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NNSA Announces Recipient of $25 Million Grant to Improve Nuclear Arms Control Verification Technology

March 31, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development today announced the award of a $25 million grant to a University of Michigan-led consortium for research and development (R&D) in nuclear arms control verification technologies, including nuclear safeguards effectiveness. The sizeable, long-term investment will support the consortium at $5 million per year for five years. The award is in response to a funding opportunity announcement issued in May 2013.

Nuclear arms control verification technologies provide tools to support and improve the ability of the U.S. Government to monitor compliance with nuclear arms control commitments and treaty obligations. Nuclear safeguards support the International Atomic Energy Agency’s mission to monitor the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the commitments of signatory countries to refrain from developing new nuclear weapons. Other work under the consortium will include efforts in geophysical modeling for the detection of underground nuclear detonations to support test monitoring.

“Developing the R&D expertise of tomorrow can take years to cultivate,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “But we are linking national laboratories and academia by funding the next generation of researchers to perform complex research and gain an understanding of technical challenges in areas of major importance for the nuclear nonproliferation mission that can only be garnered first-hand at the national laboratories.”

In addition to the University of Michigan, the consortium also includes other members, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton, Columbia, North Carolina State, University of Hawaii, Pennsylvania State, Duke, University of Wisconsin, University of Florida, Oregon State, Yale, and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; and several national laboratories, including Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, Sandia, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest and Idaho.

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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. 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.