Prior to 1992, the Department of Energy (Department) relied on underground nuclear testing and other tests to ensure the safety, reliability, and performance of the Nation's nuclear weapons. When a moratorium was placed on underground testing, the Department implemented a science-based Stockpile Stewardship Program designed to ensure that weapons were safe and reliable. The Department was, however, required to develop the capability to resume testing within 24-36 months should the need arise. In respone to external recommendations by a Congressionally chartered panel and the Nuclear Posture Review, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) initiated efforts to reduce testing lead-time to 18 months. These efforts began in 2002 and were collectively known as the Enhanced Test Readiness Program.This reduction in lead time was estimated to cost $30 million a year over three years. Once achieved, the 18-month posture would require about $26 million a year to maintain.