Deputy Secretary of Energy Reviews Leading Nuclear Counterterrorism Assets at Andrews Air Force Base

Press Release
Sep 9, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman toured the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) emergency operations facility at Andrews Air Force Base today to receive a demonstration of NNSA's nuclear and radiological incident response capabilities and thank the team for the efforts to combat nuclear terrorism.  NNSA's Associate Administrator for Emergency Operations Joseph Krol highlighted several emergency response assets, which make NNSA the nation's premier responder to any nuclear or radiological incident within the United States or abroad.

"NNSA's emergency operations and counterterrorism capabilities represent a key component of the U.S. government's comprehensive effort to combat nuclear terrorism," said Deputy Secretary Poneman.  "We take full advantage of the extraordinary expertise of the world's top professional scientists, engineers, pilots, medical personnel, technicians and other leading nuclear experts and cutting edge science to help keep our country safe. All Americans can be grateful for their patriotism and dedication."

In his landmark Prague speech in April, President Obama said, "we must ensure that terrorists never acquire a nuclear weapon," calling it "the most immediate and extreme threat to global security" and unveiling an ambitious and unprecedented nuclear security agenda. 

As part of the commitment to preventing nuclear terrorism, NNSA uses the skill and expertise gained through more than 60 years of experience with nuclear weapons to provide operational planning and training to counter both domestic and international nuclear terrorism, and to respond to and mitigate nuclear and radiological incidents worldwide.  In addition, NNSA provides technical support to the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, State, and Defense for nuclear terrorism events and domestic nuclear weapon accidents and incidents.  The NNSA emergency response assets also provide support to nuclear site and facility accidents and incidents.    

For pictures from Deputy Secretary Poneman's tour, click here.   

For a fact sheet on NNSA's efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism, click here.

Follow NNSA News on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.

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. Visit http://www.nnsa.energy.gov for more information.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371