NNSA Completes Successful Nonproliferation Partnership

Press Release
Jul 18, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) completed a three-year collaboration, unveiling new software that will accelerate the development of a next generation of engines for applications ranging from power generation to aviation. The technology was developed under NNSA's nuclear nonproliferation program, which, among other efforts, helps to control the spread of nuclear expertise by redirecting former nuclear weapons designers into peaceful, civilian ventures.

"In addition to stopping nuclear materials and technology, nonproliferation efforts must also address the threat of vulnerable nuclear expertise. This multi-year research and development effort will help to develop a new generation of energy efficient heat engines, and has the added benefit of providing former Russian nuclear weapons scientists with sustainable, commercial work," said William Tobey, NNSA's top nonproliferation official.

Under NNSA's Global Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention program, a partnership was established between General Electric's Global Research, Kinetic Technologies (a Russian technology firm which spun off from a former Russian weapons institute) and the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory to develop the software.

Kinetic's former Russian nuclear weapons designers and software engineers worked with scientists from General Electric's Global Research to develop software that can predict the operation and performance of next-generation combustion systems. Applications of this software will help in the development of a next generation of high performance, energy efficient, cost-saving engines. This could lead to new, more environmentally friendly engines in the transportation, energy and aviation sectors.

The goal of NNSA's program is to team private U.S. businesses with former weapons of mass destruction scientists and engineers to work together on high technology research and development projects that have commercial applications. NNSA facilitates the partnerships through its national laboratories and U.S. companies who are members of the United States Industry Coalition.

NNSA has engaged over 16,000 former weapons of mass destruction specialists and helped to create over 5,000 civilian jobs. Most of the program's efforts have been directed at the displaced workforce in the large, former Soviet Union's weapons complex. More recently, the program has engaged scientists in Libya and Iraq.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a separately organized 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 United States and abroad.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371