Last Nuclear Artillery Shell in U.S. Stockpile Dismantled

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has dismantled the last nuclear artillery shell in the U.S. nuclear stockpile, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced Dec.17. The dismantlement of the last W-79 warhead “marks the end of an era in U.S. defense policy that included ground-launched battlefield nuclear weapons,” according to NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks. The United States introduced artillery-fired nuclear weapons in its defense arsenal in 1957, and six types were deployed during the Cold War. In 1991, President George H. W. Bush announced his decision to retire artillery-fired atomic weapons in the U.S. stockpile. The weapons were returned to the Pantex facility in Amarillo, Texas, for dismantlement.