NNSA Administrator D'Agostino Testifies on Global Threat Reduction before House Armed Services Committee
Administrator Outlines NNSA's Role in Implementing President Obama's Landmark Nuclear Security Agenda~July 15, 2009
NNSA Administrator D'Agostino Testifies on Global Threat Reduction before House Armed Services Committee Administrator Outlines NNSA's Role in Implementing President Obama's Landmark Nuclear Security Agenda
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Administrator Thomas P. D'Agostino of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today discussed the Obama Administration's global nuclear threat reduction initiatives and outlined NNSA's role in implementing the President's landmark nuclear security agenda during a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.
Following the Joint Statement on Nuclear Cooperation signed by President Obama and Russian President Medvedev last week in Moscow, Administrator D'Agostino outlined NNSA's nuclear nonproliferation strategy and NNSA's plans for addressing critical nuclear security objectives. NNSA manages the largest nuclear nonproliferation program in the world.
The following are excerpts of Administrator D'Agostino's opening statement:
• On President Obama's Leadership on Nuclear Security: "The President made clear, in his April speech in Prague, in Joint Statements with our Russian partners, and elsewhere, that nuclear weapons remain a fundamental issue facing the international community in the 21st Century. He has stated that the most immediate and extreme threat to global security is the potential acquisition of nuclear weapons by terrorists. To address this threat, the President has outlined an ambitious strategy to: deal with nuclear arsenals; halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons to additional states; and, prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons or the materials needed to build them."
• On the Scientific and Technical Leadership Across the Nuclear Security Enterprise: "While I am speaking today about a separate major component of the NNSA, the nonproliferation component of our national security mission relies upon similar scientific and technical expertise. It is that scientific and technical nuclear expertise, combined with our proven track record of implementing a number of successful programs, both domestic and international, that makes the NNSA's Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Program a leader in nonproliferation activities, throughout the world. The NNSA nuclear security programs provide an important means to achieve a number of President Obama's objectives."
• On NNSA's Work Scope: "Our work scope includes a priority-based assessment of the activities required to address security concerns at specific sites worldwide. NNSA will undertake the following actions to: expand nuclear security cooperation with Russia and other key partners; secure nuclear material at the most vulnerable sites worldwide; remove and eliminate weapons-usable nuclear materials where possible; strengthen international nuclear security standards, practices, and international safeguards; improve international capabilities to detect and intercept smuggling of nuclear materials; and prevent terrorists and proliferators from poaching on the international market in dual-use and nuclear weapons related equipment and technologies."
• On International and Interagency Cooperation: "This NNSA plan of work alone will not accomplish all of the President's nuclear security objectives. Under the leadership of the White House, we will work closely with the Departments of State, Defense, Homeland Security, and others, in achieving these goals. The Joint Statement on Nuclear Cooperation issued by Presidents Obama and Medvedev in Russia just last week, as well as the March 2010 Global Nuclear Security Summit announced at the G-8 Summit in L'Aquila, Italy, likewise will provide a solid foundation for work with our international partners."
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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 in the nation's national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the 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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