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NNSA Highlights 2014 Achievements

WASHINGTON, D.C. – 2014 was a banner year for the National Nuclear Security Administration.

According to DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz, “Our nuclear stockpile remains safe, secure, and effective; our organization remains a global leader in activities to prevent, counter and be prepared to respond to threats of nuclear proliferation and terrorism; we continue to provide strong support to our nuclear Navy; and we are making significant progress in improving program and project management practices.”

“The women and men throughout the nuclear security enterprise made all this happen,” Klotz said. “We applaud them for their service and dedication to America’s national security. They rock.”

NNSA’s 2014 Year in Review highlights previously announced accomplishments across the broad range of DOE’s and NNSA’s important and enduring missions. Read more about NNSA’s programs here.

Highlights for 2014 include:

Maintaining the Stockpile

  • NNSA reached the halfway point in the production phase of the W76-1 warhead Life Extension Program (LEP) this fall. This achievement underscored NNSA’s commitment to meeting the U.S. Navy’s requirements for W76-1 production. The primary purpose of the W76-1 is to extend the original warhead service life from 20 to 60 years. The program remains on schedule to produce and deliver warheads to the Navy in keeping with NNSA’s commitment to complete production not later than the end of FY 2019.
  • NNSA completed important tests for the B61-12 LEP. The B61 is a gravity bomb associated with the Air Force long-range bomber and dual-capable fighter aircraft. In coordination with the Air Force, Vibration Fly Around/Instrumented Measurement Vehicle (VFA/IMV) tests of the B61-12 were conducted on F-15, F-16 and B-2 aircraft. In addition, the first full-scale wind tunnel test of the B61‑12 was conducted. All of these engineering development tests were successful and provided critical data for use in the B61-12 LEP.
  • NNSA played a key role in the review and renewal of the Mutual Defense Agreement (MDA) between the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom for another 10 years. Since 1958, this enduring Agreement has enabled a mutually beneficial exchange of nuclear expertise between the U.S. and UK, contributing to a long, proud history of defense cooperation between our two nations. Under the authorities of the MDA both parties continue to make positive strides in defense, non-proliferation, and threat reduction.
  • The scientific, technical, and engineering innovations of NNSA’s three laboratories – Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos and Sandia – were spotlighted with a total of nine R&D Magazine 2013 R&D 100 Awards, a universally recognized mark of excellence in research and development.

  • The National Ignition Facility (NIF), at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, achieved two major milestones in 2014.  Over the course of the year, efficiency improvements resulted in a significant increase in the rate of experiments, or “shots,” performed. In addition, NIF also conducted an experiment that resulted in the measurement of more energy from fusion reactions than was deposited into the test material by the facility’s laser, an important step toward the goal of ignition. Physics World, an international monthly magazine, named the NIF science achievement one of its top 10 breakthroughs of the year:; the work was also featured in Nature magazine:

  • Los Alamos National Laboratory successfully conducted an important hydrodynamics experiment at the Nevada National Security Site in August. Consisting of a surrogate (non-nuclear) material and a high explosive implosion, the Leda experiment simulated physics reactions of solids mixing and flowing like liquids under extreme conditions.
  • In conjunction with the Navy, NNSA completed a series of tests for the W88 ALT 370 program to replace the Arming, Fuzing, and Firing (AF&F) assembly of the 30 year-old W88-0/Mk 5 warhead. In June, the Critical Radar Arming and Fuzing Test (CRAFT) was successfully completed. 

  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has contracted with IBM to deliver a next-generation supercomputer in 2017. The system, to be called Sierra, is part of the DOE-sponsored Collaboration of Oak Ridge, Argonne and Lawrence Livermore national labs (CORAL) to accelerate the development of high performance computing.

Nonproliferation efforts

  • In FY 2014, NNSA completed all major milestones of the 1993 U.S.-Russia Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) Purchase Agreement, commonly known as the Megatons to Megawatts Program. Under the 20-year Agreement, NNSA monitored downblending of over 500 metric tons of Russian weapons-origin HEU into low enriched uranium (LEU)  to ensure that all LEU delivered to the United States under the Agreement was derived from Russian weapons HEU and that all of the Agreement’s nonproliferation objectives were fulfilled.

  • At the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, the United States and Japan pledged to remove and dispose of all highly-enriched uranium and separated plutonium from the Fast Critical Assembly in Japan. NNSA currently is working closely with counterparts in Japan to resolve technical and logistical issues to complete this important effort in a timely manner.

  • The United States joined 22 countries participating in the Nuclear Security Summit in signing up to a “Gift Basket” to secure all Category 1 radioactive sealed sources by 2016. There are approximately 465 buildings in the United States with Category 1 devices. Of these, NNSA has completed security enhancements at 300. NNSA is currently involved in a targeted outreach campaign to engage the remaining 165 by the end of spring 2015.

  • In 2014, NNSA partnered with Belgium, Canada, Italy, Kazakhstan, and Poland to eliminate 97 kilograms (kg) of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium from civilian facilities. This brings the cumulative total of material eliminated by NNSA through the end of 2014 to 5,210 kg, or enough material for 208 nuclear weapons.  For Italy,; For Belgium,; For Kazakhstan,

  • In exchange for the removal of all HEU from Ukraine prior to the 2012 NSS, NNSA agreed to fund the construction of a state-of-the-art Neutron Source Facility (NSF) in Kharkiv, Ukraine. NNSA completed the construction of the NSF in March 2014, and the facility is scheduled to be operational by the end of March 2015. The new state of the art nuclear facility will produce medical isotopes, support the Ukraine nuclear power industry by providing the capabilities for performing reactor physics experiments and material performance characterization, and train the next generation of specialists performing nuclear research. See Ukraine fuel removal fact sheet.;

  • NNSA announced the successful transfer of a linear accelerator, previously used for cancer therapy treatment, at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital to the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology in Kharkiv, Ukraine. In exchange for the shipment, Ukraine has agreed to disposition two of their aging Cobalt-60 teletherapy units.

  • NNSA recovered its one millionth curie of disused and unwanted radioactive sources from domestic sites through its Off-Site Source Recovery Project (OSRP). These removals were part of DOE/NNSA’s global campaign to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear and radiological material.

  • NNSA joined the governments of Georgia and the United Kingdom in announcing the removal of more than 150 disused radioactive sources from Georgia’s Institute of Radiobiology.

  • NNSA and the government of Djibouti completed the transition of full responsibility for the radiation detection system located at the Doraleh Container Terminal at the Port of Djibouti. Similarly, NNSA—along with the U.S. Embassy in Thailand, the Customs Department of the Kingdom of Thailand, the Port Authority of Thailand, and the Thai Office of Atoms for Peace—held a transition ceremony to celebrate the official transfer of the radiation detection system installed at Laem Chabang Port, with Thailand now taking over full responsibility of maintaining the equipment and training the operators. /

  • NNSA awarded more than $8 million additional support to its cooperative agreement partners, NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes and SHINE Medical Technologies, to accelerate the establishment of new, domestic sources of the medical isotope Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) produced without the use of proliferation-sensitive highly enriched uranium (HEU).

  • NNSA opened the new Alarm Response Training Academy at the Y-12 National Security Complex. The facility houses the NNSA Alarm Response Training (ART) program that trains local law enforcement and other critical first responders around the country.

  • NNSA and the Government of Argentina completed the transition of full responsibility for the radiation detection systems located at the Port of Buenos Aires and Port of Dock Sud. This transition reflects the strong commitment of Argentina’s government to deter, detect and interdict illicit or smuggled nuclear and other radioactive materials in cargo containers shipped through the ports.

  • NNSA awarded a $25 million grant to a North Carolina State University-led consortium for research and development in enabling capabilities for nonproliferation. This sizeable, long-term investment will support the consortium at $5 million per year for five years.

  • NNSA awarded a $25 million grant to a University of Michigan-led consortium for research and development in nuclear arms control verification technologies, including nuclear safeguards. This sizeable, long-term investment will support the consortium at $5 million per year for five years.

Nuclear Counterterrorism & Emergency Response: 

  • NNSA transitioned data acquisition and communications technology developed for DOE emergency responders to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which leveraged the technology to provide to State and local radiation professionals as “RadResponder” software. This software allows for data transmission between state/local responders and DOE scientists who can assess environmental measurements in near real time in the event of a radiological emergency.

  • NNSA conducted 16 training courses improving emergency management capabilities for international partners and continued to work bilaterally with Israel, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Chile, China, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Taiwan, Canada, France, Jordan, the Nordic countries, Armenia and Kazakhstan. New programs were started with Romania, Belarus and the Philippines.

 Advancing Navy Nuclear Propulsion

  • Provided technical resolution support while nuclear fleet steamed more than 2 million miles. Advanced the Ohio-Class Replacement and the S8G Prototype Refueling projects. Delivered the first unit of the next-generation A1B aircraft carrier reactor plant for initial testing.
  • NNSA helped celebrate the 60thAnniversary of the USS NAUTILUS first getting underway on nuclear propulsion. The Naval Nuclear Propulsion program pioneered advances in nuclear reactor and warship design – such as improving reactor lifetimes, increasing submarine stealth, and reducing propulsion plant crewing. An example is the technology developed by Naval Reactors that will enable the Ohio-Class Replacement submarine to be designed for a 40-plus year operational life without refueling.

Improving Safety, Operations and Infrastructure 

  • In August 2014, DOE and NNSA formally dedicated the new National Security Campus (NSC) in Kansas City, Missouri. The Kansas City Plant (KCP) was relocated the Bannister Federal Complex, a 70-year-old facility, to the NSC. The move was safely and securely completed one month ahead of the original schedule and $10 million under budget without any significant safety event. The NSC manufactures or purchases 85 percent of the non-nuclear components that make up our nuclear weapons, and thus plays a huge role in keeping the nation’s nuclear stockpile safe, secure and effective. One of NNSA’s highest priorities is to provide safe and modern facilities our highly skilled and dedicated workforce needs to accomplish the work. See video:

  • NNSA Recapitalization Program provides for the modernization of NNSA infrastructure by prioritizing investments to improve the condition and extend the design life of structures, capabilities or systems. These activities include upgrading aging NNSA infrastructure and improving the safety and quality of the workplace for NNSA’s talented and dedicated workforce. NNSA successfully executed more than 50 projects totaling more than $151 million dollars in FY 2014.

  • NNSA continued to address the risks of excess facilities within the Recapitalization Program. The first project funded through this program was the razing of Building 9744 at Y-12 in 2014. Building 9744 was a significantly degraded structure whose possible collapse posed a significant risk to nearby buildings and traffic on adjacent roads.

  • NNSA received the Secretary’s Award for Project Management Excellence for delivering the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Building Replacement Radiological Laboratory/Utility/Office Building Equipment Installation Project $2 million under budget and ahead of schedule.
  • NNSA completed one of the largest and most complex contract transitions in the history of the U.S. Department of Energy. NNSA awarded Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS) the responsibility for the management and operation of the Pantex Plant and the Y-12 National Security Complex. 
  • NNSA’s Office of Acquisition Management successfully executed 2,575 contract actions valued at $11 billion in FY14 and negotiated savings in excess of $15.3 million. In addition, NNSA’s Office of Enterprise Project Management completed its $725 million project portfolio $50 million – or 7 percent – under budget.

  • NNSA released the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) “Red Team” report led by Oak Ridge National Lab Director Dr. Thom Mason, which outlined options for NNSA to replace the uranium capabilities at Building 9212 at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., by 2025 for not more than $6.5 billion. The task of implementing the reports recommendations was assigned to the Uranium Program Manager, a new position created by NNSA to assign responsibility and accountability for uranium matters under a single individual. The Uranium Program Manager has already made significant strides to develop a sustainment and modernization plan for Y-12 to reduce programmatic and mission risk. 

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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. Visit for more information.