Research at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory supports the nation’s nuclear weapon Stockpile Stewardship Program as well as studies high energy density physics and astrophysical phenomena. Courtesy/NNSA
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced Friday that the last of the Security Category I/II special nuclear material items that required the highest level of security at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have been removed.
LLNL’s primary mission will continue to be to ensure the safety, security and reliability of the nuclear weapons stockpile, but this mission will now be performed with a small quantity of special nuclear material, resulting in annual cost savings for taxpayers of approximately $40 million.
“We’re always looking for ways to improve the way we do business,” NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino said. “Consolidating this nuclear material will help save critical taxpayer dollars, help improve the safety and security posture at the site, and help align our enterprise for the coming decades. The team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory deserves a lot of credit for doing this efficiently and safely.”
In 2006, NNSA began to develop a plan to transform the nuclear weapons enterprise and to consolidate special nuclear material as much as possible.
NNSA issued an environmental analysis in 2008 that allowed for the removal of Category I/II special nuclear material items from LLNL by the end of FY 2012.
The removal and consolidation efforts have eliminated high security special nuclear materials from LLNL’s Plutonium Facility, which is located in an area known as the “Superblock.”