2021 Agenda

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Tuesday | August 03

PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP: Bridging Gaps and Overcoming Challenges Emerging in the NSE Nuclear Modernization Effort

Time: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM| Tuesday, August 03

Nuclear modernization requires unprecedented action to meet critical mission schedules and achieve extensive infrastructure improvements. This seminar offers a deep dive into the innovative management and operations strategies, approaches, and best practices from throughout the NSE to meet schedule and mission requirements. Speakers will discuss mission challenges, operational barriers, and share success stories, including:


8:30am - 8:40am


V. Brian D’Andrea, President and CEO

TechSource, Inc.


8:40am - 9:15am

Upgrading Equipment and Technology Dealing with the Safety Envelope

James McConnell, Associate Administrator for Safety, Infrastructure and Operations, National Nuclear Security Administration

9:15am - 10:00am

Pit Manufacturing

Dave Olsen, Executive Vice President, NNSA Capital Projects/Savannah River Nuclear Solutions


10:00am - 10:15am


10:15am - 11:00am

Leveraging Existing Partners and their Resources

Kelly Beierschmitt, Deputy Laboratory Director for Operations, Los Alamos National Laboratory


11:00am - 11:40am 

Evolving Workforce Capabilities and Capacity 

Don Trost, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer

TechSource, Inc.


11:40am - 12:00noon


This exclusive, interactive session will provide attendees the opportunity to share viewpoints, challenge assumptions, and discuss the lessons learned that bridge gaps and overcome barriers with regard to nuclear modernization. 


OPENING KEYNOTE: Updates from National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Leadership

Time: 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM| Tuesday, August 03
Despite a year of transitions, NNSA faces challenges on multiple fronts: from maintaining a safe, secure and reliable nuclear weapons stockpile, to recruiting and retaining a world class workforce for the Nuclear Security Enterprise. How does NNSA leadership intend to tackle these and other pressing issues to ensure America’s deterrent capability for the next generation?

Acquisition and Project Management Updates and Lessons Learned

Time: 2:15 PM - 3:00 PM| Tuesday, August 03
NNSA is managing a host of complex projects essential for modernizing the nation’s nuclear security infrastructure and assuring a reliable and effective deterrent.  Yet like everywhere else, the COVID-19 pandemic and related shutdowns posed challenges for NNSA to overcome.  What lessons can be learned from that experience, and what does the future hold for project management at NNSA


Time: 3:00 PM - 3:30 PM| Tuesday, August 03

Updates from National Lab Directors

Time: 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM| Tuesday, August 03

The three lab directors will discuss how they are delivering an adaptive, agile, responsive and resilient national security enterprise while addressing key challenges such as navigating the long-term operational impacts of COVID, managing complex interfaces amidst a range of critical program priorities, remote working, an aging workforce, capitalizing existing infrastructure, enhancing cyber security and working as an integrated team between sites and with NNSA.


Time: 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM| Tuesday, August 03

Wednesday | August 04


Time: 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM| Wednesday, August 04

Plenary Session

Time: 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM| Wednesday, August 04

U.S. nonproliferation and arms control efforts are a critical component of the country’s nuclear deterrent. Today, these efforts are more necessary than ever, needed to address the continued challenges posed by Iran and North Korea, emerging and disruptive technologies altering the proliferation equation, and helping nuclear power securely meet climate change challenges. What are the most salient trends impacting global nuclear security, nonproliferation, and arms control today, and what emerging priorities should the United States most focus on?


Time: 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM| Wednesday, August 04

Perspectives on NNSA Site Operations

Time: 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM| Wednesday, August 04


Time: 11:45 AM - 12:30 PM| Wednesday, August 04

Pit Production

Time: 12:30 PM - 1:15 PM| Wednesday, August 04
Besides nuclear weapons themselves, nothing has been debated more over the past few years than plutonium pit production and pit production modernization.  NNSA is building additional pit capacity to meet DoD and national security requirements, moving towards two pit production locations.  Following federal law and DoD requirements, the goal is to produce 80 pits a year in 2030.  How likely is this to happen – is NNSA on track to meet those requirements?  If modernization or a second production site is stalled, what is the fallback plan?

Strategic Materials Update

Time: 1:15 PM - 2:00 PM| Wednesday, August 04
Construction of 21st century’s strategic materials infrastructure ground on during the pandemic, but will the new administration try to change the goal posts? Where do crucial plutonium, uranium, tritium and other materials programs stand after the added challenges of the past year? How will the sites secure supplies of strategic materials, including high explosives, tritium, uranium and plutonium?

NNSA Weapons Directors Update

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM| Wednesday, August 04


Time: 3:00 PM - 3:30 PM| Wednesday, August 04

Nuclear Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation

Time: 3:30 PM - 4:15 PM| Wednesday, August 04

The Office of Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation is responsible for the knowledge, capabilities, and partnerships that underpin DOE and NNSA’s nuclear incident preparedness and response mission. How do we assess the current global risk of nuclear terrorism and how do we weigh that risk assessment with the capabilities and readiness needed to respond to the full possible range of nuclear or radiological emergencies — human-made or otherwise — in the United States and across the globe?  

The Cyber Security Challenges with Nuclear Weapons Production

Time: 4:15 PM - 5:00 PM| Wednesday, August 04

Investment into cybersecurity infrastructure across the DOE nuclear security enterprise is complicated by the need to efficiently connect the various computing assets that support mission requirements. This panel explores how future cybersecurity infrastructure investments are best leveraged in an environment that includes large numbers of endpoints and sensitive mission areas. The requirements are also challenged by an evolving threat environment. NNSA and other stakeholders at specific sites will offer their perspectives about how to best leverage infrastructure budgets.


Time: 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM| Wednesday, August 04

Thursday | August 05


Time: 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM| Thursday, August 05

Morning Plenary Session

Time: 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM| Thursday, August 05

General Huser has been tasked with leading the team that directs the Stockpile Stewardship Program, which is responsible for maintaining the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile.. This session will discuss the progress of the weapons programs, plus the state of the weapons labs and the production complex.

Budget and Policy Perspectives on Defense Department Strategic Nuclear Deterrence Modernization

Time: 9:45 AM - 10:30 AM| Thursday, August 05

The House Defense Appropriations bill has been marked in Committee. The Senate National Defense Authorization Act, calling for a Nuclear Posture Review for the next 5-10 years, is headed to the Senate Floor.  The Nuclear Posture Review is in full swing at DOD and NNSA. Our Defense Department experts will take a deeper dive into what we can anticipate for the remainder of 2021 and expectations for the first term of the Biden Administration on the future of U.S. strategic nuclear deterrence.  


Time: 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM| Thursday, August 05

Remarks from Sen. Deb Fischer

Time: 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM| Thursday, August 05

Strategic Nuclear Deterrence Modernization

Time: 11:15 AM - 12:00 PM| Thursday, August 05

Summit Ends

Time: 12:00 PM - 12:00 PM| Thursday, August 05


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