Subcommittee Examines Nuclear Weapons Complex Security Challenges

Members express shock over Y-12 security breach, and call for improved oversight and accountability.

House_Energy__Commerce_LogoThe Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations continued its oversight of the Department of Energy’s management of our nation’s most sensitive nuclear facilities with a hearing to examine a range of management and administrative challenges confronting DOE, including the recent security breakdown at the Y-12 National Security Complex. Senior officials from DOE – including Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman and Inspector General Gregory Friedman – and the GAO provided testimony.

The Energy and Commerce Committee has a long-standing bipartisan tradition of conducting oversight of DOE and the National Nuclear Security Administration’s management of the nuclear weapons complex. As part of their oversight efforts, committee leaders recently wrote to the Government Accountability Office requesting assistance in evaluating oversight of nuclear weapons complex contractors’ self-assessment programs, expressing concern over the effectiveness of the program and NNSA’s planned workforce reduction.

Members expressed shock and frustration over the security lapse at the Y-12 facility and called for increased federal oversight of our nation’s nuclear weapons facilities. “When an 82-year-old pacifist nun gets to the inner sanctum of our weapons complex, you cannot say job well done,” said Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX). “If there is ever a time for more aggressive oversight, this is it.”

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Hearing on “DOE’s Nuclear Weapons Complex: Challenges to Safety, Security, and Taxpayer Stewardship”
Click here to read the opening statement of Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns.
Click here to read the opening statement of Energy and Commerice Chairman Fred Upton.

Source: Energy & Commerce Committee | U.S. House of Representatives
Image: Energy & Commerce Committee | U.S. House of Representatives