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Published:June 28th, 2006 14:13 EST
NNSA Establishes New Office to Lead Future of Nuclear Weapons Complex

NNSA Establishes New Office to Lead Future of Nuclear Weapons Complex

By SOP newswire

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced today the establishment of a new Office of Transformation to focus efforts to modernize its Cold War-era nuclear weapons complex. 

“Since nuclear weapons will remain a part of the U.S. national defense for the foreseeable future, NNSA will need the scientific and manufacturing infrastructure to support them.  Our goal is to have a nuclear weapons complex that is smaller, more efficient, more secure and capable of providing the tools a future president may need to respond to changing national security needs,” said Linton F. Brooks, the administrator of NNSA.

The new office will guide and oversee the implementation of NNSA’s transformational vision, titled Complex 2030  The comprehensive plan was unveiled in April to outline NNSA’s goals through the year 2030 for the nuclear weapons complex, which consists of laboratories, plants and a test site that work together to keep the nation’s nuclear stockpile safe and reliable without underground nuclear testing. 

In 2004, President Bush directed that the size of the nuclear weapons stockpile be reduced by nearly 50 percent by 2012, which will result in the smallest stockpile since the Eisenhower administration.  In order to achieve this objective, NNSA is working closely with the Department of Defense.

Key to NNSA’s transformational efforts will be the Reliable Replacement Warhead, which will ensure the long-term reliability and safety of the nuclear weapons stockpile in a safer and more secure way, enable a more supporting infrastructure, and reduce the possibility that the United States would ever need to return to underground nuclear testing. 

Also critical to NNSA’s future plans will be significant dismantling of retired warheads, consolidating special nuclear materials, establishing a consolidated plutonium center, and implementing more efficient and uniform business practices throughout the complex.  Dismantlements of nuclear weapons will shoot up nearly 50 percent from FY 2006 to FY 2007.

“The current nuclear weapons complex was built in the 1950s and 60s for the Cold War.  Unless this infrastructure is improved, we will not be suited for 21st century challenges.  As outlined in the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review, we are moving towards a nuclear deterrent that is smaller, more capable and better able to respond to changing needs.  Our Complex 2030 plan and the new Office of Transformation puts NNSA on a path to achieve this necessary national security goal,” Brooks said.  “In short, I see a future world where a smaller, safer, more secure and more reliable stockpile is backed up by a robust industrial and design capability to better respond to changing technical, geopolitical or military needs.”

Dr. George Allen has been appointed the director of the new transformation office.  Over the last year, Allen has been responsible for leading the responsive infrastructure planning and implementation actions within NNSA’s Defense Programs.  Previously, Allen was a senior manager at NNSA’s Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico for more than 27 years working on a broad spectrum of nuclear-related projects.  Allen has both a PhD and a MS in nuclear engineering, and a BS in civil engineering from MIT.  He also holds an MBA from the University of New Mexico.

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.

NNSA Public Affairs   (202) 586-7371