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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Parney's opening and closing for the Senate Subcommittee on Strategic Forces

Anonymous said... Parney's opening and closing for the Senate Subcommittee on Strategic Forces last week; OPENING REMARKS AND SUMMARY Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today on the National Nuclear Security Administration Management of its National Security Laboratories. I am Parney Albright, Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). LLNL is one of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) nuclear design laboratories responsible for helping sustain the safety, security, and effectiveness of our nation’s strategic deterrent. In addition to our stockpile stewardship efforts, we also leverage our capabilities to develop innovative solutions to major 21st-century challenges in nuclear security, defense and international security, and energy and environmental security. I thank the committee for your continuing support for the important work we do. This is a challenging period for the federal government, with many priorities that require attention at a time of budget austerity. This is also the case for the nation’s Stockpile Stewardship Program, including the activities at Livermore. We are very excited about recent and prospective major accomplishments, which I will highlight, but we are also very concerned about impediments to current programs and long-term success in stockpile stewardship. In particular, I stress four points: - Without sustained support for nuclear weapons science, stockpile stewardship will eventually fail. - We remain optimistic about the prospect of long-term success of ―science-based‖ stockpile stewardship provided that support is sustained. The skills deriving from a solid science base will enable stockpile stewards to maintain a safe, secure, and effective deterrent and deliver on challenging life-extension programs. - Recognition of and support for the NNSA laboratories serving as ―national security laboratories‖ will better help the United States meet a broad set of 21st-century security challenges. These broader activities complement our nuclear weapons responsibilities, adding depth, breadth, and strength to the laboratories’ capabilities. - The NNSA laboratories would perform their vital national security mission much more effectively if they were managed as trusted partners of the federal government and governed in a more streamlined/cost-effective way, consistent with the original intent of the federally-funded research and development center (FFRDC) construct. CLOSING REMARKS My overall message is a ―good news‖ story with a note of caution. With continuing investments in HPC and with NIF coming on-line as a unique experimental facility to gather necessary input and validation data for nuclear weapons science simulation codes, science-based stockpile stewardship is on the path to success. However, vigilance and strong partnerships are required to sustain program support so that there will be skilled and motivated stockpile stewards as long as the nation relies on nuclear deterrence. All of us at LLNL look forward to serving as a trusted partner in the nation’s national security enterprise and are proud to provide innovative science and technology to meet a broad set of national security needs. We thank you for your continuing support

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I found Parney's comments lacking vision and uninspiring. Either that or he is a cunning fox.

Anonymous said...

Parney has spent time on the Hill and should know how the system works. At the least he did not embarrass and that makes him shine uber bright when compared to the others at the table. He still has to demonstrate that he can get out from under the NIF wave before it crashes, but so far he looks to be doing ok.

Anonymous said...

Read his entire written testimony. A ringing defense of science.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else catch the request by Charlie to have Congress change the PPA (pension protection act) so that less money would go into the plan? It is in his opening statement.
Putting more funds into the plan, as LLNL is doing might make sense -- but putting less doesn't look good. What gives??

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