Subject: LANL-ALL2287: Director's Outlook
Date: Mon, 08 Jun 2009 12:25:21 -0600
June 8, 2009
Positioning the Laboratory to meet global security challenges
President Obama announced in Prague earlier this spring that he and his Administration will work tirelessly to “ensure that terrorists never acquire a nuclear weapon.” In order to meet that goal, he announced “a new international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years.” He added, “We will set new standards, expand our cooperation with Russia, pursue new partnerships to lock down these sensitive materials.”
We see frequent evidence that the challenge of proliferation is not shrinking but in fact growing. We were reminded of this most recently by news reports that North Korea had attempted yet another nuclear test.
As you all know, the Laboratory has for decades played a significant role in what to date we have called Threat Reduction. Threat Reduction is not one mission but many, providing support to the NNSA’s nonproliferation efforts, to the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the broader intelligence community. Among other areas, the Lab has been a leader in developing technologies to detect and identify nuclear materials, as well as safeguards technologies that ensure that materials are secure and accounted for.
The work that LANL and the other NNSA laboratories do in this area is well recognized, and elements of that work were cited in the recent report of the bipartisan Strategic Posture Commission. In the area of nuclear weapons intelligence analysis, the Commission specifically noted that “For decades, the laboratories have provided unique insights into foreign weapons programs because of their ability to bring weapons design expertise to the study of such programs. As concern about nuclear proliferation and terrorism has grown over the last two decades, this expertise has been in rising demand.”
Given the importance of these mission areas to the Laboratory’s future and their increasing emphasis by the Administration, I have elevated the level of the Laboratory’s leadership position in this area to principal associate director, or PAD.
This new organization, which includes programs in nonproliferation, intelligence support, defense, counterterrorism, and homeland security, will lead the Laboratory’s initiatives to meet the nation’s global security challenges.
In the coming weeks, I will formally announce my selection for the PAD Global Security.
Lab Director Michael Anastasio
Director Anastasio addresses the Laboratory workforce in a periodic message.
Director's Outlook: 20090607551