D. Sweeney, J. Slanker, W.S. Charlton, R. Juzaitis, “Quantifying Nuclear Weapons Latency”, 2009 Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, Tucson, AZ, July 12-15, 2009.
Researchers at Texas A&M University have developed quantitative metrics for nuclear weapons latency. Nuclear weaponslatency refers to the amount of time it would take a state to develop nuclear weapons given the state’s current technology, resources, and priority given to the weapons program. A state with a fully developed nuclear fuel cycle and capable military infrastructure would have a high degree of latency while a state lacking either of those components would have lower a degree oflatency. Using latency as a basis, it may be possible for the IAEA or other inspecting agencies to more appropriately and effectively allocate resources. The metrics developed will be used to construct a model capable of evaluating a state’s latency. This paper describes the current progress in creation of this model and will detail the mathematical methodology used. This paper also presents a preliminary list of proliferation cases used for development and testing of the latency model.