Stephen Young

Washington representative and senior analyst

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Mr. Young has an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University. He served as a fellow in the Bureau of Human Rights at the State Department, as Senior Information Specialist at ACCESS: A Security Information Service, as Co-Legislative Director of 20/20 Vision, as Senior Analyst at the British American Security Information Council, and as Deputy Director of the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers, a national alliance of 17 major nuclear disarmament organizations. He joined UCS in 2001. Areas of expertise: U.S. nuclear weapons policy, nuclear terrorism, ballistic missile defense, arms control and international security, issue advocacy

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JASON Critiques the 3+2 Nuclear Stockpile Plan

Yesterday the National Nuclear Security Administration posted the executive summary of a study by JASON, the independent science advisory group, of the “3+2” program to replace most of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile with a suite of new weapons. The summary is deeply skeptical of the 3+2 approach, noting several potential problems and offering only lukewarm support for some of the benefits that the programs’ supporters tout. Read more >

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Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Will Congress Reject the Administration’s New Plan to Dispose of Excess Plutonium?

After several years and multiple studies, the Obama administration—led by the Department of Energy (DOE)—finally has a new plan to get rid of the excess plutonium generated by the U.S. nuclear weapons program: dilute the fissile material with non-radioactive materials and dispose of it in a geological repository. Read more >

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Kendall’s Telling Mistake on the LRSO

In March, Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, submitted a flawed report to Congress on the proposed new nuclear-armed cruise missile known as the Long Range Stand-Off Weapon, or LRSO. The report includes a telling error, claiming that the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review calls for maintaining a nuclear-armed cruise missile, when it does no such thing. Read more >

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Bad science: Russian objections to US plutonium proposal not a reason to keep MOX

President Putin recently made some alarming statements about U.S. plans to cancel the current American approach to disposing of excess plutonium. His comments are important because the United States and Russia have an agreement to each dispose of 34 tons of excess plutonium generated by the two countries’ nuclear weapons programs. The Russian president suggested that the approach proposed by the Obama administration, to dilute the plutonium and dispose of it in a geological repository, was unsatisfactory and could damage U.S.-Russian relations. Read more >

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New NNSA Stockpile Plan Same as the Old Plan: Problematic

Last week the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) released its Fiscal Year 2017 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan, the agency’s annual update on its 25-year plan for the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. It is the most comprehensive, long-term plan related to nuclear weapons available from any government.

The key takeaway from this year’s stockpile plan is that very little has changed since last year. The overall vision has not changed, the schedule has not shifted, and the budget estimates, while modestly smaller for some projects, are still harrowingly large.

And that is a bad thing, because the NNSA’s plan has significant problems.

Read more >

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