NNSA: Reducing Global Nuclear Threats

Cover of the report: NNSA Prevent, Counter, and Respond—A Strategic Plan to Reduce Global Nuclear Threats

Prevent, Counter, and Respond—NNSA’s Plan to Reduce Global Nuclear Threats (FY 2022-FY 2026), below, is an annual report outlining the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration’s (DOE/NNSA) activities to address the risk of nuclear terrorism and proliferation.

Presidential guidance, including the 2021 Interim Nuclear Security Strategic Guidance, reinforces the important work of DOE/NNSA’s nonproliferation programs to “address the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons.” DOE/NNSA’s nuclear threat reduction activities extend the nation’s defenses far beyond America’s borders. These activities help keep the United States safe by:

  • Preventing adversaries from acquiring nuclear weapons or weapons-usable materials, technology, and expertise;
  • Countering efforts to acquire such weapons or materials; and
  • Responding to nuclear or radiological incidents and accidents domestically and abroad.

This report describes DOE/NNSA’s nuclear and radiological threat reduction activities within the prevent, counter, and respond strategic framework, and delineates key objectives, priorities from the fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget request, future plans for FY 2023-FY 20261, and key accomplishments from FY 2019-FY 2021.

By limiting the number of nuclear-capable states and preventing terrorist access to materials and technology that can threaten the United States and its allies, DOE/NNSA plays a critical role in enhancing global stability and constrains the range of potential threats facing the nation, its allies, and partners.

DOE/NNSA provides cross-cutting capabilities to underpin the U.S. Government’s responses to the most urgent nuclear proliferation threats and challenges. DOE/NNSA priorities include:

  • Supporting existing and new arms control agreements;
  • Addressing nuclear noncompliance by Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea;
  • Protecting U.S. technology from illicit acquisition by China, while maintaining nonproliferation and nuclear security efforts;
  • Strengthening international partnerships to increase the impact of NNSA’s efforts;
  • Harnessing civil nuclear technology to achieve energy transformation while maintaining the highest nonproliferation standards; and
  • Contributing to nuclear forensics capabilities.

In carrying out its nuclear threat reduction activities, DOE/NNSA depends on the scientific, technical, project management, and policy expertise of the Department and its national laboratories; diverse and cutting-edge infrastructure to assure operational effectiveness; the capacity for outreach to partner countries and cooperation with multilateral institutions, U.S. interagency, state, and local government counterparts.