Shipment Reduces High-security Material Onsite by Approximately 25 Percent
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced today that it has completed a third shipment of special nuclear material from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. The material was moved to the Savannah River Site in South Carolina under high security.
"As we've indicated before, we have an accelerated plan to remove special nuclear material from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory," said NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino. "We continue to do this safely and securely and within the timeframe we've outlined. I accelerated this project by two years, and we have now reduced our inventory at Livermore by approximately 25 percent. We are well on our way to keeping our commitment to the Livermore community and the nation as a whole."
The shipment is part of NNSA's plan to remove high-security nuclear material from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) by 2012. This is the third shipment to leave LLNL since the de-inventory project was initiated.
As part of its Complex Transformation, NNSA plans to consolidate nuclear materials at five sites by 2012, with significantly reduced square footage at those sites by 2017. This will further improve security and reduce security costs and is part of D'Agostino's overall effort to transform the Cold War era nuclear weapons complex into a 21st century nuclear security enterprise. The latest shipment from LLNL was completed in full compliance with existing safety and environmental laws and procedures.
Materials must be processed to stabile forms and repackaged prior to shipment. The original date to remove all high-security material from LLNL, based on equipment capability and capacity, was 2014. D'Agostino asked that this material be removed as early as possible, accelerating the target completion date to 2012. To reach this goal, NNSA is installing extra equipment to increase capacity.
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous 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 U.S. and abroad.
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