Yesterday, the House-Senate conference on the National Defense Authorization Act took steps to strengthen oversight of America’s nuclear arsenal, including reforms at the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration and new restrictions on the administration decommissioning more nuclear weapons. But there’s a deeper issue of whether our nukes still work as designed in the first place. Democrats have long tried to avoid all nuclear testing — the last US test was conducted in 1992 — while Republicans have been deeply skeptical of alternative means of ensuring the stockpile’s reliability through component testing and computer simulations. Having earlier given our readers the pro-disarmament perspective on the nuclear arsenal, today we bring you this op-ed by Heritage Foundation research associate Michaela Bendikova a specialist in missile defense and arms control. — Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., Deputy Editor

What kind of shape are our nuclear weapons in? Used to be, you’d have to test them to find out. But the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance has some good news: Over the last decade, our ability to predict how our aging nukes will perform–without resorting to explosive testing–has greatly improved. Keep reading →