NNSA administrator highlights Obama's nuclear security agenda

Washington, D.C., April 5, 2011 — In testimony before the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator Thomas D'Agostino said President Barack Obama's FY 2012 budget request provides the resources required to invest in the future of the nuclear security enterprise, implement the president's nuclear security agenda and improve the way the NNSA does business.

Administrator D'Agostino was joined by Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington in discussing the resources requested for NNSA's nuclear nonproliferation program.

Submitted to Congress in mid-February, the budget request includes $11.8 billion for NNSA, an increase of 5.1 percent from the $11.2 billion requested for FY 2011.

It includes $7.6 billion for NNSA's defense programs, $2.5 billion for its nuclear nonproliferation program and $1.1 billion for NNSA's naval reactors program.

The following are excerpts of Administrator D'Agostino's opening remarks as prepared for delivery during this morning's hearing:

* On NNSA's response to the situation in Japan: "To assist in the response, the Department deployed 45 people and more than 17,200 pounds of equipment to Japan, including NNSA's Aerial Measuring System and our Consequence Management Response Teams. They are on the ground utilizing their unique skills, expertise and equipment to help our partners in Japan... We continue to work with our laboratories and sites to identify equipment and expertise that can be of use to our Japanese colleagues as they continue to address this crisis."

* On NNSA's role in national security: "Preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and keeping dangerous nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists is a vital national security priority. These are without a doubt national security programs, and I hope this committee and the Congress will treat them as such."

* On investing in the future: "This budget request seeks to make critical investments in the future of our enterprise, which will allow us to continue to implement the president's nuclear security agenda and respond to crises like the one in Japan."

* On the need to support the full range of nuclear security missions: "Investing in a modern nuclear security enterprise is critical to our stockpile stewardship program, but it also supports the full range of NNSA's nuclear security missions, which brings me to the second key theme in this budget request: implementing the president's nuclear security agenda."

* On the president's commitment to NNSA: "President Obama has committed to invest more than $85 billion over the next decade to assure the safety, security and effectiveness of our nuclear stockpile, and to modernize the infrastructure and revitalize the science and technology base that supports our full range of nuclear security missions."

* On improving the way we do business: "Mr. Chairman, I realize that this committee has many competing requirements. And while I believe nothing is more important than ensuring our nation's security, I also recognize that this request comes at a time of acute financial stress for our entire country. It is my responsibility to assure you that we can manage those resources wisely."

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.

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