NNSA Hosts National Security Summit At Y-12 National Security Complex

Press Release
Sep 10, 2008

OAK RIDGE, TENN. – The U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is hosting this year's Nuclear Security Summit for approximately 250 attendees including participants from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission this week at the Y-12 National Security Complex.

"This meeting allows different federal agencies to share technical solutions and research to enhance collaboration that will ensure greater nuclear security across the country," said NNSA's Chief Defense Nuclear Security Bradley Peterson.  "We are applying innovative approaches in all areas of nuclear security to fully protect our national assets.  Nuclear security is one of NNSA's highest priorities."

NNSA is responsible for securing thousands of nuclear weapons and components, and hundreds of tons of special nuclear material in all forms, shapes and sizes. The eight sites in NNSA's nuclear weapons complex are some of the most secure facilities in the world Peterson said, because NNSA uses top quality modern security technology, deploys the most sophisticated assets, and has a well-trained, world-class protective force to keep nuclear weapons and material secure.

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, NNSA took steps to protect its critical facilities from vehicle bombs, strengthened its facilities against attacks, and improved the training and equipment of its protective forces. A key to improved security has been consolidating nuclear material and reducing facility size as part of NNSA's transformation efforts.

Although NNSA hosts the Nuclear Security Summit for the first time this year, the participating agencies have been coming together to enhance governmental cooperation on nuclear security protection since 2003.  NNSA is also a founding member of the Technology Senior Steering Group, which directs interagency collaboration on nuclear security and includes leaders from DOE, NNSA, DoD, and the NRC.

"The nuclear weapons complex has made tremendous strides in recent years to beef up security in all areas," added Peterson.  "Today, we are applying innovative approaches in all areas of security to fully protect the priceless national assets that are located at these facilities."

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.

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