WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) today released the annual reports outlining the strategic direction for two of its vital and enduring missions—maintaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent and reducing the threat of nuclear proliferation and terrorism. These reports are key planning documents for the nuclear security enterprise and guide program activities to ensure U.S. national security and advance global nuclear security.
The Fiscal Year 2017 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan (SSMP): Biennial Plan Summary, or FY 2017 SSMP, updates last year’s full report on NNSA’s strategic program for maintaining the nuclear stockpile over the next 25 years without nuclear explosive testing. The corresponding report, Prevent, Counter, and Respond—A Strategic Plan to Reduce Global Nuclear Threats (FY 2017–FY 2021), or FY 2017 NPCR, updates last year’s full report on NNSA’s integrated strategy for preventing, countering, and responding to nuclear weapons proliferation and nuclear and radiological terrorism threats, now and in the future.
“The past year has marked major advancements within NNSA’s core missions, as these reports to Congress attest,” said Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz (Ret.), Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator of NNSA. “We have achieved 20 years of successful, science-based stockpile stewardship. NNSA continues to meet budget and timetable targets in our major life extension programs (LEPs). Our experts contributed to the landmark deal that will block Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon. The full integration of NNSA’s counterterrorism, counterproliferation, and emergency operations activities will improve collaboration and efficiency within DOE at large.
“Yet challenges remain. We must address our aging infrastructure to fully support our stockpile mission and workforce needs, and our nonproliferation mission must advance to meet the challenges posed by the continuing evolution of global nuclear proliferation threats,” Klotz said.
The FY 2017 SSMP is the plan to maintain and modernize the scientific tools, capabilities, and infrastructure necessary to ensure the success of NNSA’s nuclear weapons mission now and into the future. It addresses continued progress on LEPs, all of which are on time and on budget. The W76-1 LEP is past the halfway point in total production, while the B61-12 has completed three development flight tests. The report also details progress in recapitalizing production capabilities for plutonium, uranium, and non-nuclear special-materials, as well as advancements in our understanding of weapons physics, component aging, and material properties through science conducted throughout DOE’s national laboratory enterprise.
The FY 2017 NPCR summarizes the significant developments within NNSA’s nuclear threat reduction mission, and details the restructuring and integration of the programs responsible for preventing, countering, and responding to these threats. Foremost among developments since last year’s inaugural report is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (also known as the “Iran deal”), which blocks Iran’s pathway to a nuclear weapon, rolls back its nuclear infrastructure and stockpile, and grants international inspectors unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear facilities and sites. The 2017 NPCR also highlights the implications to NNSA’s nuclear threat reduction programs from the emergence of new terrorist threats in Western Europe and the United States, as well as the Administration’s FY 2017 proposal to pursue the “dilution and disposal” approach for disposing of excess weapons grade plutonium.
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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, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear explosive testing; works to reduce 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. Visit www.nnsa.energy.gov for more information.