The spectrum of NNSA work


You might see an NNSA helicopter in your city supporting national security by conducting radiation assessments in preparation for large events like the national party conventions, the Boston Marathon, and the Super Bowl.

OST vehicle

NNSA’s Office of Secure Transportation is responsible for the safe and secure transport in the United States of special nuclear materials, which are transported in secure tractor-trailers and escorted by Federal Agents in escort vehicles to provide security and incident response in the event of emergencies.


NNSA team members throughout the enterprise volunteer and engage students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educational outreach. One program, hosted earlier this year, trained NNSA headquarters team members to get kids excited for STEM by giving away tiny microscopes.


NNSA’s laboratories buzz with activity in the health sciences: Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories helped uncover the viral mechanisms of infection by creating screening libraries based on special genome-editing technology.


NNSA’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is developing a “human-on-a-chip,” a miniature external replication of the human body, integrating biology and engineering with a combination of microfluidics and multi-electrode arrays.


From a brain-inspired supercomputer for physics simulations to materials science from the structure of cow eyes, NNSA’s laboratories are adept at linking biology with technology to shed light on the human brain.


The National Ignition Facility’s Advanced Radiographic Capability is the world’s highest-energy short-pulse laser, and takes high resolution X-ray images at very high speeds and brightness under experimental conditions – “tiny movies” – that are relevant to understanding the operation of modern nuclear weapons.

Small feature fabrication 3D printer

An award-winning 3D-printing device developed by NNSA’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory enabled the rapid printing of fine details over large areas, unlike any 3D-printing capability before.

Carbon nanotube

NNSA’s national laboratories apply tiny science to do all kinds of marvelous things, including making nanotubes more than 50,000 times thinner than a human hair to cheaply and quickly remove salt from water and pollution from the air.

Plutonium atom

NNSA’s Los Alamos National Laboratory has a special facility for processing plutonium to support a wide range of national security programs including stockpile stewardship, nuclear materials stabilization, materials disposition, nuclear forensics, nuclear counter-terrorism, and nuclear energy.

Heavy water molecule

When deuterium, a non-radioactive isotope of tritium with a neutron in the atom in addition to the proton and electron, mixes with water you get “heavy water.” NNSA has been recognized for its commitment to serving the nation’s security interests and protecting the environment in its secure storage and inventory accountability of heavy water.