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NNSA Administrator Highlights President’s Nuclear Security Objectives in FY 2013 Budget Request during House Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development today, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Administrator Thomas D’Agostino outlined President Obama’s FY 2013 budget request, which gives NNSA the resources it needs to achieve the President’s nuclear security objectives, shape the future of nuclear security, and continuously improve the way it does business.

Administrator D’Agostino was joined by Anne Harrington, Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, and Admiral Kirkland H. Donald, Deputy Administrator for Naval Reactors. Submitted to Congress earlier this month, the President’s request includes $11.5 billion for NNSA, an increase of $536 million over the FY 12 appropriation. It includes $7.58 billion for NNSA’s defense programs, $2.46 billion for its 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. Full testimony is available online here.

  • ON THE PRESIDENT’S FY 2013 BUDGET REQUEST: “In April 2009 in Prague, President Obama shared his vision for a world without nuclear weapons, free from the threat of nuclear terrorism, and united in our approach toward shared nuclear security goals. The President’s FY 13 request for NNSA is $11.5 billion, an increase of $536 million, or 4.9%, over the FY 12 appropriation. The request reaffirms the national commitment to his vision, applying world-class science that addresses our nation’s greatest nuclear security challenges and building NNSA’s 21st century nuclear security enterprise through key investments in our people and infrastructure, including the revitalization of our existing facilities.” 

  • ON NNSA’S DEFENSE NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION BUDGET REQUEST: “The Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation budget request provides the $2.46 billion to continue these and other critical nonproliferation and nuclear security efforts. Our continued focus on innovative and ambitious nonproliferation and nuclear security efforts is vital. The threat is not gone, and the consequences of nuclear terrorism and state proliferation would be devastating. Detonation of a nuclear device anywhere in the world would lead to significant loss of life, and overwhelming economic, political, and psychological consequences. We must remain committed to reducing the risk of nuclear terrorism and state-based proliferation.”

  • ON NNSA’S RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, TRADE SUPPORT: “We will continue to research and develop tools and technologies to detect the proliferation of nuclear materials as well as nuclear detonations. We will provide technical support and leadership to our interagency colleagues during the negotiation and implementation of arms control treaties, as we did with NEW START. We will expand on our ongoing efforts to strengthen the capabilities of our foreign partners to implement international nonproliferation and nuclear security norms, and support the critically important work of the International Atomic Energy Agency. We will continue to play a supporting role in the negotiation of Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Agreements – so-called 123 Agreements – which are so crucial for achieving our nuclear nonproliferation and trade objectives.”

  • ON NNSA’S FISSILE MATERIAL DISPOSITION PROGRAM: “The President’s FY 13 budget request also keeps focus on our commitment to eliminate U.S. excess weapons materials and supports the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility and Waste Solidification Building at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The $569.5 million committed to the MOX and related activities this year will lead to the permanent elimination of enough plutonium for at least 8,500 nuclear weapons, which will be matched by similar commitments by the Russian Federation. We have eliminated the line item for a Pit Disassembly and Conversion Facility for the MOX program, opting instead for a preferred alternative approach to producing feedstock that is much less costly by utilizing existing facilities at the Savannah River Site and Los Alamos National Laboratory.”

  • ON NNSA’S NAVAL NUCLEAR REACTORS BUDGET REQUEST: “NNSA’s Naval Reactors program directly supports all aspects of the U.S. Navy's nuclear fleet, which encompasses the Navy’s submarines and aircraft carriers, over 40 percent of the U.S. Navy’s major combatants. Currently, the nuclear fleet is composed of 54 attack submarines, 14 ballistic missile submarines, 4 guided missile submarines, and 11 aircraft carriers. Over 8,300 nuclear-trained Navy personnel safely operate the propulsion plants on these ships all over the world, and their consistent forward presence protects our national interests. Our $1.1 billion FY 13 request will support the refueling overhaul for the S8G Land-Based Prototype reactor, the design of the OHIO replacement reactor plant, and recapitalization of our naval spent nuclear fuel infrastructure.”

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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.