Universities List

These universities are helping to build U.S. nuclear weapons

 

Nearly 50 U.S. universities are involved in the research and design of U.S. nuclear weapons, largely in secret and in contradiction of their mission statements. Students and faculty must demand their universities stop helping to build weapons of mass destruction.

 

  1. Aiken Technical College
  2. Amarillo College
  3. Augusta Technical College
  4. Augusta University
  5. California Institute of Technology
  6. Carnegie Mellon University
  7. Cornell University
  8. George Washington University
  9. Georgetown University
  10. Georgia Institute of Technology
  11. Johns Hopkins University
  12. Kansas State University
  13. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  14. Metropolitan Community College
  15. Missouri University
  16. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
  17. New Mexico State University
  18. Northern New Mexico College
  19. Pittsburg State University
  20. Purdue University
  21. Roane State Community College
  22. Stanford University
  23. Texas A&M University
  24. Texas Tech University
  25. University of Arizona
  26. University of Arkansas
  27. University of California
  28. University of California - Berkeley
  29. University of California - Davis
  30. University of California - Los Angeles
  31. University of California - San Diego
  32. University of Colorado - Boulder
  33. University of Florida
  34. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  35. University of Kansas
  36. University of Michigan
  37. University of Missouri - Kansas City
  38. University of Nebraska
  39. University of Nevada - Las Vegas
  40. University of Nevada - Reno
  41. University of New Mexico
  42. University of Notre Dame
  43. University of Rochester
  44. University of South Carolina - Aiken
  45. University of South Carolina - Salkehatchie
  46. University of Tennessee
  47. University of Texas at Austin
  48. University of Utah
  49. University of Wisconsin - Madison

 

Types of involvement by university:

University of California

The University of California has been involved in the management of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - two of the nation’s primary nuclear weapons labs - since their inception. Multiple UC campuses have research partnerships with facilities in the nuclear weapons complex... Read more

Texas A&M University

From managing a nuclear weapons lab to partnering with production facilities, the Texas A&M System has connections to many different segments of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. The university has a publicly stated “commitment to the nuclear weapons industry.” ... Read more

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University receives more than twice as much funding from the Department of Defense than any other university due to the work of its Applied Physics Laboratory; in 2019 the funding ceiling for its ongoing contract was extended beyond $7 billion. This work includes research for the U.S. military’s nuclear weapons systems, despite the fact that the university’s mission statement includes the call “to bring the benefits of discovery to the world.”... Read more

University of New Mexico

More than 3,800 New Mexicans have been poisoned by fallout from U.S. nuclear weapons tests and uranium mining. Despite this well-documented local harm and the devastating environmental and humanitarian effects of nuclear weapons around the world, the University of New Mexico has recently deepened its partnerships with nuclear weapons labs and other nuclear weapons production sites, even making an unsuccessful bid to manage one of these labs in 2016... Read more


Aiken Technical College

Aiken Technical College is one of five institutions that divide $2 million in annual funding from the National Nuclear Security Administration for workforce development grants in support of staffing needs at the Savannah River Site. Staff at this site help recycle tritium from old warheads, an element that increases the yield of nuclear weapons, to reuse in new warheads. The Trump Administration proposed that this site begin production of plutonium pits in addition to those produced at Los Alamos. If this proposal is approved, the site’s workforce needs would grow more acute.

Amarillo College

Amarillo College partners with the Pantex facility to provide hazardous materials training to thousands of Pantex employees. The Pantex Plant is responsible for the dismantling of retired warheads and the reassembly of warheads undergoing life extension projects.

Augusta Technical College

Augusta Technical College is one of five institutions that divide $2 million in annual funding from the National Nuclear Security Administration for workforce development grants in support of staffing needs at the Savannah River Site. Staff at this site help recycle tritium from old warheads, an element that increases the yield of nuclear weapons, to reuse in new warheads. The Trump Administration proposed that this site begin production of plutonium pits in addition to those produced at Los Alamos. If this proposal is approved, the site’s workforce needs would grow more acute.

Augusta University

Augusta University is one of five institutions that divide $2 million in annual funding from the National Nuclear Security Administration for workforce development grants in support of staffing needs at the Savannah River Site. Staff at this site help recycle tritium from old warheads, an element that increases the yield of nuclear weapons, to reuse in new warheads. The Trump Administration proposed that this site begin production of plutonium pits in addition to those produced at Los Alamos. If this proposal is approved, the site’s workforce needs would grow more acute.

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Caltech is listed by Sandia National Laboratories as a partner in its Campus Executive Program, but the Caltech communications office noted they were not aware of an active partnership with Sandia. The Campus Executive program aims to build deeper relational connections between the laboratory and different universities for the purpose of research collaboration and future workforce recruitment. In FY2018, Sandia invested $18.7 million in research across its Campus Executive and Academic Alliance universities. Sandia National Laboratories focuses on the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons and on nuclear weapons systems integration, for example connecting warheads to their missile delivery systems. Sandia also performs simulated experiments to test the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons.

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University is a partner in Sandia National Laboratories’ Campus Executive Program. This program aims to build deeper relational connections between the laboratory and different universities for the purpose of research collaboration and future workforce recruitment. In FY2018, Sandia invested $18.7 million in research across its Campus Executive and Academic Alliance universities. Sandia National Laboratories focuses on the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons and on nuclear weapons systems integration, for example connecting warheads to their missile delivery systems. Sandia also performs simulated experiments to test the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons.

Cornell University

Cornell University is a partner in Sandia National Laboratories’ Campus Executive Program. This program aims to build deeper relational connections between the laboratory and different universities for the purpose of research collaboration and future workforce recruitment. In FY2018, Sandia invested $18.7 million in research across its Campus Executive and Academic Alliance universities. Sandia National Laboratories focuses on the nonnuclear components of nuclear weapons and on nuclear weapons systems integration, for example connecting warheads to their missile delivery systems. Sandia also performs simulated experiments to test the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons.

 

Cornell University, in partnership with others, was awarded funding in 2017 for a Stewardship Science Academic Alliance Center of Excellence. The Multi-University Center of Excellence for Pulsed-Power-Driven High Energy Density Science will receive $15 million in research grants in total. While the Stewardship Science Academic Alliance program funds basic, unclassified research, it seeks and funds proposals that have relevance to the stewardship of the nation’s nuclear stockpile.

George Washington University

George Washington University was awarded funding in 2018 for a Stewardship Science Academic Alliance Center of Excellence. The Capital/DOE Alliance Center will receive $12.5 million in research grants over five years. While the Stewardship Science Academic Alliance program funds basic, unclassified research, it seeks and funds proposals that have relevance to the stewardship of the nation’s nuclear stockpile.

Georgetown University

Georgetown is listed as a university partner on the website of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. According to administration at Georgetown, the university has a formal agreement with the laboratory and collaborates in the areas of neuroscience, physics and cancer, with the lab hosting graduate students for summer internships. The Lawrence Livermore lab provides design and engineering for several nuclear warhead types and conducts simulated experiments to evaluate warheads.

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

Georgia Tech is one of Sandia National Laboratories’ five Academic Alliance partner universities. These partnerships help Sandia “identify promising candidates at top universities before graduation and promote joint technology development research between graduate students and SNL researchers, pursuing topics with national security applications.” All Academic Alliance schools are also designated as a Campus Executive university partner by Sandia. In FY2018, Sandia invested $18.7 million in research across its Campus Executive and Academic Alliance universities. Sandia National Laboratories focuses on the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons and on nuclear weapons systems integration, for example connecting warheads to their missile delivery systems. Sandia also performs simulated experiments to test the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons.

Kansas State University

Kansas State University entered into a Master Collaboration Agreement with the operator of the Kansas City National Security Campus on November 11, 2015. The operator Honeywell has initiated at least ten “Master Collaboration Agreements” with universities since 2015 “to facilitate closer collaboration on research and development of new technology to meet national security needs.” The work at the Kansas City National Security Campus centers on the manufacturing of non-nuclear components necessary for nuclear weapons.

 

A copy of Honeywell’s agreement with Kansas State University does not commit specific funding to the university, but facilitates the submission of purchase orders from the site contractor to the university for specific “[r]esearch and development projects as well as testing and/or evaluation services projects.” In addition, the agreement allows for “non-monetary collaborative engagements” such as “faculty/engineer exchanges and technical information exchanges.”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT operates the Lincoln Laboratory, a research center funded by the Department of Defense. The Lincoln Laboratory produces an enormous volume of research for the Department of Defense. In 2019, it received a contract modification that brought its total multiyear contract face value to $9.6 billion. This contract involves “advanced technology research and development activities that focus on long-term technology development as well as rapid system prototyping and demonstration.” The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting agency.

 

References to nuclear weapons development are hard to find on the laboratory’s website, but one profile of a highlighted engineer notes her work on command and control terminals that “underpin the highly assured SATCOM system for the nation’s nuclear weapon forces.” A 2018 statement to Congress from Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry also noted the department’s intention to initiate at Lincoln a new line of production of radiation-hardened microelectronics necessary for maintenance of the nuclear stockpile. The NNSA’s FY2020 Stockpile Stewardship Management Plan notes that the NNSA is “engaging” with the Lincoln Laboratory in this regard.

 

The Lincoln Lab has been closely involved in work on ballistic missile defense systems, which many experts have argued decrease strategic stability and lead to further nuclear weapons development. It maintains a staff presence at the Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands, which is a facility responsible for tests of both ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.

 

MIT also maintains some connections with the Draper Laboratory, a lab that used to be part of the university but became independent in the 1970s in response to student protests. The Draper Laboratory is currently fulfilling a $370 million contract for nuclear missile guidance systems. MIT students are eligible to become fellows at Draper and the immediate past president of MIT sits on Draper Laboratory’s Board of Directors.

 

MIT’s classified research policy creates two standards. The policy states, “The profound merits of a policy of open research and free interchange of information among scholars is essential to MIT's institutional responsibility and to the interests of the nation as a whole.” Any limited exceptions to this policy in the national interest must be approved by the Provost, except if they take place at Lincoln Laboratory, which receives a blanket exemption from the policy.

 

MIT is also a partner in Sandia National Laboratories’ Campus Executive Program. This program aims to build deeper relational connections between the laboratory and different universities for the purpose of research collaboration and future workforce recruitment. In FY2018, Sandia invested $18.7 million in research across its Campus Executive and Academic Alliance universities. Sandia National Laboratories focuses on the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons and on nuclear weapons systems integration, for example connecting warheads to their missile delivery systems. Sandia also performs simulated experiments to test the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons.

Metropolitan Community College

The Metropolitan Community College partners with the site contractor at Kansas City National Security Campus to provide machinist and toolmaker trainings. The work at the Kansas City National Security Campus centers on the manufacturing of nonnuclear components necessary for nuclear weapons.

Missouri University

The Missouri University College of Engineering entered into a Master Collaboration Agreement with the operator of the Kansas City National Security Campus on June 6, 2017. The operator Honeywell has initiated at least ten “Master Collaboration Agreements” with universities since 2015 “to facilitate closer collaboration on research and development of new technology to meet national security needs.” The work at the Kansas City National Security Campus centers on the manufacturing of non-nuclear components necessary for nuclear weapons.

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech)

New Mexico Tech is connected to Los Alamos National Laboratory through the New Mexico Consortium. The Consortium works to foster research collaborations and economic development opportunities in a variety of scientific areas. The Los Alamos National Laboratory provides design and engineering for several nuclear warhead types, conducts simulated experiments to evaluate warheads, and has the capacity to produce plutonium pits, the core material for nuclear warheads.

 

New Mexico Tech is a partner in Sandia National Laboratories’ Campus Executive Program. This program aims to build deeper relational connections between the laboratory and different universities for the purpose of research collaboration and future workforce recruitment. In FY2018, Sandia invested $18.7 million in research across its Campus Executive and Academic Alliance universities. In 2016, New Mexico Tech joined Lockheed Martin, Purdue University, and New Mexico State University in an unsuccessful bid to manage Sandia. Sandia National Laboratories focuses on the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons and on nuclear weapons systems integration, for example connecting warheads to their missile delivery systems. Sandia also performs simulated experiments to test the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons.

Northern New Mexico College

Northern New Mexico College signed a five-year agreement in 2019 with the operator of Los Alamos National Laboratory to form an associate’s degree program in Radiation Protection. While declining to share details about the agreement, Northern New Mexico College staff noted the career opportunities that the program will provide to students and the program’s support of the laboratory’s national security mission. National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator Lisa Gordon-Haggerty highlighted this program when speaking to Congress as a way for the lab to “bring in a new pipeline of radiological technicians to do work in plutonium operations.” The Los Alamos National Laboratory provides design and engineering for several nuclear warhead types, conducts simulated experiments to evaluate warheads, and has the capacity to produce plutonium pits, the core material for nuclear warheads.

Pittsburgh State University

Pittsburg State University entered into a Master Collaboration Agreement with the operator of the Kansas City National Security Campus on March 28, 2017. The operator Honeywell has initiated at least ten “Master Collaboration Agreements” with universities since 2015 “to facilitate closer collaboration on research and development of new technology to meet national security needs.” The work at the Kansas City National Security Campus centers on the manufacturing of non-nuclear components necessary for nuclear weapons.

Purdue University

Purdue University is one of Sandia National Laboratories’ five Academic Alliance partner universities. These partnerships help Sandia “identify promising candidates at top universities before graduation and promote joint technology development research between graduate students and SNL researchers, pursuing topics with national security applications.” All Academic Alliance schools are also designated as a Campus Executive university partner by Sandia. In FY2018, Sandia invested $18.7 million in research across its Campus Executive and Academic Alliance universities. In 2016, Purdue joined Lockheed Martin, New Mexico State University, and New Mexico Tech in an unsuccessful bid to manage Sandia. Sandia National Laboratories focuses on the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons and on nuclear weapons systems integration, for example connecting warheads to their missile delivery systems. Sandia also performs simulated experiments to test the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons.

Roane State Community College

Roane State Community College partnered with the Y-12 National Security Complex to provide workforce development training with funding from a state Department of Labor grant. The Y-12 Complex sources the enriched uranium necessary for nuclear weapons.

Stanford University

Stanford is a partner in Sandia National Laboratories’ Campus Executive Program. This program aims to build deeper relational connections between the laboratory and different universities for the purpose of research collaboration and future workforce recruitment. In FY2018, Sandia invested $18.7 million in research across its Campus Executive and Academic Alliance universities. Sandia National Laboratories focuses on the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons and on nuclear weapons systems integration, for example connecting warheads to their missile delivery systems. Sandia also performs simulated experiments to test the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons.

 

Stanford also receives funding under the Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program (PSAAP) II for its Exascale Computing Center. PSAAP is an Advanced Simulation and Computing initiative funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) that has roots that date back to 1997. Since the NNSA can no longer actively test nuclear weapons, it funds universities to develop advanced simulation capabilities. PSAAP II, the recent iteration of this initiative, started in 2014 and provided $14.4 million annually for five years to six different centers. In 2019, a funding opportunity announcement was made for the next five years, with award announcements expected late in 2019 and estimated to total $20 million per year, subject to appropriation authority. The announcement emphasized that proposals should consider simulation capabilities within a discipline “of interest” to the NNSA’s mission.

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech is listed as a “Key University Partner” by Consolidated National Security, LLC, the managing contractor for the Pantex Plant and the Y-12 National Security Complex, “demonstrating expertise in aligned research interests, strength in academic and research disciplines, successful working relationships with university faculty and administration, and extensive programmatic and research interactions supporting key CNS initiatives.” The Pantex Plant is responsible for the dismantling of retired warheads and the reassembly of warheads undergoing life extension projects and is the storage location for thousands of plutonium pits. The Y-12 Complex sources the enriched uranium necessary for nuclear weapons.

University of Arizona

The University of Arizona is a partner in Sandia National Laboratories’ Campus Executive Program. This program aims to build deeper relational connections between the laboratory and different universities for the purpose of research collaboration and future workforce recruitment. In FY2018, Sandia invested $18.7 million in research across its Campus Executive and Academic Alliance universities. Sandia National Laboratories focuses on the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons and on nuclear weapons systems integration, for example connecting warheads to their missile delivery systems. Sandia also performs simulated experiments to test the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons.

University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas entered into a Master Collaboration Agreement with the operator of the Kansas City National Security Campus on May 8, 2017. The operator Honeywell has initiated at least ten “Master Collaboration Agreements” with universities since 2015 “to facilitate closer collaboration on research and development of new technology to meet national security needs.” The work at the Kansas City National Security Campus includes the manufacturing, evaluation, and testing of non-nuclear components necessary for nuclear weapons.

University of Colorado - Boulder

The University of Colorado - Boulder is a partner in Sandia National Laboratories’ Campus Executive Program. This program aims to build deeper relational connections between the laboratory and different universities for the purpose of research collaboration and future workforce recruitment. In FY2018, Sandia invested $18.7 million in research across its Campus Executive and Academic Alliance universities. Sandia National Laboratories focuses on the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons and on nuclear weapons systems integration, for example connecting warheads to their missile delivery systems. Sandia also performs simulated experiments to test the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons.

University of Florida

The University of Florida is a partner in Sandia National Laboratories’ Campus Executive Program. This program aims to build deeper relational connections between the laboratory and different universities for the purpose of research collaboration and future workforce recruitment. In FY2018, Sandia invested $18.7 million in research across its Campus Executive and Academic Alliance universities. Sandia National Laboratories focuses on the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons and on nuclear weapons systems integration, for example connecting warheads to their missile delivery systems. Sandia also performs simulated experiments to test the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons.

 

A 2016 memorandum of understanding between Sandia and the University of Florida highlights the objectives of each party in such an agreement. The agreement notes that each side wants to benefit from the capabilities of the other, partner in research and create job opportunities for students.

 

The University of Florida also receives funding under the Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program (PSAAP) II for its Center for Compressible Multiphase Turbulence. PSAAP is an Advanced Simulation and Computing initiative funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) that has roots that date back to 1997. Since the NNSA can no longer actively test nuclear weapons, it funds universities to develop advanced simulation capabilities. PSAAP II, the recent iteration of this initiative, started in 2014 and provided $14.4 million annually for five years to six different centers. In 2019, a funding opportunity announcement was made for the next five years, with award announcements expected late in 2019 and estimated to total $20 million per year, subject to appropriation authority. The announcement emphasized that proposals should consider simulation capabilities within a discipline “of interest” to the NNSA’s mission.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of Sandia National Laboratories’ five Academic Alliance partner universities. These partnerships help Sandia “identify promising candidates at top universities before graduation and promote joint technology development research between graduate students and SNL researchers, pursuing topics with national security applications.” The agreement between Sandia and the University of Illinois, acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request, notes how the two entities “will have visible and substantive presences on each others’ campuses. This includes offices, shared staff, sabbaticals, and programmatic integration of researchers, faculty and students.” All Academic Alliance schools are also designated as a Campus Executive university partner by Sandia. In FY2018, Sandia invested $18.7 million in research across its Campus Executive and Academic Alliance universities. Sandia National Laboratories focuses on the nonnuclear components of nuclear weapons and on nuclear weapons systems integration, for example connecting warheads to their missile delivery systems. Sandia also performs simulated experiments to test the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons.

 

The University of Illinois also receives funding under the Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program (PSAAP) II for its Center for Exascale Simulation of Plasma-Coupled Combustion. PSAAP is an Advanced Simulation and Computing initiative funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) that has roots that date back to 1997. Since the NNSA can no longer actively test nuclear weapons, it funds universities to develop advanced simulation capabilities. PSAAP II, the recent iteration of this initiative, started in 2014 and provided $14.4 million annually for five years to six different centers. In 2019, a funding opportunity announcement was made for the next five years, with award announcements expected late in 2019 and estimated to total $20 million per year, subject to appropriation authority. The announcement emphasized that proposals should consider simulation capabilities within a discipline “of interest” to the NNSA’s mission.

University of Kansas

The University of Kansas entered into a Master Collaboration Agreement with the operator of the Kansas City National Security Campus on February 16, 2016. The operator Honeywell has initiated at least ten “Master Collaboration Agreements” with universities since 2015 “to facilitate closer collaboration on research and development of new technology to meet national security needs.” The work at the Kansas City National Security Campus centers on the manufacturing of nonnuclear components necessary for nuclear weapons.

University of Michigan

The University of Michigan is a partner in Sandia National Laboratories’ Campus Executive Program. This program aims to build deeper relational connections between the laboratory and different universities for the purpose of research collaboration and future workforce recruitment. In FY2018, Sandia invested $18.7 million in research across its Campus Executive and Academic Alliance universities. Sandia National Laboratories focuses on the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons and on nuclear weapons systems integration, for example connecting warheads to their missile delivery systems. Sandia also performs simulated experiments to test the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons.

 

The university was awarded funding in 2018 for a Stewardship Science Academic Alliance Center of Excellence. The Center for Laboratory Astrophysics will receive $5 million in research grants over five years. While the Stewardship Science Academic Alliance program funds basic, unclassified research, it seeks and funds proposals that have relevance to the stewardship of the nation’s nuclear stockpile.

University of Missouri - Kansas City

The University of Missouri - Kansas City entered into a Master Collaboration Agreement with the operator of the Kansas City National Security Campus on March 14, 2017. The operator Honeywell has initiated at least ten “Master Collaboration Agreements” with universities since 2015 “to facilitate closer collaboration on research and development of new technology to meet national security needs.” The work at the Kansas City National Security Campus centers on the manufacturing of non-nuclear components necessary for nuclear weapons.

University of Nebraska

The University of Nebraska manages the National Strategic Research Institute, a university affiliated research center with the Department of Defense that received a five-year, $92 million contract renewal in 2018. The Institute is affiliated with the U.S. Strategic Command, which has “assigned responsibilities [that] include strategic deterrence; nuclear operations; space operations; joint electronic spectrum operations; global strike; missile defense; and analysis and targeting.” However, the five research focus areas listed for the institute emphasize detection and defense from weapons of mass destruction, not nuclear weapons capabilities.

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

In 2016, the University of Nevada - Las Vegas entered into a subcontracting agreement with the contractor for the Nevada National Security Site. The agreement lasts through September 2020 and, at the time of signing, had an estimated value of $8,000,000. The university agreed to provide “research, services, and fabrication support” in a number of specified scientific and engineering domains. Specific work and funding provided under the contract is determined by individual task orders. The Nevada National Security Site is the location of nearly 1,000 tests of nuclear weapons in past decades, leading to serious health impacts for nearby residents and participating military personnel. Currently, staff at the site conduct simulated experiments to test the reliability and performance of nuclear weapons. The site also hosts “subcritical experiments” that allow for the evaluation of nuclear weapons materials under certain conditions, but do not cause a “self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.”

 

Also at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas, the Nevada National Security Site helped to offer a new graduate certificate in Nuclear Criticality Safety Engineering.

University of Nevada - Reno

The University of Nevada - Reno developed a new Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Packaging in partnership with the Department of Energy. A Nevada National Security Site engineer was the first to complete the program. The Nevada National Security Site is the location of nearly 1,000 tests of nuclear weapons in past decades, leading to serious health impacts for nearby residents and participating military personnel. Currently, staff at the site conduct simulated experiments to test the reliability and performance of nuclear weapons. The site also hosts “subcritical experiments” that allow for the evaluation of nuclear weapons materials under certain conditions, but do not cause a “self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.”

University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame was awarded funding in 2017 for a Stewardship Science Academic Alliance Center of Excellence. The Actinide Center of Excellence will receive $12.5 million in research grants in total. While the Stewardship Science Academic Alliance program funds basic, unclassified research, it seeks and funds proposals that have relevance to the stewardship of the nation’s nuclear stockpile.

 

The University of Notre Dame also receives funding under the Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program (PSAAP) II for its Center for Shock Wave-processing of Advanced Reactive Materials. PSAAP is an Advanced Simulation and Computing initiative funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) that has roots that date back to 1997. Since the NNSA can no longer actively test nuclear weapons, it funds universities to develop advanced simulation capabilities. PSAAP II, the recent iteration of this initiative, started in 2014 and provided $14.4 million annually for five years to six different centers. In 2019, a funding opportunity announcement was made for the next five years, with award announcements expected late in 2019 and estimated to total $20 million per year, subject to appropriation authority. The announcement emphasized that proposals should consider simulation capabilities within a discipline “of interest” to the NNSA’s mission.

University of Rochester

The University of Rochester hosts the Laboratory for Laser Energetics. While not a national laboratory, it nonetheless receives substantial funding from the Weapons Activities Appropriation in the NNSA, $80 million in FY2019 and an estimated $409.9 million for FY2019-2023. The lab hosts the OMEGA Laser Facility and, according to the lab’s director, the lab’s primary mission is to support the NNSA and the nation’s nuclear weapons capabilities. Its funding supports the laboratory facilities and staff as well as a number of fellowships for graduate students at other universities. Laboratory employees only conduct basic, unclassified research at the lab; on rare occasions, the facility will close to allow national laboratory researchers to conduct classified research.

 

Early in 2018, the Trump’s Administration proposed major cuts to the laboratory for FY2019 and eliminating all funding over three years time. A lobbying campaign led by New York’s Congressional delegation successfully reversed the proposal and increased funding to the laboratory. In addition to highlighting the jobs at the lab, both Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand noted its importance to national security. The president of the University of Rochester claimed it was the “largest university-based U.S. Department of Energy program in the U.S.”

University of South Carolina - Aiken

The University of South Carolina - Aiken is one of five institutions that divide $2 million in annual funding from the National Nuclear Security Administration for workforce development grants in support of staffing needs at the Savannah River Site. Staff at this site help recycle tritium from old warheads, an element that increases the yield of nuclear weapons, to reuse in new warheads. The Trump Administration proposed that this site begin production of plutonium pits in addition to those produced at Los Alamos. If this proposal is approved, the site’s workforce needs would grow more acute.

University of South Carolina - Salkehatchie

The University of South Carolina - Salkehatchie is one of five institutions that divide $2 million in annual funding from the National Nuclear Security Administration for workforce development grants in support of staffing needs at the Savannah River Site. Staff at this site help recycle tritium from old warheads, an element that increases the yield of nuclear weapons, to reuse in new warheads. The Trump Administration proposed that this site begin production of plutonium pits in addition to those produced at Los Alamos. If this proposal is approved, the site’s workforce needs would grow more acute.

University of Tennessee

The University of Tennessee is listed as a “Key University Partner” by Consolidated National Security, LLC, the managing contractor for the Pantex Plant and the Y-12 National Security Complex, “demonstrating expertise in aligned research interests, strength in academic and research disciplines, successful working relationships with university faculty and administration, and extensive programmatic and research interactions supporting key CNS initiatives.”

 

Formal partnership between Y-12 and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville dates to 2011. A press release at the time noted, “Under the MOU, the two plan to expand their partnership and are considering several jointly funded research projects and the possibility of initiating joint research institutes or centers of excellence to solve complex national security and manufacturing-related problems facing our nation.” A 2014 article from the business school gave an update, “Today, both sites are reaping the benefits of this unique partnership, which brings valuable expertise to Y-12 in a variety of disciplines while providing unique educational and research opportunities for UT students and faculty.” The Y-12 Complex sources the enriched uranium necessary for nuclear weapons.

University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin is one of Sandia National Laboratories’ five Academic Alliance partner universities. These partnerships help Sandia “identify promising candidates at top universities before graduation and promote joint technology development research between graduate students and SNL researchers, pursuing topics with national security applications.” All Academic Alliance schools are also designated as a Campus Executive university partner by Sandia. In FY2018, Sandia invested $18.7 million in research across its Campus Executive and Academic Alliance universities. In 2016, the University of Texas joined Boeing, Battelle, the University of New Mexico and Texas A&M University in an unsuccessful bid to manage Sandia.

 

Sandia National Laboratories focuses on the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons and on nuclear weapons systems integration, for example connecting warheads to their missile delivery systems. Sandia also performs simulated experiments to test the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons.

 

The university was awarded funding in 2018 for a Stewardship Science Academic Alliance Center of Excellence. The Center for Astrophysical Plasma Properties will receive $7 million in research grants over five years. While the Stewardship Science Academic Alliance program funds basic, unclassified research, it seeks and funds proposals that have relevance to the stewardship of the nation’s nuclear stockpile.

University of Utah

The University of Utah receives funding under the Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program (PSAAP) II for its Carbon-Capture Multidisciplinary Simulation Center. PSAAP is an Advanced Simulation and Computing initiative funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) that has roots that date back to 1997. Since the NNSA can no longer actively test nuclear weapons, it funds universities to develop advanced simulation capabilities. PSAAP II, the recent iteration of this initiative, started in 2014 and provided $14.4 million annually for five years to six different centers. In 2019, a funding opportunity announcement was made for the next five years, with award announcements expected late in 2019 and estimated to total $20 million per year, subject to appropriation authority. The announcement emphasized that proposals should consider simulation capabilities within a discipline “of interest” to the NNSA’s mission.

University of Wisconsin - Madison

The University of Wisconsin - Madison is listed as a partner by Sandia National Laboratories in its Campus Executive Program, although the university’s public records office did not find any record of a formal partnership agreement between the two entities. This program aims to build deeper relational connections between the laboratory and different universities for the purpose of research collaboration and future workforce recruitment. In FY2018, Sandia invested $18.7 million in research across its Campus Executive and Academic Alliance universities. Sandia National Laboratories focuses on the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons and on nuclear weapons systems integration, for example connecting warheads to their missile delivery systems. Sandia also performs simulated experiments to test the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons.