Nuclear Security & Deterrence Monitor Vol. 28 No. 4
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Nuclear Security & Deterrence Monitor
Article 4 of 8
January 26, 2024

Nuclear Deterrence Summit kicks off next week, featuring NNSA, STRATCOM leadership and more

By ExchangeMonitor

The annual Nuclear Deterrence Summit, hosted by the Exchange Monitor, kicks off in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday with more than 60 speakers from the top ranks of the U.S.  nuclear security enterprise. 

Expect much discussion of the National Nuclear Security Administration striving to produce at least 80 plutonium pits for use in modernizing nuclear weapons as close to 2030 as possible.

Uniformed military officials will also be on hand during the three-day conference to discuss delivery system modernization and their requirements for upgrading the nation’s nuclear stockpile to deter nuclear-armed adversaries. 

Leading off on Jan. 31 is NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Marvin Adams. He will discuss, among other things, the 2024 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan released late last year. 

Representatives from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board and other agencies will be on hand to discuss their contribution to nuclear modernization and the expansion of the NNSA’s production enterprise.

NNSA Administrator Jill Hruby opens the second day of the conference on Feb.1 with a keynote addressing updates and initiatives the agency has in store for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. 

Hruby will be followed by a panel featuring the weapons directors of Sandia, Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos, offering an unclassified overview of current weapons programs, challenges with design and maintenance projects, warhead life-extension efforts, stockpile stewardship and timelines for delivery of revamped weapons to the military. 

Officials from Los Alamos, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions will then discuss perhaps the most daunting task facing the NNSA: production of at least 80 plutonium pits per year sometime after 2030. That is to include at least 30 per year at Los Alamos and at least 50 per year at Savannah River in South Carolina. 

On Friday, Air Force Gen. Anthony Cotton, head of U.S. Strategic Command, will participate in a virtual fireside chat to discuss the military’s nuclear requirements, delivery system modernization, deterrence and the increasingly fraught global security environment. 

Sprinkled among these sessions are panels discussing NNSA operations, nuclear non-proliferation, the future of the global arms control regime and more. 

A complete agenda and link to registration is available here. 

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