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NNSA Administrator Addresses Stockpile Management Plans at New START Ratification Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Administrator Thomas P. D’Agostino today testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the New START Treaty and NNSA’s ability to ensure the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile under the Treaty. The Administrator highlighted the important role NNSA would have in implemented the New START Treaty, and reaffirmed that the treaty would have no effect on NNSA’s ability to maintain the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile.

Administrator D’Agostino joined Dr. James N. Miller, the Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, and the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, General Kevin P. Chilton, at today’s hearing.

The following are excerpts of the Administrator’s prepared remarks, which can be found at the NNSA News website:

  • ON THE TREATY’S IMPACT ON NNSA’S STOCKPILE MANAGEMENT PLANS: “First and foremost, I want to make clear that the New START Treaty will not affect NNSA’s ability to maintain the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile.” 
  • ON NNSA’S SUPPORT TO TREATY VERIFICATION:  “The United States relies on NNSA and the National Laboratories for the development of technologies for treaty verification and nonproliferation initiatives.  Under New START, U.S. inspectors will use equipment developed by the NNSA National Laboratories for the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces and START I Treaties.  Should new radiation detection equipment be required, specialists from the Nuclear Security Enterprise will play an essential role in the development and evaluation process.”
  • ON THE PROSPECTS FOR INCREASED STRATEGIC STABILITY: “The New START Treaty, if ratified and entered into force, commits the United States and Russian Federation to further reduce our deployed strategic nuclear weapons in a predictable, transparent and verifiable manner, thereby increasing stability between our countries, while demonstrating in a concrete manner the U.S. and Russian commitment to our obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.” 
  • ON NNSA’S NAVAL REACTORS PROGRAM: “The Nuclear Posture Review also reinforced the necessity to maintain the capability of the most survivable leg of the triad with a sea-based strategic deterrent.  Naval Reactors began reactor and propulsion plant design in fiscal year 2010 for the OHIO Replacement submarine to support the Navy's schedule.  Reactor plant components will be procured in 2017 to allow for the long manufacturing spans and need for these components in submarine construction to support the Navy’s need for a reactor core that will last for the more-than-40-year life of the submarine.” 
  • ON THE FY2011 BUDGET REQUEST:   “As the size of the stockpile decreases, our deterrent must rely even more on a strong capabilities-based infrastructure that can respond rapidly to technical and geopolitical challenges. We have included a substantial increase in funding in the fiscal year 2011-2015 budget request, shaped by requirements and the ability of the Nuclear Security Enterprise to efficiently ‘ramp up’ within the constraints of time, capacity and capability to spend the increased funds.”


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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. Visit for more information.