Approaching her one-year anniversary on the job, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty addressed the federal workforce at an All Hands meeting last month at DOE headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The Administrator highlighted NNSA’s many achievements from the past year and shared what’s in store for 2019 and beyond. She also welcomed Dr. Brent Park and Dr. Charlie Verdon, the new leaders of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation and Defense Programs, respectively.
“2018 will always be a significant year for our Nation’s nuclear security because the Trump Administration published its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR),” said Gordon-Hagerty. “It set a clear course to modernize our enterprise for 21st century threats.”
She addressed the path forward on plutonium pit production – a two-site approach endorsed by the Nuclear Weapons Council that repurposes the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site and maintains Los Alamos National Laboratory as the Nation’s Plutonium Center of Excellence.
Gordon-Hagerty highlighted infrastructure milestones such as the start of construction for the Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12 National Security Complex, the opening of the John C. Drummond Center at the Pantex Plant, and the groundbreaking on the Albuquerque Complex Project.
“While our infrastructure must be revitalized, one key part of the Nuclear Security Enterprise is as capable as it has ever been: you, our people,” said the Administrator. “As powerhouses of innovation, NNSA’s labs, plants, and sites took home an astounding 13 R&D 100 Awards this year. These are the ‘Oscars of Invention’ and we’re not winning them because we have the best facilities, we’re winning them because we have the best people.”
Looking to the future, Gordon-Hagerty added, “We can’t rest on our laurels. We are at the highest level of activity since the Cold War and have launched an integrated plan to recruit the next generation of scientists, engineers, and technicians into our enterprise.”
In closing, the Administrator said, “As I traveled to all of our labs, plants, and sites in 2018, and met with our employees from South Carolina to Nevada, I was left with one overwhelming impression: we are up to every challenge laid out in the NPR, and to every charge we are given. And that’s because of you.”