LIVERMORE, CALIF.—The nation's nuclear weapons researchers are working in ways that are not inconsistent with a future test-ban treaty, says a University of California panel asked to examine the scientists’ role in the arms race.

The university’s Scientific and Academic Advisory Committee failed to find evidence to support accusations that the scientists were trying to block such a ban on testing by designing weapons that must be tested constantly by explosions. Rather, the panel found that the researchers strive to avoid explosions in learning whether stockpiled weapons would work as intended, and that they are expanding their research to cope with any future test ban.

“We conclude that the weapons in the stockpile are remarkably robust and designed to minimize the requirements for continued nuclear testing to assure their reliability,” the panel wrote in its 37-page report released last month.

About 240 faculty members wrote to university President David P....

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