WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Nuclear Security Administration on Thursday marked the 10th anniversary of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, GTRI. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, reducing the threat of terrorist acquisition of nuclear or radiological material has been a core mission of NNSA, and it is a mission that will continue into the future.
“The Global Threat Reduction Initiative’s history demonstrates how seriously we take this mission and our commitment to fulfilling President Obama’s nuclear security agenda,” said U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Frank G. Klotz. “However, the threat to national and global security from state or terrorist acquisition of nuclear and radiological materials is far from gone, and our focus now is on addressing the substantial threats that remain.”
GTRI, an NNSA nuclear nonproliferation program, works with partners around the world to reduce and consolidate global stockpiles of highly enriched uranium, or HEU, and plutonium, and to secure dangerous radiological sources both at home and abroad. GTRI and its predecessor programs have removed and secured more than enough material for 980 nuclear weapons and tens of thousands of radiological dirty bombs by converting HEU research reactors and isotope production facilities to the use of low enriched uranium, or LEU; removing or confirming disposition of HEU and plutonium; and securing nuclear and radiological sites around the world.
GTRI’s accomplishments owe a great deal to the partnerships it has been able to develop. This includes the critical technical partnerships with many of the sites across the DOE complex: in particular, Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Nevada National Security Site, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Savanah River Site, and Y-12 National Security Complex. In addition, GTRI works in close collaboration with a number of international partners, including the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, as well as through bilateral and other multilateral frameworks.
Highlights of GTRI’s achievements during the past 10 years include:
- Removing or confirming the disposition of more than 4,100 kilograms of nuclear material around the world (enough material to make more than 150 nuclear weapons), removing all HEU material from 16 countries and Taiwan, and exceeding the goals for nuclear removals in support of President Obama’s Four-Year Effort.
- Accelerating the pace of reactor conversions in response to the post-9/11 focus on HEU minimization, resulting in the conversion of 48 reactors that no longer use materials that are attractive to terrorists.
- Installing security upgrades at more than 1,600 civilian, domestic, and international nuclear research reactors and radiological facilities.
- Recovering more than 36,000 disused or orphaned sources domestically, permanently reducing the risk of material theft.
- Working with international partners to secure three metric tons of plutonium and 10 metric tons of HEU remaining at the BN-350 reactor in Kazakhstan—more than enough material for 775 nuclear weapons.
A fact sheet on GTRI is available here.
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.