Nuclear Warhead Verification: A Review of Attribute and Template Systems

Jie Yan, Alexander Glaser, "Nuclear Warhead Verification: A Review of Attribute and Template Systems," Science & Global Security 23, no. 3 (2015): 157-170

Verification of current nuclear arms control treaties between United States and Russia relies primarily on the verification of delivery vehicles. Warheads are counted indirectly via the delivery vehicles that they are associated with. As states move to lower numbers of nuclear weapons in their arsenals, verification will likely pose complex challenges. Most importantly, future nuclear disarmament treaties may place limits on the total number of nuclear weapons in the arsenals. Their verification would require inspections of individual nuclear warheads without revealing secret information. Confirming the authenticity of nuclear warheads and perhaps also of warhead components is at the center of the verification challenge for future reductions in the nuclear arsenals. This paper provides an overview of the development of verification systems, and highlights the challenges and the opportunities for future research in this area.

Article access: Taylor & Francis Online | Free PDF