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GAO: NNSA Should Develop Long-Term Nuclear Weapons Surveillance Strategy

Nuclear explosionThe Government Accountability Office has called on the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration to develop a long-term strategy for the assessment and monitoring of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.

GAO said Wednesday it found that NNSA did not fully implement the agency’s Enhanced Surveillance Program under its 2007 Surveillance Transformation Project, which aimed to test a weapon system and its components to validate standard compliance.

The 2007 initiative also required NNSA to expand Enhanced Surveillance Program tests with the use of computer models to forecast the impacts of aging on weapon components and evaluate diagnostic tools.

GAO also found that the NNSA cut program spending by more than half from fiscal year 2007 to fiscal year 2015, postponed key activities and minimized the program’s scope.

The government watchdog recommends that NNSA develop strategic goals, identify the necessary resources to meet those goals and develop performance measures to monitor progress.

NNSA has agreed with GAO’s recommendation and plans to complete development of a long-term strategy by June 2017.

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