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MIL-HDBK-255 Revision A, September 6, 1984
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NUCLEAR WEAPONS SYSTEMS, SAFETY, DESIGN, AND EVALUATION CRITERIA FOR
Includes all amendments and changes through Validation Notice 2, August 20, 2014
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The intent of this handbook is to provide nuclear safety design and evaluation criteria which apply to all nuclear weapon systems for which funding and tasking are the responsibility of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIRSYSCOM). The nuclear safety standards of the Department of Defense are the evaluation base. In addition, the malfunction or accidental operation of any single component must not result in the pre-arming, arming, launching, firing, or releasing of a nuclear weapon.

This handbook provides information on the nuclear safety design and evaluation criteria to be considered by program managers (PMs), acquisition managers (AMs), and NAVAIR contractors responsible for the design and procurement of new systems, subsystems, and equipment which may be associated with nuclear weapons or warheads during their life cycle.

a. This handbook should not be interpreted as a requirement to modify existing operational systems which do not meet the safety criteria outlined herein. However, when an existing system is modified, the system must be evaluated to determine the extent to which these criteria should apply. As a minimum, the criteria shall be considered for that part of the system being modified.

b. This handbook does not apply to compatibility certification, but such certification is required before delivery configuration involving nuclear weapons/warheads can become operational.

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