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Consensus Study Report


In 2006, the U.S. Congress and the National Nuclear Security Administration of the Department of Energy requested an evaluation of the quantification of margins and uncertainties framework used by the national security laboratories in support of their nuclear weapons stockpile stewardship activities.

The first part of the request resulted in the book, Evaluation of Quantification of Margins and Uncertainties Methodology for Assessing and Certifying the Reliability of the Nuclear Stockpile. The present letter report fulfills the second part of that request: a high-level overview of the way the archival underground nuclear test data are used by the labs in its application of QMU. Specifically the committee was asked to assess how archived data are used in the evaluation of margins and uncertainties, and whether or not design labs are fully exploiting the data for QMU. This includes use for baselining codes, informing annual assessment, assessing significant finding investigations, and more.

This letter report presents the results of the study committee's analysis based on two meetings-one to Los Alamos National Laboratory and another to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The report begins with a short background section followed by the findings, recommendations, and analysis.

Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 2009. Review of the DOE National Security Labs' Use of Archival Nuclear Test Data: Letter Report (QMU Phase II). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

15 pages |  8.5 x 11 |  DOI:

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