Weapons designer ponders exit strategy

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By The Staff

Joe Martz has been a man on a mission for the last six months, giving versions of his thoughts about transforming the nuclear weapons complex.

As the nuclear weapons program director at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the intense and articulate Martz not only has a stake in the outcome, he also professes a longstanding commitment for breaking through some of the limitations of current policy.

In simplest terms, he wants to see a high level capability for designing, certifying, developing and producing nuclear weapons in a relatively short time frame, so that the capability itself would serve as a reliable substitute for at least a large portion of the actual weapons.

If that could be done, Martz  and others believe it would maintain a quality of deterrence that has prevented the use of nuclear weapons in international conflicts while sustaining 60-years of reduced war fatalities in the world.

Recently Martz has given a talk to young people at a Café Scientifique, to the general public via several interviews with the media and to a group of peers at a two-day workshop on nuclear weapons issues sponsored by the University of New Mexico’s Center for Science, Technology and Policy.

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