Brent Park, NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation

Dr. Brent K. Park, NNSA's Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation

“NNSA is at the forefront of protecting the Nation – and the world – from nuclear threats,” said Dr. Brent K. Park, the agency’s nonproliferation chief. Speaking at Sandia National Laboratories’ Cooperative Monitoring Center (CMC), Dr. Park allowed that sometimes it’s appropriate to consider all that has been accomplished.

One such occasion was CMC’s 25th anniversary event, where Dr. Park was the keynote speaker in November. The event was co-hosted by the Lab’s Global Security division.  Founded in 1994, CMC is part of Sandia’s effort to engender cooperation within the international nuclear security community.

“The 25-year mark is a time to reflect, celebrate, and look forward to the future to continue to make a difference.  The U.S. National Laboratories are critical to accomplishing the nonproliferation mission.  There is strong nonpartisan support for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation’s (DNN) work, and strong coordination and cooperation among U.S. interagency members in this area,” said Dr. Park during his remarks. He is the Deputy Administrator for DNN.

Dr. Park shared his perspectives on leading NNSA’s efforts and engagements to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation and to reduce the threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism around the world.  Throughout his remarks, Dr. Park stressed DNN’s decades of experience in the areas of nuclear security and safeguards

“Prevent, counter, and respond, are the three command words we use to describe our overall approach to nonproliferation and counterterrorism.  We spend a lot of time and energy to remove materials that could be used for radiological dispersal devices and improvised nuclear devices, or anything in-between; we have removed a lot of it and continue to do so,” he said.

“But DNN does so much more,” he said.

“We invest a significant amount of time on the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. Examples include our molybdenum-99 medical isotope work and our Proliferation Resistance Optimized Core, or PROCore, program.  Further, we have deployed many satellite-based detection sensors in partnership with the U.S. Air Force.”

Nonproliferation work relies on strategic partnerships with many nations, he added.

“Of course, we also work with countries around the world to help them detect and protect the materials they have.  Our work abroad is further bolstered by our relationship and cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is first-rate.”