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Anglo-American Working Groups

The United States has provided the UK with nuclear weapon delivery system design and development information, and materials and technology. British Trident missiles are leased from a central US missile pool and are to be refurbished in US facilities. The US has also supplied assistance with the design and testing of the Trident warhead; highly enriched uranium to fuel the submarine nuclear reactors, the missile tubes for the first Trident submarine, HMS Vanguard, and technical assistance for the installation of the missile tubes in the other three Trident submarines.

Joint Anglo-American working groups continue to be the focal points for technical exchanges under the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement for Co-operation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Defence Purposes.

     Radiation simulation and kinetic effects technology 
     Energetic materials 
     Test monitoring 
     Nuclear materials 
     Warhead electrical components and technologies 
     Non-nuclear materials 
     Nuclear counter-terrorism technology 
     Nuclear weapons engineering 
     Nuclear warhead physics 
     Computational technology 
     Aircraft, missile and space system hardening 
     Laboratory plasma physics 
     Manufacturing practices 
     Nuclear weapon accident response technology 

Separate arrangements exist for exchanges under the Polaris sales agreement, as amended for Trident. The working groups concerned are the Trident working party group, the joint steering tasks group, the Trident joint re-entry systems working group and the joint systems performance and assessment group.

In the absence of hydronuclear and boosted-yield underground testing, a significant improvement in methodologies and experimental capabilities is needed to determine the nuclear parameters required to assess the performance and safety of stockpiled weapon systems. The United States Department of Energy established a committee consisting of Sandia, Los Alamos, and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories and the Atomic Weapons Establishment (Aldermasten, UK) to determine the advanced capabilities needed to assess the nuclear primaries of strategic weapons and to define the technologies required to provide these capabilities.

The Nuclear Weapons Information Project (NWIP) is an archiving effort established in early 1993 to rescue at-risk weapon development and testing data and knowledge. The Nuclear Weapons Information Project will preserve preserve data for training future scientists, engineers, and technicians and will provide immediate critical information for emergency response to nuclear weapon incidents. The Nuclear Weapons Information Group (NWIG) includes participants from DOE sites, the Department of Defense's Defense Special Weapons Agency, and the United Kingdom's Atomic Weapons Establishment.

Sources and Resources

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