In 2019, the Department of Defense ended a decades-long, open-ended agreement with JASON, a legacy science advisory board.

The Jason program dated back the 1950s, when the Pentagon put together a panel of scientific experts to provide outside advice. The group was created in the aftermath of the Sputnik launch as a way to reinvigorate the idea of having the nation’s preeminent scientists help the government with defense problems, similar to the way that scientists helped in WWII but with a new and younger generation. It was established in 1960 and has somewhere between 30 and 60 members (on a rotating basis). That contract is now managed by Mitre Corporation, and run through the Pentagon’s Undersecretary of Research and Engineering.

Many of the same scientists who had been participating in JASON in 2019, simply moved to McClain, Virginia, down the road from CIA HQ.

FAS Report – on JASON Reports

You’ll note from browsing through the JASON reports that it continued in existence after 2019. The nature of the contract with JASON changed from an open-ended contract to one where projects had more controlled budgets.

As you browse the list, you’ll run onto a 2016 project that was of more particular interest to the Naval hobbyist in me: JSR-16-Task-013, November 2016 – JASON was asked by the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (NNPP) to conduct a technical assessment of a new fuel concept proposed for use in nuclear reactors on U.S. Navy warships. Realizing this potential could enable the replacement of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in naval propulsion reactors with low-enriched uranium (LEU), with less impact on reactor size and lifetime than would be the case with today’s fuel systems. The future of low-enriched uranium for not only Naval Propulsion but for domestic power plants is of particular interest to me.

I think that many of you could find the information itch scratched by looking at a lot of the project tasking that JASON undertook.

16 COMMENTS

  1. On an unrelated note, there are studies talking about end of civilisation. Maybe I’m a little stuck in seeing the world with gloomy eyes, I wonder if every generation goes through this in their 20s. (Reference – https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/25/gaya-herrington-mit-study-the-limits-to-growth?CMP=fb_gu&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1627198573)

    Dreaming with someone, especially men of these times, is just complicated. Not sure if there’s fear or just hesitance holding back. I think I am waiting for someone, maybe he’ll never return.

    • Ms. Assassin, you are young, a rich life awaits, and you simply need to seize the day. It will all unfold in due time. Being old, and looking back, that’s how it was for me. EVERYONE thinks that their generation is going to be the last one. Literature is full of that and history has proved them wrong.

  2. Hadn’t heard of JASON before. Very interesting, now I have a reading list that will take a significant amount of time to go through. Should keep me entertained this winter.

  3. Imagine sitting in on one of those gatherings…heady stuff but very cool.

    +1 on your response to MsTPA above…well said.

    • TPA just turned 28. Sometimes problems when you’re 28 seem so large – and they are because they set the course for your life. When I was 28, my second daughter (of four) was born. I was making big career decisions…over my head in deep water.

      • Being 28 these days…no thanks…might have bailed for a plot of land somewhere further into the wilds than we already are, leave the idiocy to the lower 48-ers.

  4. I worked for MITRE for a few years recently. Our site lead/business manager had worked at CERN as a PhD in Physics. He had a session in our office one day describing how you could get temperatures below Absolute Zero, and how Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principal related to quantum computing and quantum cryptography. He moved from there to JASON.
    Another coworker was a dual certified U-2 and SR-71 pilot, retired. Another had been trained for nuke sub propulsion design and maintenance. Another was doing software design for TACAMO.
    One day on travel, in a Walmart, we started doing vulnerability analysis on some new sneakers that had a built-in Bluetooth speaker.
    For my job interview I had to do a presentation on anti-tamper – my target was the UD-4L Cheyenne. I was the dummy in the office…

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