonproliferation.