October 1, 2020

Andrew Weston-Dawkes
Director, Office of Classification
US Department of Energy

Dear Dr. Weston-Dawkes:

This is a proposal for declassification pursuant to 10 C.F.R. 1045.20 
regarding information classified under the Atomic Energy Act.

We request that the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense 
authorize the declassification of the size of the U.S. nuclear stockpile
and the number of weapons dismantled as of the end of Fiscal Year 2020.

As you know, the Departments of Energy and Defense previously declassified 
such information for each fiscal year through FY 2017, but declined to do
so for FY 2018 or FY 2019. We are now requesting that similar information 
be disclosed for the end of FY 2020.

We believe that the reasons that led to the previous declassifications of 
stockpile information are still valid. The benefits of declassification are 
substantial while the detrimental consequences, if any, are insignificant.

As the first nuclear weapons state, the United States should strive to set 
a global example for clarity and transparency in nuclear weapons policy by 
disclosing its current stockpile size. Ambiguity is not helpful to anyone 
in this context.

Far from diminishing security, a credible USG account of its stockpile size 
both enhances deterrence and serves as a confidence building measure. Even 
if other nations do not immediately follow our lead, stockpile declassification 
sends a valuable message. And at a time when the future of US nuclear weapons 
policy is under discussion in Congress and elsewhere, stockpile disclosure 
also helps to provide a factual foundation for ongoing public deliberation.

For these reasons, we request that the Department of Energy and the 
Department of Defense declassify and disclose this information, as provided in 
10 C.F.R. 1045.20.

Thank you for your consideration.

Steven Aftergood


Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
1112  16th  Street NW, Suite 400 
Washington, DC  20036

email: saftergood@fas.org
voice: (202)454-4691