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NNSA Administrator Testifies on NNSA’s Role in Implementing President Obama’s Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security Agenda

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a second consecutive day of testimony before the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee (HEWD) of the House Committee on Appropriations, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Administrator Thomas D'Agostino today highlighted the investments the FY 2012 budget request seeks for NNSA’s naval reactors and nuclear nonproliferation programs.  Administrator D’Agostino was joined by Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington and Admiral Kirkland Donald, Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion and Deputy Administrator for Naval Reactors.

The budget request for FY 2012 includes $11.8 billion for NNSA, an increase of 5.1 percent from the FY 2011 budget request. It includes $2.5 billion for NNSA’s Nuclear Nonproliferation program, and $1.1 billion for NNSA’s Naval Reactors program.

The following are excerpts of Administrator D’Agostino’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery during this morning’s hearing:  

  • ON THE NNSA’S SUPPORT OF A MODERN NUCLEAR NAVY: “Last year, the Nuclear Posture Review reaffirmed the vital role that nuclear submarines play in our strategic deterrent. For FY 2012, President Obama has requested $1.1 billion for NNSA’s naval reactors program.”
  • ON IMPLEMENTING THE PRESIDENT’S NONPROLIFERATION AGENDA: “As President Obama has said, the threat of a terrorist acquiring and using a nuclear weapon is the most immediate and extreme threat we face.   His FY 2012 budget includes $2.5 billion in FY 2012 and $14.2 billion over the next five years to reduce the global nuclear threat by detecting, securing, safeguarding, disposing and controlling nuclear and radiological material, as well as promoting the responsible application of nuclear technology and science.  This includes stemming the risk of expertise proliferation through innovative science and technology partnerships.”
  • ON NONPROLIFERATION AS A NATIONAL SECURITY PRIORITY: “If I could, I would like to make a simple, but important statement. Preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and keeping dangerous nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists is a vital national security priority, and these are without a doubt national security programs.”
  • ON INVESTING IN THE FUTURE: “Investing in the scientific and technical underpinnings of our program is critical to implementing the President’s nuclear security agenda. This is serious business.  We need the best minds in the country working at our national laboratories and sites to develop new tools that will keep the American people safe and enhance global security … A modern, 21st century nuclear security enterprise is essential to preventing nuclear terrorism or nuclear proliferation. These missions are interrelated.  They rely on the same skill sets, the same people, and many of the same facilities.”

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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.