Administrator D'Agostino's Remarks at NNSA's 10-Year Anniversary Celebration

Speech
Apr 28, 2010

Thank you, Clarence, for that kind introduction.

To Ambassador Linton Brooks and General John Gordon, thank you both for joining us today and, thank you so very much for all you have done to ensure that the NNSA made major contributions to the national security of the United States and its allies.

I would like to especially welcome former Senator Pete Domenici, a great champion for the NNSA and for the national security laboratories. Without his strong commitment to ensuring that the NNSA received the resources necessary to carry out our critical missions, the national security of the United States would not be as strong as it is today.

Under Secretary Ellen Tauscher, I would like to thank you for taking time out of your incredibly busy schedule to be with us today. I sincerely enjoyed working with you when you were the Chairperson of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. Like many of us here, I was concerned that we’d lost one of our great champions in the Congress when the President selected you for your current position. Now, I have great privilege of working with you within this Administration. Thank you for continuing to support our mission.

Congressman Thornberry, I would like to thank you and Under Secretary Tauscher for your work in establishing the NNSA. Without your personal commitment I doubt that the NNSA would exist.

We are honored to have such special guests join us on such an important day. I think it shows the importance of the work you all do. Each and every day, you play a critical role in enhancing America’s national security, reducing nuclear dangers, and advancing scientific discovery.

As you know, all of you in the NNSA had the opportunity to vote on the slogan for this celebration. The one you chose sums up why we are all here. “Honoring our past, securing our future.” For the last ten years, you have played a critical role in keeping the American people and our allies safe and secure. Today, we honor that history. And now, as the events of the last several months have shown, we are positioning our organization to continue to improve our ability to secure our future.

In the last few weeks, the work you do has been front and center in a way we have rarely seen. In just the last month, we have seen the release of a Nuclear Posture Review that adopts a 21st Century approach to nuclear security, the signing of the new START Treaty that will define the future of the stockpile, and the completion of an historic Nuclear Security Summit – which gathered the leaders of close to 50 countries to take concrete steps toward securing all vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years.

And all of this follows the release in February of the FY 2011 Budget Request, which makes critical investments in the physical, technological, scientific, and human capital required to manage our nuclear deterrent and implement the full range of nuclear security missions.

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. This 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.

It also shows the confidence our Nation’s leadership has in your ability to get the job done. I’m proud of our track record over the last decade.

Together, we have made great strides in transforming a Cold War nuclear weapons complex into a 21st Century Nuclear Security Enterprise.

Together we have successfully maintained the safety, security, and effectiveness of the stockpile without nuclear testing.

Together we have built the world’s fastest supercomputers and the most advanced modeling and simulations capabilities in the world.

Together we are working in more than 100 countries to secure vulnerable nuclear material, prevent nuclear smuggling, and strengthen the nonproliferation regime.

Together we have provided the U.S. Navy with safe and reliable nuclear propulsion.

Together we have provided the Nation with world class nuclear counterterrorism and emergency response capabilities.

Together we have safely transported nuclear materials between our sites, traveling 100 million miles without a single accident.

And, together, have implemented cutting edge management reforms that are improving the way we do business.

It’s a record we can all be proud of, and I hope you are. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for all of your hard work—for your interactions with the White House, the Congress, the Departments of Defense, State, and Homeland Security, the DNFSB, for your work on the NPR, the Nuclear Summit, and all of our outreach efforts. All of our efforts have been exceptional and I thank you for your dedication and commitment to excellence.

And now, as we look to the next decade, we need to make sure we’re working to align ourselves in a way that maximizes our ability to get the job done while ensuring we are being effective and efficient stewards of the taxpayer’s money.

That means continuing to implement the management and governance reforms we have undertaken here in NNSA and across the Department.

It means working to recruit and retain the next generation of nuclear security professionals so we can continue to serve the country we all love.

And it means renewing our commitment to cutting edge science and technology.

If we can do all those things, we can truly “Honor our Past” and “Secure our Future.”

Thank you very much.