20:47 GMT19 February 2020
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    The US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) authorized the production engineering phase of the B61-12 nuclear warhead life extension program (LEP), the NNSA said in a statement.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the NNSA, the LEP will prolong the B61 lifespan, which contains the oldest components in the US arsenal, for at least 20 years, while improving the safety and reliability.

    "These life extension programs directly support President Obama’s directive to maintain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent, while reducing the size of the stockpile. Once completed, the B61-12 LEP will allow for the retirement of the B83-1—the last megaton-class weapon in America’s nuclear arsenal — while supporting the nation’s continued commitment to our national security and that of our allies and partners," US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz was quoted as saying in the statement.

    The B61-12 LEP is a joint program of the NNSA and the US Air Force to maintain significant part of the US nuclear triad.

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    Tags:
    nuclear bomb, B61-12, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Ernest Moniz, United States
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