2020 Agenda

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Tuesday | February 11

The Nuclear Weapons Enterprise - Looking Back and Looking Forward

Time: 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM| Tuesday, February 11
This seminar will take a look at the Weapons Complex from the Manhattan Project to today with projections of what the future holds in store. The speakers have all been engaged in the enterprise for the last 30 years or more and bring both a perspective of how we got where we are today and a vision for what the future needs to be. This is intended to be an interactive session, encouraging attendees to challenge the assumptions, put forth their own views, and help further the important debate about the future of the nuclear deterrent.

Opening Remarks, introduction of the other speakers

Time: 8:00 AM - 8:20 AM| Tuesday, February 11
A look at how the world has changed since the end of WWII, how technology has changed and the contrast with how weapons have had relatively minor changes over that same period; a brief description of the rest of the morning and introductions of the other panel members.

From Three Sites to Many--The Growth of the Complex from the Manhattan Project to the End of the Cold War

Time: 8:20 AM - 9:00 AM| Tuesday, February 11
This can be a discussion of what George did in writing his book, but focused on how the complex grew into what we came to recognize as the manufacturing and scientific center that produced over 1000 weapons a year.

End of the Cold War, End of Production, Underground Testing and the Emergence of Stockpile Stewardship

Time: 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM| Tuesday, February 11
The changes in the enterprise that resulted in downsizing of the stockpile, emergence of Stockpile Stewardship and the shrinking of the Nuclear Weapons Enterprise.

Networking Break

Time: 9:45 AM - 10:00 AM| Tuesday, February 11

The Future--Challenges Today and into the Future

Time: 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM| Tuesday, February 11
Discussion of the challenges facing the enterprise today and the path forward for the next decade or more. How we will address Knowledge retention and meet emerging threats and potential surprises.

Audience Q&A - Open Discussion

Time: 10:45 AM - 11:30 AM| Tuesday, February 11


Time: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM| Tuesday, February 11

Welcome and Introductions

Time: 1:00 PM - 1:15 PM| Tuesday, February 11

Updates from National Nuclear Security Administration Leadership-LIVE FROM VIENNA!

Time: 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM| Tuesday, February 11
NNSA faces increasing challenges on all fronts. From maintaining a safe, secure and reliable nuclear weapons stockpile in a smaller, safer and less expensive nuclear weapons complex, to ensuring enough qualified nuclear physicists, engineers and technicians are working in the nuclear weapons enterprise. How does NNSA leadership intend to tackle these and other pressing issues this year and beyond?

Support the Mission: NNSA Administrator's Governance and Management Framework

Time: 2:15 PM - 3:00 PM| Tuesday, February 11
Together, NNSA's federal program, functional, and field offices and M&O partners comprise the NNSA Team. Included in SC 226.1 C is the basis of a good governance system that informs a common understanding of the unique relationship between all entities within the nuclear security enterprise. This common understanding involves trusted partnerships that transcend our contractual relationship. Governance provides the foundation by which we, as the NNSA Team, will deliver on our five mission priorities, delineated in the NNSA Strategic Vision and listed below: 1. Maintain the safety, security, and effectiveness of the Nation's nuclear deterrent; 2. Reduce global nuclear security threats and strengthen the nuclear enterprise; 3. Provide safe and effective integrated nuclear propulsion systems for the U. S. Navy; 4. Strengthen key science, technology, and engineering capabilities; and 5. Modernize the national security infrastructure.

Networking Break

Time: 3:00 PM - 3:30 PM| Tuesday, February 11

Updates from National Lab Directors

Time: 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM| Tuesday, February 11
The three lab directors will discuss how they are meeting the NNSA Administrator's charge to deliver an adaptive, agile, responsive and resilient national security enterprise while addressing key challenges like an aging workforce, capitalizing existing infrastructure, enhancing cyber security and working as an integrated team between sites and with NNSA.

Networking Reception

Time: 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM| Tuesday, February 11

Wednesday | February 12


Time: 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM| Wednesday, February 12

Networking Breakfast

Time: 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM| Wednesday, February 12

Updates from Office of Defense Programs, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

Time: 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM| Wednesday, February 12
How will NNSA's Office of Defense Programs work with the nuclear weapons laboratories and production sites to ensure a safe, secure and reliable stockpile --without underground nuclear testing -- as Congress resists long-planned increases to the Defense Programs budget? Is NNSA on track to produce the DoD-required 80 plutonium pits a year in 11 years, by 2030?

Perspectives on NNSA Site Operations

Time: 9:45 AM - 10:45 AM| Wednesday, February 12
NNSA's test and production sites are face challenges supporting the stockpile and the nuclear security enterprise. How will the sites recruit, train and retain the skilled workers? How will the sites secure supplies of strategic materials, including high explosives, tritium, uranium and plutonium? Key leaders from across the complex will discuss these and other priorities.

Networking Break

Time: 10:45 AM - 11:15 AM| Wednesday, February 12

Updates from the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB)

Time: 11:15 AM - 11:45 AM| Wednesday, February 12
As the DNFSB performs its critical mission of overseeing defense nuclear facilities and work, it is also working through jurisdictional disagreements with the Department of Energy. How can DNFSB and DOE cooperate more, while minimizing cost and schedule risks to the nuclear weapons enterprise?

Networking Lunch

Time: 11:45 AM - 12:30 PM| Wednesday, February 12

NNSA: Overcoming Operational Challenges and Initiatives for the Future

Time: 12:30 PM - 1:15 PM| Wednesday, February 12
NNSA's efforts in Governance and Management and structured support functions aid in achieving mission success for the Nuclear Security Enterprise. NNSA's Governance and Management approach is developing the teamwork and inclusion in programmatic actions necessary to overcome operational challenges. Mission support functions enable NNSA to proceed in a structured professional way to achieve mission goals. How is NNSA applying both of these efforts to future initiatives?

Strategic Materials Missions

Time: 1:15 PM - 2:00 PM| Wednesday, February 12
Challenges abound for strategic materials -- plutonium, uranium, tritium and lithium -- at the NNSA. The plutonium mission has changed; The Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility is no longer the preferred disposition pathway for surplus plutonium, but will play a part in the effort to establish a modern plutonium pit complex. Other strategic materials have gotten a fresh look to ensure a steady supply always exists. How do we sustain investments in new and existing facilities? How will modernization, sustainment, and technology maturation look over the next 10 years?

NNSA Weapons Update

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM| Wednesday, February 12
What changes are expected this year in the science, engineering and advanced computing programs? As the national laboratories support NNSA's mission, how much work can be outsourced and how much should be self-performed, or insourced? What is the status of the refurbishments and modifications of B61, W76, W80, W87, and W88 weapons systems?

Networking Break

Time: 3:00 PM - 3:30 PM| Wednesday, February 12

Nuclear Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation

Time: 3:30 PM - 4:15 PM| Wednesday, February 12
Decades after locking down the pieces of the Soviet nuclear arsenal after the end of the Cold War, how are the men and women charged with keeping radioactive materials out of the wrong hands faring with their mission to monitor the homeland, and stop the spread of Decades after locking down many of the pieces of the Soviet nuclear arsenal after the end of the Cold War, how much more vulnerable nuclear material still exists in the world? Are foreign nuclear arsenals susceptible to insider threats? Nuclear or radiological terrorism would change the country forever - are the western powers still taking the potential threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism seriously? How are the men and women charged with keeping radioactive and nuclear materials out of the wrong hands faring with their mission to monitor the homeland, and stop the spread of nuclear elements?

Chinese Strategic Nuclear Force Posture: Current and 2035 Forecast

Time: 4:15 PM - 5:00 PM| Wednesday, February 12
China's armed forces are powered by a formidable, nimble economy, and while much is said about the nation's nuclear arsenal and ambitions, little is known for sure. In a world beset by other potential threats, what's the outlook for China's rising triad in this decade, and beyond?


Time: 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM| Wednesday, February 12

Thursday | February 13


Time: 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM| Thursday, February 13

Networking Breakfast

Time: 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM| Thursday, February 13

Morning Plenary Session

Time: 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM| Thursday, February 13
This session will focus on arms control, WMDs and nonproliferation issues, including the continuing prioritization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal's modernization from the Department of Defense perspective.

Budget and Policy Update

Time: 9:45 AM - 10:30 AM| Thursday, February 13
What will Congress do with NNSA's latest budget request? In the 2020 budget cycle, the House resisted some long-contemplated increases to NNSA's top line, as envisioned in 2016 at the start of the current modernization-and-maintenance cycle.

Networking Break

Time: 10:30 AM - 10:45 AM| Thursday, February 13

Weapons Modernization Update and Concurrent Developments at Home and Abroad

Time: 10:45 AM - 11:30 AM| Thursday, February 13
This session will address the status of the B-21 and GBSD programs as well as the issues surrounding the extension of New Start. The outcome of the NDDAA will be reviewed and how the dynamics played out between the House and Senate on nuclear deterrent issues, including D-5 low yield, No First Use, Extending New Start, as well as the nature of the extensive reporting requirements on nuclear issues in the bill.

Artificial Intelligence - The Science of Tomorrow is Happening Today

Time: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM| Thursday, February 13
The United States has established the mastering of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a national priority. DOE has formally established a new Office of Artificial Intelligence and Technology (AITO) dedicated to advancing the Department's role in AI. Working with DOE national laboratories, DOE plans to expand its roles in national security, cybersecurity, electrical grid networks/resilience, speed up the discovery of new materials and compounds, and advance our Nation's capabilities in medical research. DOE's commitment for tomorrow is demonstrated by the financial projects to build the 3 next-generation, exascale computers (NNSA Nuclear Weapons Laboratories) which will contribute to our understanding and use of AI. As part of maintaining, designing, and manufacturing the enduring nuclear weapons stockpile, AI and computer simulation play an ever-increasing role. Join us in lively discussion focused on today and tomorrow's vision for AI and its emerging relationship with the DOE and NNSA.

Conference ends

Time: 12:30 PM - 12:30 PM| Thursday, February 13


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