National Nuclear Security Administration

NNSA & Nuclear Security Enterprise support nation’s preparedness

February 5, 2016

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Scientists at NNSA facilities study climate and meteorology. Other sites are key players in weather preparedness.

Today, on National Weatherperson Day, NNSA recognizes numerous contributions to the nation’s climate and weather readiness in any situation. With emergency response as one of its core missions, NNSA’s enterprise helps prepare the nation against the worst disasters, with weather as an important component in the equation of security.

NNSA’s labs have been recognized internationally for their invaluable work in climate modeling and aid in emergency weather preparedness. NNSA’s Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories are active as Weather-Ready Nation (WRN) Ambassadors for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) effort to strengthen national resilience against extreme weather.

NNSA’s Pantex Plant has been recognized as one of the National Weather Service’s StormReady sites for its community activism in severe weather preparedness. Staff at NNSA’s Los Alamos Laboratory received the GreenGov Presidential Award in November 2015 for their proactive commitment to environmental stewardship through planning, monitoring, and response.

Three of NNSA’s labs, Sandia, Lawrence Livermore, and Los Alamos, work in a partnership with other labs and groups to generate the most complete climate and Earth system models for climate change issues. Lawrence Livermore and Sandia each have a dedicated organization for monitoring and studying climate, while Los Alamos has two (here and here).

NNSA’s meteorological expertise also plays a big role in the nation’s preparedness against nuclear threats via the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center (NARAC), which conducts atmospheric dispersion modeling of hazardous materials in support of health and safety decision making. NARAC is also a key stakeholder in the Interagency Modeling and Atmospheric Assessment Center. With support from across the nuclear security enterprise, NNSA’s emergency response assets are integrated into the Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center to keep the nation safe in case of radioactive threats by, among other activities, evaluating weather conditions. 

Many dedicated men and women of NNSA’s enterprise are expert weatherpersons as part of their jobs in national security, using highly specialized technology for accurate data-gathering and collaborating with other experts and the public in educational and emergency outreach.