Remarks by Richard L. Garwin
                        on receiving the
                       ENRICO FERMI AWARD
                         July 24, 1997

  Thank   you,  Mr.    Secretary.    The  Enrico  Fermi  Award
  celebrates past achievements, but we need also to move ahead
  with the opportunities of the post-Cold-War world.

  Here are three:

  First, in January the U.S. Government announced its decision
  to dispose of its excess  bomb  plutonium  from  stocks  and
  dismantled  nuclear  weapons BOTH by incorporating a portion
  of it with  the  radioactive  wastes  being  converted  into
  durable glass for underground storage AND by using a portion
  of  it  for fuel in U.S. power reactors.  As one of the five
  U.S.    members  of  an  Independent  Scientific  Commission
  created  by  Presidents  Clinton and Yeltsin, I urge that we
  move without delay to  carry  out  this  decision  and  thus
  reduce  the  serious hazard that this material, particularly
  Russian material, will end up  in  nuclear  weapons  in  the
  hands  of  terrorists  or  of  nations thirsting for nuclear

  Second, in carrying out  its  obligation  to  maintain  U.S.
  nuclear  weapons  reliable, safe, and secure, the Department
  of Energy needs every few years or every decade  to  refresh
  the  supply  of  tritium  in  each nuclear weapon.   Because
  active-duty U.S. nuclear weapons have been reduced in number
  over this decade and the next much  more  rapidly  than  the
  loss  of  tritium by radioactive decay (50% every 12 years),
  there has been and until the year 2010 or so there  will  be
  more  than enough tritium available for this purpose without
  the manufacture of new tritium.  DOE has programs to develop
  a powerful particle accelerator to recreate tritium from its
  helium ashes, and one to produce tritium in power  reactors.
  Billions  of  dollars would be saved by choosing the reactor
  route, and that should be perfected  and  held  in  reserve.
  But  the  opportunity is really the purchase of tritium from
  Russia, which I understand is ready to sell it  at  a  small
  fraction of the cost to the U.S. of even reactor production.
  No  impairment  of  U.S.  security can result, if tritium is
  acquired 5 years before it is needed; if the supply  is  cut
  off,  there  is thus time to begin domestic production.  And
  if Russian and U.S. nuclear weapons  are  reduced  from  the
  10,000  we  plan  to  hold under current agreements, we will
  save not only major capital expenditure but also the cost of
  tritium purchase.

  Third, the U.S.   is purchasing 500  tons  of  Russian  bomb
  uranium   ("high  enriched  uranium"--HEU)  over  20  years,
  blended down as low-enriched power reactor fuel useless  for
  nuclear  weapons; deliveries began about two years ago.  The
  HEU awaiting delivery is directly usable to make some 20,000
  nuclear weapons.  We could eliminate this hazard of  nuclear
  proliferation  to  terrorists  or  weapon-thirsty  states by
  paying Russia to blend all this HEU now to 20%  U-235  (also
  useless  for  nuclear  weapons), and to receive a credit for
  this  payment  when  we  take  delivery  of the reactor fuel
  further blended down to 4.4% U-235.

  I know  that  many  of  my  colleagues  in  the  scientific,
  technical,  and foreign policy communities are ready to help
  realize these opportunities.