The Nuclear Matters Handbook is an expanded and revised version of the earlier Nuclear Matters: A Practical Guide. Originally published in 1991 for the use of Action Officers associated with the Nuclear Weapons Council, previous editions have been modified over time to meet the needs of the larger U.S. nuclear community as well as those outside the community who seek a better understanding of the subject area. Since the early 1990s, the U.S. nuclear program has evolved significantly as a result of unilateral and bilateral arms reductions, the end of underground nuclear testing in the United States, and in response to the growing threats of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism.
This revised and expanded handbook can be read cover to cover for those who seek to understand the U.S. nuclear program in its entirety, and can also be used as a reference source to look up useful facts and information concerning specific areas. The book is divided into chapters and appendices; the chapters present an overview of the U.S. nuclear program as a whole, while the appendices provide supplementary information on related topics for those less familiar with the subject matter.
This book is intended to be an unofficial reference and is, therefore, neither authoritative nor directive. Every effort has been made to ensure that it is accurate and comprehensive.
Please refer to the applicable statute, regulation,
Department of Defense Directive/Instruction, or
Department of Energy Order for definitive guidance
in all areas related to U.S. nuclear matters.
The content of The Nuclear Matters Handbook is the
sole responsibility of the Office of the Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and
Biological Defense Programs.