June 15, 2020

Cortez Masto, Rosen, Titus, Lee & Horsford Send Letter to Trump Against Resumption of Explosive Nuclear Testing in Nevada

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Nevada Representatives Dina Titus (D-Nev.-01), Susie Lee (D-Nev.-03) and Steven Horsford (D-Nev.-04) sent a letter to President Trump expressing opposition to efforts to resume explosive nuclear testing at the Nevada National Security Site. Senator Cortez Masto and the Nevada Democratic delegation have all engaged the administration, including the Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, Secretary of the Department of Energy, and additional experts and stakeholders on the subject, and have received multiple affirmations that the national laboratories have seen no technical reason to resume explosive testing. The Senator and her colleagues will continue to be strong advocates for improving the Stockpile Stewardship Program through enhanced scientific capabilities.

“We are writing to express our concern and opposition to any effort by the Administration to resume explosive nuclear weapons testing at the Nevada National Security Site – the only facility in the nation equipped to accommodate underground nuclear testing,” the lawmakers wrote.

The lawmakers continued, “Just last year, senior officials in the Administration touted the accomplishments of NNSA and the National Laboratories in maintaining the U.S. nuclear stockpile through non-explosive testing.  In the FY 2020 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan, then-Energy Secretary Rick Perry wrote, “For the 23rd consecutive year, the science-based Stockpile Stewardship Program has allowed DOE and DoD to certify the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile to the President without the use of nuclear explosive testing. This impressive scientific achievement is enabled by DOE/NNSA’s most valuable resource, its workforce.”

“With no stated justification to resume testing, we unequivocally oppose any Administration’s efforts to resume explosive nuclear testing in Nevada.  Not only would such an action compromise the health and safety of Nevadans, degrade vital water resources, and harm the surrounding environment, but it would also undermine future stockpile stewardship efforts, undercut our nuclear nonproliferation goals, and further weaken strategic partnerships with our global allies.”

The full text of the letter can be found here.