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Key review of U.S. nuke arsenal completed

Nov. 19, 2009 at 4:45 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- An agency of the Energy Department says a review of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, which could have a big effect on future arms-control deals, is done.

The National Nuclear Security Administration said Thursday the classified version of the so-called JASON review of the Life Extension Program for U.S. weapons was sent to Capitol Hill for congressional review.

The agency said in a written statement that the independent review "confirms the challenges associated with adding performance margin and incorporating modern safety and security features into aging weapons systems."

The Arms Control Association issued a statement Thursday calling the review a confirmation that maintenance of the powerful weapons stockpile could be accomplished without the need for an actual test detonation.

"The new JASON study explodes the old myth that the U.S. needs nuclear test explosions or new warhead designs to maintain an effective nuclear arsenal, and strengthens the case for U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty next year," said association Executive Director Daryl Kimball.

The nuclear security agency however, cautioned cryptically that "certain findings in the unclassified executive summary convey a different perspective on key findings when viewed without the context of the full classified report."

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