WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The United States is accelerating efforts to dismantle its nuclear weapons while bringing the overall U.S. nuclear stockpile down dramatically, with plans to reduce its nuclear weapons complex over the next decade. It will also continue to play a leading role in reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism around the world.
That will be the message that National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) senior officials will deliver this week to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna on Wednesday and to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Thursday.
NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino and Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation William Tobey will speak to the U.N.-sponsored bodies with Dr. Christopher Ford, the State Department's nuclear nonproliferation global representative.
"We will brief both the IAEA and the Conference on Disarmament on the United States record of compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and other U.S. efforts to advance nonproliferation," D'Agostino said. "This includes a 50 percent reduction in the U.S. nuclear arsenal since 2001, dismantling greater numbers of nuclear weapons, our plans to shrink our nuclear weapons complex, and our cooperation with over 100 nations in nuclear nonproliferation and threat reduction work."
Last October, D'Agostino and Tobey gave a similar briefing at the United Nations First Committee in New York City.
In 2004, President George W. Bush unilaterally signed a directive to cut the entire U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile in half by 2012. That goal was met five years early by NNSA and the Department of Defense. In December 2007, President Bush announced a further reduction of nearly 15 percent in the overall stockpile by 2012. When that is completed, the overall U.S. stockpile will be less than one-quarter its size at the end of the Cold War.
"With the reductions ordered by President Bush in the U.S. stockpile and NNSA's nuclear nonproliferation and threat reduction work overseas, the United States continues to show leadership in these important areas," D'Agostino said.
D'Agostino and Tobey will also meet with representatives from a number of nations to discuss possible international contributions to NNSA's global nonproliferation work. $45 million has already been contributed or pledged to help fund these highly successful programs.
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a separately organized agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the United States and abroad.
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