Letter to Donald J. Trump, President of the U.S. - Foster, Wyden Lead Bicameral Warning Against Trump Administration Resuming Explosive Nuclear Testing
Dear Mr. President:
We are deeply concerned by recent reports that you are considering a resumption of explosive nuclear testing, something the U.S. has not done since 1992. We urge you in the strongest terms to reject this awful idea both because it is technically unnecessary and because it would represent a dangerous provocation.
The United States long ago replaced explosive nuclear testing with an annual assessment process
through the U.S. Department of Energy's Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program
(SSMP). These annual assessments rely on science and advanced simulation to rigorously examine each weapon system and ensure they remain safe, secure, and effective. Successive Republican and
Democratic administrations have strengthened the SSMP, investing in science-based policy to resolve
many stockpile issues. Indeed, many experts have testified that the SSMP has helped us to know far
more about nuclear weapons than we ever did in the testing age.
A return to nuclear testing is not only scientifically and technically unnecessary but also dangerously
provocative. It would signal to the world that the U.S. no longer has confidence in the safety, security, and effectiveness of our nuclear weapons. It would needlessly antagonize important allies, cause other countries to develop or acquire nuclear weapons, and prompt adversaries to respond in kind--risking a new nuclear arms race and further undermining the global nonproliferation regime. None of these developments would improve America's national security or strengthen its position in the world.
We strongly oppose any resumption of explosive nuclear testing, especially in light of the SSMP's
demonstrated track record over the last 20 years. Taking this unnecessary and provocative step would be an abdication of America's scientific leadership and would weaken our ability to make the world a safer place to live. We urge you to remain committed to the SSMP and science-based stockpile stewardship, and we look forward to your timely response.