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Published:February 5th, 2007 06:19 EST
 Report on Plans for Future of the Nuclear Weapons Complex

Report on Plans for Future of the Nuclear Weapons Complex

By SOP newswire

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) released a report today that further outlines its plans to modernize the nation’s aging, Cold War-era nuclear weapons complex. With its “Complex 2030” plan for the future, NNSA is seeking to transform today’s complex into one that is smaller, more efficient, more secure and better able to respond to technical problems in the stockpile and emerging national security needs.

“NNSA’s Complex 2030 is built around a comprehensive strategy to transform the nuclear weapons stockpile, reduce the size of and modernize the physical infrastructure of the complex, make the operations of NNSA more efficient, advance science for our mission, and better secure materials and property through consolidation,” said Thomas P. D’Agostino, NNSA’s acting administrator.

The report was directed by the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act and it was developed in consultation with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Nuclear Weapons Council. A key finding of the report says that the complex’s total square footage and the number of employees funded by NNSA’s nuclear weapons accounts could each be reduced by as much as one-third in the future. The report also notes that it is NNSA’s goal to carry out Complex 2030 within existing funding levels and program structures.

According to the report, NNSA will analyze four different alternatives in its ongoing environmental assessment of Complex 2030, which are: a “No Action Alternative” to analyze the impact of no infrastructure changes; a “Distributed Centers of Excellence Transformation Alternative” to analyze the transformation of the complex to one that is smaller, more efficient, and more responsive; a “Consolidated Nuclear Production Center Transformation Alternative” to analyze a single facility for all nuclear weapon’s research, development, and production activities; and a “Capability-Based Alternative” to analyze reducing the production facilities to nominal levels.

Complex 2030 refers to the configuration of the nuclear weapons complex that NNSA envisions by the year 2030. It includes fewer facilities that are safer and more secure, consolidating special nuclear materials, eliminating duplicative capabilities, establishing a consolidated plutonium center, and implementing more efficient and uniform business practices throughout the complex.

The future plan will also achieve President Bush’s vision of the smallest stockpile consistent with our national security needs. By 2012, the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile will be reduced by nearly 50 percent from the 2001 level, making it the smallest stockpile since the Eisenhower administration.

“We need to begin now to transform today’s Cold War complex and to modernize it so that we have the infrastructure, the people and the business practices in place that are agile, dependable and able to meet tomorrow’s national needs – whatever they may be,” said D’Agostino.

NNSA’s nuclear weapons complex consists of the eight major facilities across the country that work together to keep the nation’s nuclear stockpile safe and reliable without underground nuclear testing. The facilities include: Los Alamos National Laboratory (NM), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (CA), Sandia National Laboratories (NM and CA), Pantex Plant (TX), Y-12 National Security Complex (TN), Kansas City Plant (MO), Savannah River Site (SC) and Nevada Test Site (NV).

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.

View the full text of the report: Report on the Plan for Transformation of the NNSA’s Nuclear Weapons Complex

NNSA Public Affairs   (202) 586-7371