Reducing the Nuclear Weapons Stockpile and Adapting to Future National Security Needs
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Making the case for a more reliable future for our nation's nuclear weapons complex, the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) testified this afternoon before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. Administrator Linton F. Brooks addressed NNSA's $9.3 billion fiscal year 2007 budget request for maintaining the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, reducing the threat posed by nuclear proliferation, and providing nuclear reactor propulsion systems for the U.S. Navy.
Brooks told the subcommittee that since the Cold War, the U.S. nuclear weapons complex had seen "dramatic reductions" in size and funding. "Today's nuclear weapons complex is not the same one that helped us to win the Cold War. In 1990, our nuclear weapons complex employed nearly 60,000 people, but today we employ about half that number and the footprint of our facilities has shrunk from 70 million square feet to less than 40 million," he said.
NNSA's 2007 budget request will continue current efforts to transform the U.S. nuclear weapons complex to a more responsive infrastructure that will enable the nation to reduce the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. At the direction of President Bush, the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile will be reduced by 2012 to the smallest levels since the Eisenhower administration.
"We are transforming into a more efficient, more secure complex, but more work needs to be done. NNSA's 2007 budget request will allow us to continue our efforts. This year's budget puts us on a path to respond to today's and tomorrow's national security needs. As our adversaries and geopolitical threats have evolved over time, so have the NNSA and the infrastructure that has allowed us to carry our national security mission. We will continue to adapt and evolve," Brooks said after the hearing.
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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