Project on Nuclear Issues

Project on Nuclear Issues

The Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) is a program hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) to advance the public debate about the future role nuclear technology will play on the world stage.


Created in 2003 with support from a few government agencies and private donations, PONI has two stated goals. First, it seeks to "build and sustain a networked community of young nuclear experts from the military, the national laboratories, industry, academia, and the policy community." Second, " [work] to contribute to the debate and leadership on nuclear issues by generating new ideas and discussions among both its members and the public-at-large." []


From the PONI public website:

"Perhaps the most critical challenge in sustaining the US nuclear deterrent after the end of the Cold War is maintaining the human infrastructure necessary to support US nuclear capabilities. This is especially true as the human infrastructure necessary to support a nuclear stockpile at the envisioned level of 1700-2200 operational warheads is not appreciably smaller than that necessary to support one at current levels. The challenge is therefore to maintain a smaller, but still vibrant, community of nuclear experts." []


Clark A. Murdock started PONI when it was widely recognized that the nuclear community faced an impending crisis. With the wide-spread and rapid retirement of nuclear scientists and experts from the national laboratories, private industry, and the government. His study "Revitalizing the U.S. Nuclear Deterrent", co-authored with Michèle Flournoy, documented these concerns with shocking clarity. Clark initiated PONI out of concern about the future leadership and expertise of the nuclear community. []

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