Source: NNSA | Release | December 22, 2016
NNSA Highlights 2016 Successes in Stockpile Stewardship, Nuclear Security, Naval Propulsion & Enterprise Management
The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) recently released “2016 Year in Review,” a report highlighting major accomplishments from the past year across NNSA’s national security missions, and detailing noteworthy improvements in project management and enterprise oversight.
“The Nuclear Security Enterprise faces significant challenges. We must sustain an aging nuclear deterrent and modernize the infrastructure that supports it. We must protect nuclear and radiological materials around the world from those who want to do us harm. We must keep pace with national defense requirements, including the need for nuclear propulsion to support a modernized nuclear Navy,” said Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz (Ret.), Undersecretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator of NNSA.
“We strive constantly to deliver our programs and projects, and thereby fulfill our commitments to the President, to Congress, and to the American people,” Klotz said.
Select achievements by NNSA in 2016 included:
- Formally authorizing the production engineering phase of the B61-12 Life Extension Program (LEP), which remains on track for a first production unit in March 2020. When this LEP is finished, it will add at least 20 years to the life of the system, enable the retirement of the B83-1, and result in a 50 percent reduction in the number of nuclear gravity bombs in the stockpile and an 80 percent reduction in the amount of nuclear material used in air-delivered gravity weapons.
- Reaching major milestones in science and supercomputing during the 22nd year of the science-based Stockpile Stewardship Program, which enables the U.S. to maintain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent without nuclear explosive testing. These included a record 417 total shots for the year at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif.; and completing the installation of the Trinity-Haswell high performance computing system at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M.
- Playing a pivotal role in developing and implementing many of the U.S. and international commitments associated with the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., such as removals of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium and securing high-priority radiological sources within the United States and overseas.
- Removing or confirming the disposition of over 750 kilograms of HEU and separated plutonium from 10 countries—enough for 30 nuclear weapons; and recovering more than 7,000 disused and unwanted radioactive sources from within the United States and around the world.
- Restructuring NNSA’s emergency management and response programs to manage and coordinate an all-hazards, Department-wide approach to emergency preparedness and to support coordination throughout the Federal government.
- Achieving initial criticality in both reactors aboard the new Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier, the first new design aircraft carrier propulsion plants built in 40 years; and advancing manufacturing technology for reactor elements that will be used in the Ohio-class replacement project.
- Breaking ground on a new building to consolidate operations at the Pantex Plant, and continuing with engineering and design of a new administrative building in Albuquerque. When complete, these projects will enable thousands of employees to work in modern, energy-efficient facilities and meet the needs of NNSA’s 21st century operations.
The report, available at https://nnsa.energy.gov/content/2016-year-review, also details numerous additional achievements in stockpile stewardship, nonproliferation, naval propulsion, site security, project oversight management, and other core NNSA responsibilities.