10 U.S. Code § 179 - Nuclear Weapons Council

(a) Establishment; Membership.— There is a Nuclear Weapons Council (hereinafter in this section referred to as the “Council”) operated as a joint activity of the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. The membership of the Council is comprised of the following officers of those departments:
(1) The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.
(2) The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
(3) The Under Secretary for Nuclear Security of the Department of Energy.
(4) The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
(5) The Commander of the United States Strategic Command.
(b) Chairman; Meetings.—
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Chairman of the Council shall be the member designated under subsection (a)(1).
(2) A meeting of the Council shall be chaired by the Under Secretary for Nuclear Security of the Department of Energy whenever the matter under consideration is within the primary responsibility or concern of the Department of Energy, as determined by majority vote of the Council.
(3) The Council shall meet not less often than once every three months. To the extent possible, not later than seven days before a meeting, the Chairman shall disseminate to each member of the Council the agenda and documents for such meeting.
(c) Staff and Administrative Services; Staff Director.—
(1) The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Energy shall enter into an agreement with the Council to furnish necessary staff and administrative services to the Council.
(2) The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs shall be the Staff Director of the Council.
(3)
(A) Whenever the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs has been vacant a period of more than 6 months, the Secretary of Energy shall designate a qualified individual to serve as acting staff director of the Council until the position of Assistant Secretary is filled.
(B) An individual designated under subparagraph (A) shall possess substantial technical and policy experience relevant to the management and oversight of nuclear weapons programs.
(d) Responsibilities.— The Council shall be responsible for the following matters:
(1) Preparing the annual Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Memorandum.
(2) Developing nuclear weapons stockpiles options and the costs of such options and alternatives.
(3) Coordinating and approving programming and budget matters pertaining to nuclear weapons programs between the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy.
(4) Identifying various options for cost-effective schedules for nuclear weapons production.
(5) Considering safety, security, and control issues for existing weapons and for proposed new weapon program starts.
(6) Ensuring that adequate consideration is given to design, performance, and cost tradeoffs for all proposed new nuclear weapons programs.
(7) Providing specific guidance regarding priorities for research on nuclear weapons and priorities among activities, including production, surveillance, research, construction, and any other programs within the National Nuclear Security Administration.
(8) Coordinating and approving activities conducted by the Department of Energy for the study, development, production, and retirement of nuclear warheads, including concept definition studies, feasibility studies, engineering development, hardware component fabrication, warhead production, and warhead retirement.
(9) Preparing comments on annual proposals for budget levels for research on nuclear weapons and transmitting those comments to the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Energy before the preparation of the annual budget requests by the Secretaries of those departments.
(10) Coordinating and approving the annual budget proposals of the National Nuclear Security Administration.
(11) Providing—
(A) broad guidance regarding priorities for research on improved conventional weapons, and
(B) comments on annual proposals for budget levels for research on improved conventional weapons,
and transmitting such guidance and comments to the Secretary of Defense before the preparation of the annual budget request of the Department of Defense.
(e) Report on Difficulties Relating to Safety or Reliability.— The Council shall submit to Congress a report on any analysis conducted by the Council with respect to difficulties at nuclear weapons laboratories or nuclear weapons production plants that have significant bearing on confidence in the safety or reliability of nuclear weapons or nuclear weapon types.
(f) Budget and Funding Matters.—
(1) The Council shall submit to Congress each year, at the same time the budget of the President for the fiscal year beginning in such year is submitted to Congress pursuant to section 1105 (a) of title 31, a certification whether or not the amounts requested for the National Nuclear Security Administration in such budget, and anticipated over the four fiscal years following such budget, meets nuclear stockpile and stockpile stewardship program requirements for such fiscal year and over such four fiscal years. If a member of the Council does not concur in a certification, the certification shall include the reasons for the member’s non-concurrence.
(2) If a House of Congress adopts a bill authorizing or appropriating funds for the National Nuclear Security Administration for nuclear stockpile and stockpile stewardship program activities or other activities that, as determined by the Council, provides insufficient funds for such activities for the period covered by such bill, the Council shall notify the congressional defense committees of the determination.
(g) Annual Report.— Each fiscal year, at the same time the President submits the budget pursuant to section 1105 of title 31, the Chairman of the Council, through the Secretary of Energy, shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report, in classified form, that includes the following:
(1) The effectiveness and efficiency of the Council, and of the deliberative and decisionmaking processes used by the Council, in carrying out the responsibilities described in subsection (d).
(2) A description of all activities conducted by the Department of Energy during that fiscal year, or planned to be conducted by the Department of Energy during the next fiscal year, for the study, development, production, and retirement of nuclear warheads and that have been approved by the Council, including a description of—
(A) the concept definition activities and feasibility studies conducted or planned to be conducted by the Department of Energy;
(B) the schedule for completion of each such activity or study; and
(C) the degree to which each such activity or study is consistent with United States policy for new nuclear warhead development or warhead modification and with established or projected military requirements.
(3) A description of the activities of the Council during the 12-month period ending on the date of the report together with any assessments or studies conducted by the Council during that period.
(4) A description of the highest priority requirements of the Department of Defense with respect to the Department of Energy stockpile stewardship and management program as of that date.
(5) An assessment of the extent to which the requirements referred to in paragraph (4) are being addressed by the Department of Energy as of that date.
(6) A description and assessment of the joint efforts of the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Energy to develop common security practices that improve the security of the nuclear weapons and facilities of the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy.

Source

(Added Pub. L. 99–661, div. C, title I, § 3137(a)(1),Nov. 14, 1986, 100 Stat. 4065; amended Pub. L. 100–180, div. A, title XII, § 1231(2),Dec. 4, 1987, 101 Stat. 1160; Pub. L. 100–456, div. A, title XII, § 1233(h),Sept. 29, 1988, 102 Stat. 2058; Pub. L. 102–484, div. C, title XXXI, § 3133,Oct. 23, 1992, 106 Stat. 2639; Pub. L. 103–160, div. A, title IX, § 904(d)(1),Nov. 30, 1993, 107 Stat. 1728; Pub. L. 103–337, div. C, title XXXI, § 3152,Oct. 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 3090; Pub. L. 104–106, div. A, title IX, § 904(b)(1), title XV, § 1502(a)(7),Feb. 10, 1996, 110 Stat. 403, 502; Pub. L. 106–65, div. A, title X, § 1067(1), div. C, title XXXI, § 3163(a), (c),Oct. 5, 1999, 113 Stat. 774, 944; Pub. L. 106–398, § 1 [div. C, title XXXI, § 3152(a)], Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1654, 1654A–464; Pub. L. 107–107, div. A, title X, § 1048(b)(2),Dec. 28, 2001, 115 Stat. 1225; Pub. L. 107–314, div. D, title XLII, § 4213(c), formerly Pub. L. 104–201, div. C, title XXXI, § 3159(c),Sept. 23, 1996, 110 Stat. 2842, renumbered § 4213(c) ofPub. L. 107–314by Pub. L. 108–136, div. C, title XXXI, § 3141(e)(14),Nov. 24, 2003, 117 Stat. 1760; Pub. L. 108–375, div. A, title IX, § 902(a)–(d), Oct. 28, 2004, 118 Stat. 2025; Pub. L. 109–364, div. A, title IX, § 903,Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2351; Pub. L. 111–383, div. A, title IX, § 901(j)(1),Jan. 7, 2011, 124 Stat. 4324; Pub. L. 112–239, div. A, title X, § 1039,Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 1927; Pub. L. 113–66, div. A, title X, §§ 1053, 1091 (a)(3),Dec. 26, 2013, 127 Stat. 861, 875.)
Amendments

2013—Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 113–66, § 1091(a)(3), substituted “Commander” for “commander”.
Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 112–239, § 1039(c), inserted at end “To the extent possible, not later than seven days before a meeting, the Chairman shall disseminate to each member of the Council the agenda and documents for such meeting.”
Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 112–239, § 1039(a)(1), inserted “and alternatives” before period at end.
Subsec. (d)(3). Pub. L. 112–239, § 1039(a)(2), inserted “and approving” after “Coordinating”.
Subsec. (d)(7). Pub. L. 112–239, § 1039(a)(3), substituted “specific” for “broad” and inserted before period at end “and priorities among activities, including production, surveillance, research, construction, and any other programs within the National Nuclear Security Administration”.
Subsec. (d)(10). Pub. L. 113–66, § 1053(a), redesignated par. (11) as (10) and struck out former par. (10) which read as follows: “Coordinating and providing guidance and oversight on nuclear command, control, and communications systems.”
Pub. L. 112–239, § 1039(a)(5), added par. (10). Former par. (10) redesignated (12).
Subsec. (d)(11). Pub. L. 113–66, § 1053(a)(2), redesignated par. (12) as (11).
Pub. L. 112–239, § 1039(b)(1), added par. (11).
Subsec. (d)(12). Pub. L. 113–66, § 1053(a)(2), redesignated par. (12) as (11).
Pub. L. 112–239, § 1039(a)(4), redesignated par. (10) as (12).
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 112–239, § 1039(b)(3), added subsec. (f). Former subsec. (f) redesignated (g).
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 113–66, § 1053(c), substituted “that includes the following” for “on the following” in introductory provisions.
Pub. L. 112–239, § 1039(b)(2), redesignatedsubsec. (f) as (g).
Subsec. (g)(6). Pub. L. 113–66, § 1053(b), added par. (6).
2011—Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 111–383, § 901(j)(1)(A), substituted “Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs” for “Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Defense Programs”.
Subsec. (c)(3)(A). Pub. L. 111–383substituted “Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs” for “Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Defense Programs” and “Assistant Secretary” for “that Assistant to the Secretary”.
2006—Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 109–364added par. (5).
2004—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 108–375, § 902(b), (d)(1), inserted heading and, in introductory provisions, struck out “Joint” before “Nuclear Weapons Council” and substituted “operated as a joint activity of the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. The membership of the Council is comprised of the following officers of those departments:” for “composed of three members as follows:”.
Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 108–375, § 902(a), added par. (4).
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 108–375, § 902(d)(2), inserted heading.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 108–375, § 902(d)(3), inserted heading.
Subsec. (c)(3)(B). Pub. L. 108–375, § 902(c)(1), substituted “designated” for “appointed”.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 108–375, § 902(d)(4), inserted heading.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 108–375, § 902(c)(2), (d)(5), inserted heading and substituted “The Council shall” for “In addition to the responsibilities set forth in subsection (d), the Council shall also” in text.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 108–375, § 902(c)(3), (d)(6), inserted heading and substituted “congressional defense committees” for “Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives” in introductory provisions.
2001—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 107–107substituted “Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics” for “Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology”.
2000—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 106–398, § 1 [div. C, title XXXI, § 3152(a)(1)], added par. (3) and struck out former par. (3) which read as follows: “One senior representative of the Department of Energy designated by the Secretary of Energy.”
Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 106–398, § 1 [div. C, title XXXI, § 3152(a)(2)], substituted “the Under Secretary for Nuclear Security of the Department of Energy” for “the representative designated under subsection (a)(3)”.
1999—Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 106–65, § 3163(a)(1), added par. (3).
Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 106–65, § 3163(a)(2), added par. (3).
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 106–65, § 1067(1), substituted “and the Committee on Armed Services” for “and the Committee on National Security” in introductory provisions.
Subsec. (f)(3) to (5). Pub. L. 106–65, § 3163(c), added pars. (3) to (5).
1996—Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 104–106, § 904(b)(1), substituted “Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Defense Programs” for “Atomic Energy”.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 107–314, § 4213(c)(2), formerly Pub. L. 104–201, § 3159(c)(2), as renumbered by Pub. L. 108–136, added subsec. (e). Former subsec. (e) redesignated (f).
Pub. L. 104–106, § 1502(a)(7), substituted “to the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on National Security and the Committee on Appropriations of the” for “to the Committees on Armed Services and Appropriations of the Senate and”.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 107–314, § 4213(c)(1), formerly Pub. L. 104–201, § 3159(c)(1), as renumbered by Pub. L. 108–136, redesignated subsec. (e) as (f).
1994—Subsecs. (a)(3), (b). Pub. L. 103–337, § 3152(c), substituted “designated” for “appointed” wherever appearing.
Subsec. (d)(8) to (10). Pub. L. 103–337, § 3152(a), added par. (8) and redesignated former pars. (8) and (9) as (9) and (10), respectively.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 103–337, § 3152(b), added subsec. (e).
1993—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 103–160substituted “Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology” for “Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition”.
1992—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 102–484amended par. (1) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (1) read as follows: “The Director of Defense Research and Engineering.”
1988—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 100–456struck out subsec. (e) which read as follows: “The Council shall submit to the Committees on Armed Services and on Appropriations of the Senate and House of Representatives a report on the actions that have been taken by the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy to implement the recommendations of the President’s Blue Ribbon Task Group on Nuclear Weapons Program Management. The Council shall include in such report its recommendation on the role and composition of the staff on the Council. The Council shall submit such report to the Committees not later than March 1, 1987.”
1987—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 100–180realigned margins of subsec. (e).
Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 111–383effective Jan. 1, 2011, see section 901(p) ofPub. L. 111–383, set out as a note under section 131 of this title.
Chairman of JCS To Serve on Council If There Is No Vice Chairman of JCS

Pub. L. 99–661, div. C, title I, § 3137(b),Nov. 14, 1986, 100 Stat. 4066, provided that, if on Nov. 14, 1986, the position of Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had not been established by law, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would be a member of the Nuclear Weapons Council established by section 179 of this title, and would remain a member of such Council until an individual had been appointed Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

 

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