Event Details from the Host, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy:
In December 2022, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the US Department of Energy announced a “breakthrough” in nuclear fusion. An experiment at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) achieved fusion ignition, they reported. While the late-2022 development was largely framed in the media as a hopeful step forward for purportedly limitless nuclear energy purposes, crucial context is that this achievement (which, notably, has not since been replicated) took place at a facility meant to help maintain and support the US nuclear weapon stockpile. The NIF is the world’s largest and highest-energy laser facility. It is funded by the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, and its purpose, rooted in the Stockpile Stewardship Program, is primarily “to maintain the reliability, security, and safety” of US nuclear weapons without “full-scale” testing.
This week, join Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy and our esteemed colleagues for an informative discussion offering an overview the NIF’s fusion achievement alongside an historical look at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab and its relevance to the US nuclear weapons program, and an exploration of how this development implicates international law.
Moderated by LCNP’s Executive Director Ariana Smith, this event will feature the following panelists, followed by an opportunity for Q&A:
Marylia Kelley, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment), Livermore
Dr. John Burroughs, Senior Analyst, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy
Dr. M.V. Ramana, Professor and Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia, and Graduate Program Director of its Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs program