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NNSA Administrator Addresses 2011 Energy Communities Alliance Annual Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. – National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Administrator Thomas D’Agostino today highlighted the Obama Administration’s commitment to nuclear security in remarks delivered during the 2011 annual conference of the Energy Communities Alliance.

Tom ECA inlineIn highlighting the partnership between NNSA and the communities that host NNSA sites, D’Agostino outlined the critical investment in the future included in the FY 2012 Budget Request. D’Agostino noted that investing in the infrastructure required to implement the president’s nuclear security agenda would benefit local communities.

Earlier this week, the president delivered a FY 2012 budget request that includes $11.78 billion for NNSA, an increase of 5.1 percent from the $11.2 billion requested for FY 2011. It includes $7.6 billion for the Weapons Activities appropriation, $2.5 billion for NNSA’s nuclear nonproliferation program, and $1.1 billion for NNSA’s Naval Reactors Program.

The following are excerpts of D'Agostino's remarks as prepared for delivery:

  • ON THE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN NNSA AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES: “Having been a part of our nuclear security enterprise for more than 15 years, I can say without question that our sites and my organization cannot succeed without support from the communities we call home. The Energy Communities Alliance is an important partner in building strong relationships between the department and our communities.”
  • ON NNSA’S RESPONSE TO THE NATURAL GAS CRISIS IN NEW MEXICO: “Make no mistake: our relationship between our sites and the communities they call home is a true partnership. Those of you from New Mexico saw that first hand earlier this month when a brownout in Texas shut down natural gas pressurization pumps across the Southwest, causing widespread outages from Albuquerque to Taos. During one of the coldest winters in history, thousands of New Mexicans were without heat. Our teams at Los Alamos and Sandia stepped up to the plate … In short, we did what any good neighbor would do in a time of crisis. That is the partnership we share with our communities.”
  • ON INNOVATION AND LOCAL JOBS: “I should also point out that these investments are also providing the nation the tools to tackle broader challenges … Our sites are our nation’s engines of innovation. That means solutions to a broad range of national challenges and new business opportunities in your the communities.”
  • ON INVESTING IN THE FUTURE: "With these investments, we will be able to continue to move toward an enterprise that is safer, smaller, more secure, more efficient, and more sustainable. We are building the modern research facilities needed to do cutting edge science and attract the next generation of nuclear security experts."
  • ON IMPLEMENTING THE PRESIDENT’S NUCLEAR SECURITY AGENDA: "To implement the agenda outlined in the Nuclear Posture Review and the modernization program outlined during the Senate’s debate on ratifying the New START Treaty, this budget request provides $7.6 billion for our the Weapons Activities account. That investment will enhance our efforts to leverage the best science and research in the world to maintain our nuclear deterrent and modernize the infrastructure that supports it."
  • ON IMPROVING THE WAY WE DO BUSINESS: "Changing the way we do business is an important part of our effort to transform a Cold War nuclear weapons complex into a 21st Century Nuclear Security Enterprise. We simply cannot expect Congress to support major investments in our programs and our facilities unless we can convince them that we are responsible stewards of the taxpayer’s money."

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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.