A Glossary of Commonly Used Nuclear-related Acronyms


DOD – Department of Defense

DOE – Department of Energy

NNSA – National Nuclear Security Administration

NA-LA – NNSA-Los Alamos Field Office
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for the US nuclear arsenal.

NWC – Nuclear Weapons Council. Includes officials from both DOE and DOD.

DNFSB– Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. An independent organization within the executive branch of the United States Government, chartered with the responsibility of providing recommendations and advice to the President and the Secretary of Energy regarding public health and safety issues at Department of Energy defense nuclear facilities.

CBO – Congressional Budget Office

GAO – Government Accountability Office

FY – Fiscal Year

NMED – New Mexico Environment Department

RCLC – Regional Coalition of LANL Communities. DOE funded.

NMCAB – New Mexico Community Advisory Board. DOE funded to provide input to DOE.

EA – Engineering Assessment. DOE’s office of Enterprise Assessments reports directly to the Secretary of Energy. (Note also Note also Environmental Assessment and Engineering Assessment in “Regulation, Waste and Cleanup” below.)


LANL – Los Alamos National Laboratory

PF-4 – Plutonium Facility 4 (at LANL)

CMRR – Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Project (at LANL)

RAD LAB – Radiological Laboratory (at LANL)

RLUOB – Radiological Laboratory Utility and Office Building (AKA the “Rad Lab”) (at LANL)

LLNL – Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

SNL– Sandia National Laboratory

N2S2 – Nevada National Security Site

Y-12 – Y-12 National Security Complex Oak Ridge Tennessee

UPF – Uranium Processing Facility (at Y-12)

SRS – Savannah River Site

MOX – Mixed Oxide Plutonium Disposition Facility. (At SRS) Originally part of a post-cold war arrangement with Russia to transform bomb-grade plutonium into fuel for power plants. While the Russian facility was completed in 2.5 years in 2014 at a cost of $200 million, the corresponding US facility at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina is decades from completion, already cost $7.6 billion, and was expected to cost a further $48 billion; DOE Secretary Perry announced its termination on May 13, 2018. The new plan is to “downblend” the plutonium and bury it in New Mexico’s WIPP.

KCP – Kansas City Plant, now officially called Kansas City National Security Campus.

WTF – Waste Treatment Facility at Hanford, Washington

WIPP – Waste Isolation Pilot Project. Carlsbad New Mexico.

Facilities Contractors

LANS– Los Alamos National Security- primarily composed of the Bechtel Corporation and the University of California, has held the annual ~$2 .4 billion Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) management contract since June 2006. A new contractor will be chosen in May 2018.

NTESS – National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia. Honeywell’s management entity for Sandia National Labs (long operated by the Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Lockheed Martin Corporation) -Note that Honeywell also manages the Kansas City Plant through it’s entity “Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies”

LLNS– Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, a partnership of the University of California, Bechtel, BWX Technologies, AECOM, and Battelle Memorial Institute in affiliation with the Texas A&M University System.

N3B – Newport News Nuclear BWXT-Los Alamos, LLC- contractor for cleanup at LANL NB: Tetra Tech Inc is a major subcontractor for N3B in the LANL cleanup contract.

CNS – Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, composed of of Lockheed Martin and the Bechtel Corporation, manages both Y-12 and the Pantex Plant in Texas under a single contract.

PEP – Performance Evaluation Plan

PER – Performance Evaluation Report

Regulation, Waste and Cleanup

PU – Plutonium

HEU – Highly Enriched Uranium

HLW – High-level Waste

FOIA – Freedom of Information Act

EA– Engineering Assessment

EA– Environmental Assessment

NEPA – National Environmental Policy Act

NMELC – New Mexico Environmental Law Center

EIS – Environmental impact statement

SWEIS – Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement

PEIS – Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

SEIS – Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

SSMPES -Stockpile Stewardship and Management Programmatic Environmental Statement

CO – Consent Order. A voluntary agreement worked out between two or more parties to a dispute. It generally has the same effect as a court order and can be enforced by the court if anyone does not comply with the orders.

CO – Compliance Order


FAS – Federation of American Scientists

UCS – Union of Concerned Scientists

PSR – Physicians for Social Responsability

POGO – Project On Government Oversight

ANA – Alliance for Nuclear Accountability . Includes Nuclear Watch New Mexico.

WAND – Women’s Action New Directions

NWNM – Nuclear Watch New Mexico (aka NukeWatch, Santa Fe, NM)

OREPA – Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (Oak Ridge Tenn.)

Tri-Valley CAREs – Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment (Livermore, CA)

Weapons systems

B61-12– The latest model of the B61 nuclear bomb, endowed with various “smart bomb” features, the bomb stationed at NATO bases in Europe.

GBSD – Ground-based strategic deterrent (latest iteration of ground-based ICBM)

ALCM– air launched cruise missile

LRSO – Long range standoff – nuclear air launched cruise missile. So named because it is intended to be launched from bombers at a great distance from the target’s defensive arrays.

SLCM – Submarine-launched cruise missile

SLBM – Submarine-launched ballistic missile. Unlike land-based ICBMs, submarines cannot be targeted in a first strike, and thus the SLBM is the guarantor of a second-strike capability.

Nuclear Treaties

NPT – Non-Proliferation Treaty. 1968. Non-nuclear signatories agreed not to develop nuclear weapons, and nuclear powers promised to negotiate arsenal reductions toward the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.

SALT – Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty. 1972.

ABM Treaty – 1972. Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. One of the first treaties of the Cold War, limiting both the US and the USSR to only one location of anti-ballistic missiles; as a guarantor that neither side would seek first-strike capability. The US withdrew from the ABM Treaty under President George W. Bush., and over the last decade has deployed missile defenses along Russia’s perimeter, ostensibly to defend from Iranian missiles, though the Russians see this as seeking a first strike capability.

INF Treaty – Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. 1987. The US and Soviet Union agreement to remove intermediate and shorter range missiles from Europe. Both Russia and the US now accuse each other of violations.

START – Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. 1994, Expired 2009. Replaced by New START, 2010.

CTBT – Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. 1996. 183 signatories, however the US Congress never ratified.

TPNW – Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons. Signed by 122 countries in 2017, ratifications coming in every week now.

ICAN – International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons ( ICAN mobilized a majority of nations in 2017 to sign on to the TPNW. (Each nation’s vote must now be ratified in their parliaments) ICAN won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for their ongoing efforts.