NNSA cites 2013 accomplishments as 2014 begins

The National Nuclear Security Administration released a list on Thursday of its most important accomplishments and improvements over the last year, including its achievements of significant milestones in nonproliferation and counterterrorism.

The list included accomplishments in operations and at its sites, emergency preparedness trainings and university programs and international partnerships to support nonproliferation and the removal of dangerous materials. The NNSA also said it accomplished many goals through its work with the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.

"In 2013, even with a challenging budget situation, NNSA's successes ensured that the United States' nuclear weapons stockpile is safe, secure and effective; saved taxpayers millions of dollars; and supported emergency preparedness and the next generation of nuclear security workers," Bruce Held, the acting administrator for the NNSA, said. "Our people, both our government employees and the employees in our government-owned labs and plants, have done great work executing our mission and improving the way we do business."

Improvements included two successful B61-12 radar drop tests as part of an effort to refurbish the aging nuclear bomb without using underground nuclear testing, the successful removal of remaining highly enriched uranium from Hungary, Vietnam and the Czech Republic through the NNSA's Global Threat Reduction Initiative and the removal of material that could be used in dirty bombs from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Russia's northern coastline, Boston and Philadelphia.

The NNSA also partnered with local, state, federal and foreign governments to support trainings and workshops throughout the world on nuclear forensics, nuclear security and emergency preparedness.

The 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.