Nuclear Test Readiness – A Timely Topic

The December 2016 edition of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s National Security Science Magazine features a compelling article by Dr. John Hopkins, a veteran of both the atmospheric and underground nuclear weapons testing programs at the former Nevada Test Site (now the Nevada National Security Site). Titled “Nuclear Test Readiness: What is needed? Why?”, Dr. Hopkins’ article provides current context to some questions about nuclear test readiness that have provoked both academic and pragmatic discussions among nuclear scientists, the public and the media since the cessation of nuclear weapons testing in 1992: In a national emergency, could the United States safely test a nuclear weapon? If so, is Nevada still the obvious choice for such a test?

You can read the full article here.

Hard copies of the magazine are available in our Museum Store.

Dr. Hopkins, now retired, began his career at Los Alamos as a student.  After he obtained his doctoral degree in nuclear physics from the University of Washington in 1960, he returned to the Laboratory, participating in atmospheric testing in the Pacific and NTS.  In 1974, he was named leader of LANL’s Nuclear Test Division and was later elevated to the laboratory’s Associate Director for Nuclear Weapons.  During his career, he has authored books and papers about nuclear history and policy and has worked with nuclear weapons programs internationally, most notably Britain, France, China and Russia.

Dr. Hopkins’ most recent book, Nuclear Weapons Testing at the Nevada Test Site – The First Decade, provides a detailed and definitive history of the US nuclear weapons testing program at NTS from 1951 through the moratorium on nuclear testing which began on November 1, 1958. The book is available in both hard cover and e-book formats:

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