September 30, 2021

Nick Prospero
Acting Director, Office of Classification
US Department of Energy
(via email)

Dear Mr. Prospero:

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

We request that the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense declassify
the number of warheads in the U.S. nuclear stockpile and the number of weapons
that have been dismantled as of the end of Fiscal Year 2021.

As you know, these categories of information were previously declassified by the
Departments of Energy and Defense for each year through FY 2017, when the prior
Administration declined to declassify them.  We are now requesting that the prior
declassification policy be restored.

There are several reasons why declassification of stockpile information made sense
then and makes sense now, including:

-- US nuclear weapons policy should be conducted on the basis of accurate public
information to the extent possible. Declassification of stockpile data supports
a factual deliberative process in Congress and elsewhere.

-- As the first nuclear weapons state, the United States should strive to set a
global example for clarity and transparency in nuclear weapons policy. Ambiguity
or obscurity in this area are not in the national interest.

-- Classification under the Atomic Energy Act should be reserved for the most
sensitive categories of nuclear weapons information. The requested stockpile numbers
do not meet this standard. The regular annual declassification of such information
through FY 2017 demonstrates that such data can and should be declassified.

-- In a February 4, 2021 National Security Memorandum, President Biden called for
"a recommitment to the highest standards of transparency." The proposed
declassification is consistent with such a recommitment.

For these reasons, we ask that the Department of Energy and the Department of
Defense once again declassify and disclose the requested stockpile 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 600
Washington, DC  20036

voice: (202)454-4691