WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has removed 80 percent of its special nuclear material requiring the highest level of security protection.
LLNL has completed shipments to five different receiver sites, including Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Nevada National Security Site, the Savannah River Site, Y-12 Security Complex, and the Idaho National Laboratory, since the de-inventory project was initiated in October 2006. These shipments were completed in full compliance with safety and environmental laws and procedures. All federal and receiver site requirements were met for these shipments.
“The removal of 80 percent of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s highest security category nuclear material demonstrates continued progress and is the result of some very hard work,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Don Cook. “NNSA continues to make tremendous strides in transforming a Cold War nuclear weapons complex into a 21st century nuclear security enterprise that is smaller, safer, and more efficient. Safely and efficiently removing special nuclear material from Livermore by the end of 2012 is a major part of that effort.”
The move is part of NNSA’s efforts to consolidate special nuclear material at five sites by the end of 2012, with significantly reduced square footage at those sites by 2017. This will further improve security and reduce costs as part of NNSA’s overall effort to transform the Cold War era nuclear weapons enterprise into a 21st century nuclear security enterprise.
Originally, NNSA initiated a plan, based on equipment capability and capacity, to remove all high-security material from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2014. Subsequently, NNSA was able to develop an accelerated timeline to remove this material safely and securely in 2012.
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.