|President forwards certification
to Congress as Peña announces new stockpile stewardship tool
President Clinton forwarded to Congress today the annual certification from
the Secretaries of Defense and Energy that the nuclear stockpile remains safe, secure and
reliable, Secretary of Energy Federico Peña announced today at the National Press Club.
Secretary Peña also announced that work would begin on a new supercomputer to help analyze
weapons without exploding them.
Secretary of Defense William Cohen and Secretary Peña recently provided their
second annual certification to the President who, as a condition of seeking a zero-yield
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, requires the two Secretaries to certify annually the
continuing safety and reliability of our nuclear deterrent.
In their Memorandum to President Clinton, Secretaries Cohen and Peña wrote:
"In response to your direction to conduct an annual certification of the nuclear weapons
stockpile, we have thoroughly reviewed the safety and reliability of the stockpile under
the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The nuclear stockpile has no safety or reliability
concerns that require underground testing at this time. Problems that have arisen in the
stockpile are being addressed and resolved without underground nuclear testing to ensure
the stockpile remains safe and reliable. In reaching this conclusion, we have obtained the
advice of the Directors of the National Weapons Laboratories, the Commander in Chief,
United States Strategic Command, and the Nuclear Weapons Council. We will continue to
inform you annually on the safety and reliability of the nuclear weapons stockpile in
the absence of underground nuclear testing, and in the context of the DOE's Stockpile
Stewardship and Management Plan."
The certification process requires that the Department of Energy's weapons laboratories
and the Department of Defense review all weapons types. From this review, experts