NNSA Publishes Proposed Plan to Transform the Nuclear Weapons Complex
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced today, the availability of a draft Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (SPEIS). The Notice of Availability for the draft SPEIS was published in the Federal Register. NNSA has completed distribution of more than 2,000 copies of the draft SPEIS, and the public has until April 10, 2008 to review and provide comments. Nineteen public hearings will be held across the country starting at the end of February.
The SPEIS evaluates NNSA's proposal for continuing the transformation of the nuclear weapons complex, along with a range of reasonable alternatives. NNSA's objective is to create a nuclear weapons infrastructure that is smaller, safer, more secure, and less expensive.
"The proposal described in the SPEIS would move NNSA from an outdated, Cold War nuclear weapons complex to one that is better able to support our future national security needs," said NNSA Administrator Thomas P. D'Agostino.
The draft SPEIS evaluates four alternatives to address NNSA's needs: maintaining the status quo, distributed centers of excellence, consolidated centers of excellence, and a capabilities-based complex. The SPEIS also contains a preferred alternative, the distributed centers of excellence, which would consolidate missions and facilities within the existing NNSA sites. NNSA would eliminate redundancies in missions, capabilities, and facilities, eventually saving money in the future.
The proposal would support President Bush's plan for the smallest stockpile consistent with U.S. national security needs. The U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile has been reduced by nearly 50 percent from its size in 2001, making it the smallest stockpile since the 1950s. Further cuts to the stockpile have been ordered by President Bush, which would reduce the stockpile another 15 percent.
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a separately organized agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the United States and abroad.
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