by Stephen Herzog, Benoît Pelopidas, Fabrício Fialho
Last month, the Washington Post broke the news that the Trump administration was considering conducting the first U.S. nuclear test explosion since 1992. The administration seems to believe that a test would help gain concessions from China and Russia in nuclear arms control negotiations. Analysts quickly highlighted potential downsides of renewed testing. They range from arms racing and nuclear proliferation to environmental damage and even eroding Democratic Congressional support for nuclear modernization. Others have drawn attention to the success of the Stockpile Stewardship Program, which uses high-performance computing, subcritical and hydrodynamic testing, and laser physics experiments to ensure the U.S. arsenal is safe, secure, and reliable without nuclear explosive testing.