Since 1947, NNSA and its predecessor agencies have moved nuclear weapons, weapons components, and special nuclear materials (SNM) by commercial and government transportation modes.
In the late 1960s, worldwide terrorism and acts of violence prompted a review of procedures for safeguarding these materials. As a result, a comprehensive new series of regulations and equipment was developed to enhance the safety and security of these materials in transit. Subsequently, the Transportation and Safeguards Division (TSD) was established in 1975 at the Department of Energy's Albuquerque Operations Office.
TSD modified and redesigned transport equipment to incorporate features that more effectively enhanced self-protection and denied unauthorized access to the materials. During this time TSD curtailed the use of commercial transportation systems and moved to a total federal operation.
In fiscal year 2000, Title 32 of the National Defense Authorization Act under Public Law 106-65, established NNSA as a semiautonomous agency within the Department of Energy with responsibility for the nation's nuclear weapons, nonproliferation, and naval reactors programs. The Albuquerque Operations Office and its entire mission fell under the direction of NNSA, which included the Office of Transportation Safeguards (OTS) replacing TSD.
In December 2002, NNSA implemented a new organizational structure to consolidate the Albuquerque Operations Office with other NNSA operations offices into the NNSA Service Center located in Albuquerque. OTS was renamed the Office of Secure Transportation (OST) and reports directly to the Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs at NNSA headquarters in Washington, DC.
Since its establishment in 1975, OST has accumulated more than 140 million miles of over-the-road experience transporting DOE-owned cargo with no accidents causing a fatality or release of radioactive material. This is due largely to the OST philosophy that safety and security are of equal and paramount importance in the accomplishment of NNSA's transportation safeguards mission.