The Department of Energy's Tritium Production Program

Description

Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen used to enhance the explosive yield of every thermonuclear weapon. Tritium has a radioactive decay rate of 5.5% per year and has not been produced in this country for weapons purposes since 1988. To compensate for decay losses, tritium levels in the existing stockpile are being maintained by recycling and reprocessing it from dismantled nuclear weapons. To maintain the nuclear weapons stockpile at the level called for in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) II (not yet in force), however, a new tritium source would be needed by the year 2011. If the ... continued below

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22 pages.

Creation Information

Rowberg, Richard E November 8, 2001.

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This report is part of the collection entitled: Congressional Research Service Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 58 times . More information about this report can be viewed below.

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Description

Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen used to enhance the explosive yield of every thermonuclear weapon. Tritium has a radioactive decay rate of 5.5% per year and has not been produced in this country for weapons purposes since 1988. To compensate for decay losses, tritium levels in the existing stockpile are being maintained by recycling and reprocessing it from dismantled nuclear weapons. To maintain the nuclear weapons stockpile at the level called for in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) II (not yet in force), however, a new tritium source would be needed by the year 2011. If the START I stockpile levels remain the target, as is now the case, tritium production would be needed by 2005.

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22 pages.

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Congressional Research Service Reports

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is the public policy research arm of Congress. This legislative branch agency works exclusively for Members of Congress, their committees and their staff. This collection includes CRS reports from the mid-1970's through the present--covering a variety of topics from agriculture to foreign policy to welfare.

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Creation Date

  • November 8, 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 11, 2005, 8:58 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Feb. 13, 2017, 1:59 p.m.

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Rowberg, Richard E. The Department of Energy's Tritium Production Program, report, November 8, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1692/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.