The Tritium Factor


The Academy co-sponsored a workshop to explore the feasibility of the United States and the Soviet Union agreeing to halt production of the radioactive, warhead-boosting agent tritium and to pace steady, significant reductions in their arsenals at the relatively rapid rate of tritium’s decay – the so-called “tritium factor.” U.S. nuclear reactors authorized to produce tritium were closed because of safety and environmental contamination. Some argued that the impending lack of tritium threatened the deterrent capability of the United States; others saw the termination of production as an opportunity to formally negotiate an arms control measure. The resulting book presents an exploration of these different security philosophies and their implications.

Resulting Publication

  • The Tritium Factor: Tritium’s Impact on Nuclear Arms Reduction, ed. Paul Doty and Paul Levanthal. Nuclear Control Institute and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, 1989. (out of print)


Principal Investigators

Paul Levanthal

Nuclear Control Institute