NNSA Administrator Thomas P. D’Agostino Delivers Keynote Address for the 2011 TVC National Technology Summit

Press Release
May 16, 2011

CHATTANOOGA, TN – In a keynote address today before the 2011 Tennessee Valley Corridor National Technology Summit, NNSA Administrator Thomas P. D’Agostino highlighted the important relationship between NNSA, the Y-12 National Security Complex, and the Tennessee Valley. 

In an address titled “Investing in NNSA is an Investment in the Tennessee Valley,” Administrator D’Agostino spoke about NNSA’s role in economic development and new jobs in the Tennessee Valley, NNSA’s FY2012 budget request, and implementing President Obama’s nuclear security agenda. 

The following are excerpts of Administrator D’Agostino’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

ON THE URANIUM PROCESSING FACILITY: “In addition to being one of the largest construction projects in the Southeastern United States, UPF will also reinforce the vital role that East Tennessee plays in keeping the American people safe and pushing the frontiers of science and discovery.”

ON NNSA’S RESPONSE TO THE SITUATION IN JAPAN: “Everyone in the NNSA is proud of the important role we are playing in dealing with this tragedy.  It shows the commitment to service and the excellence that exists across our enterprise.  It shows what we are capable of when we act as One NNSA. And it highlights the importance of the investments President Obama has requested for NNSA and the Department.”

ON NNSA’S ROLE IN JOB CREATION: “The mentor-protégé agreements allow protégé companies to benefit from the expertise that is housed at Y‑12, and Y‑12 benefits from the production capabilities of these industrial partners. 

We license the technology to private industry, they develop a commercial product, and we purchase the production unit for use at Y‑12. Private industry can do this faster and cheaper than we can.  Local private sector jobs get created, and we all win.”

ON FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: “But we must also recognize that Congress and the American people have many competing demands for limited resources, and that our request for additional investments comes at a time of acute financial stress for our entire country.  While I believe nothing is more important than ensuring our nation’s security, it is my responsibility to ensure that we can manage these increased resources wisely.”

ON IMPROVING THE WAY NNSA DOES BUSINESS: “For us, improving our project management is a part of achieving our mission. To better ensure we bring major projects like UPF to completion on time and on budget, we must ensure that we have qualified project managers leading our major projects. We will set cost and schedule baselines on construction projects when design work is 90 percent complete, and we will subject those estimates to rigorous independent reviews.”

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the 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 U.S. and abroad. Visit www.nnsa.energy.gov for more information.