Administrator Highlights NNSA’s National Security Role at Tennessee Valley Corridor Summit

Press Release
May 26, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – In remarks delivered this afternoon as part of the Tennessee Valley Corridor National Technology Summit, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Administrator Thomas D’Agostino highlighted the agency’s national security role in light of the recently released Nuclear Posture Review, a new START Treaty, the Nuclear Security Summit and the President’s FY2011 Budget Request.

Administrator D’Agostino also highlighted the successes and importance of the Y-12 National Security Complex, an NNSA site located in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

The following are excerpts of Administrator D’Agostino’s remarks as prepared for delivery. The full text is available here.

THE PRESIDENT’S FY2011 BUDGET REQUEST FOR NNSA: “For NNSA, the President has requested more than $11 billion for the upcoming fiscal year to support our nuclear security work and the infrastructure it will require, an increase of 13% from this year. As you may know, this represents the largest increase since the NNSA was stood up. It reflects the Administration’s commitment to ensuring national as well as nuclear security, and to implementing the President’s nuclear security agenda within the Department of Energy.”

THE Y-12 NATIONAL SECURITY COMPLEX: “As you know, Y-12 plays a critical role NNSA’s efforts to accomplish that goal. I was delighted to see some of men and women from Y-12 prominently featured in a recent ABC News story about NNSA’s efforts to return the last of Chile’s HEU to the United States during the devastating earthquake their earlier this year. Every day, men and women from places like Y-12 and Oak Ridge are working to keep the American people safe by keeping vulnerable nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists and proliferators.”

INVESTING IN CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE: “In March, I had the honor of joining Secretary Steven Chu and many of you for a ceremony marking the completion of the new Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility. This state of the art storage facility provides a clear example of what we are trying to accomplish as we work to transform an old Cold War nuclear weapons complex into a 21st Century Nuclear Security Enterprise. Instead of storing HEU in aging buildings spread across 150 acres, we have a single impenetrable facility – a Fort Knox for uranium – that is cheaper to maintain and safer for our workers and the community.”

EFFICIENT USE OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS: “If we expect Congress to trust us with increased resources during challenging economic times, we must renew our commitment to being effective stewards of taxpayer dollars. We take this responsibility very seriously. That is why, under the Secretary’s leadership, we have undertaken a series of management reforms that will change the way we do business in NNSA, the Department, and across the enterprise. For example, at NNSA, we started a process known as the Zero-Based Security Review that has helped drive down our security costs while improving core physical security capabilities at our sites. We also established a Supply Chain Management Center that has already saved the taxpayers more than $130 million by pooling purchasing power across our sites and adopting modern procurement tools.”

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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.