LANL Is Essential to National Security

picture of Charles McMillan

In 1992, the United States ceased full-scale testing of nuclear weapons. We hoped for a future in which deterrence without testing was possible—but the need for a credible nuclear deterrent remains as great as it ever was. Without testing, what gives credibility to our deterrent? How can we reassure the public and our allies, and convince our opponents, that the stockpile can serve this purpose?

Proving the capability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent—and the safety, security and effectiveness of the stockpile­­—depends in large part upon Los Alamos National Laboratory. LANL maintains a broad range of experimental expertise, including computer modeling, hydrodynamic testing, radiography, and materials science, used to prove the U.S. nuclear deterrent is safe and secure and will perform as designed.

Science, technology, engineering, creativity, and innovation are inexorably linked and at the core of how we accomplish our national security mission. Our value is in our ability to use these core strengths to solve the most difficult problems in national security; it is the reason we exist. Without our contributions, the United States could not deter its adversaries and assure its allies and other security partners that they can count on America's commitment to nuclear deterrence. The same is true for arms control verification, nonproliferation, counterterrorism, and energy security.

The Laboratory's core strengths provide the foundation from which the United States will be able to address the national security challenges over the next century. This is why LANL is so important to the nation and why LANL must protect and maintain its reputation as a premier national security science laboratory. We must continue to meet the following goals:

  • Build better teams from across our broad scientific and professional capabilities. Teamwork is a core principle for ensuring success in solving the most difficult problems. Everyone at the Laboratory contributes to our successes.
  • Keep the highest standards in our science, work, safety, and ethics to ensure the Laboratory's integrity. Our integrity is key to our scientific credibility and that of the nuclear deterrent. Our responsibilities to the nation demand nothing less.
  • Recruit and retain the brightest and best scientists and engineers. To continue attracting and training the very best, we need the nation to invest in us so that we can build next-generation science facilities such as the Chemical and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) and the Matter-Radiation Interactions in Extremes (MaRIE) facilities.

We know what is needed, and we are on the right path. I will work hard to ensure the Laboratory maintains its place as the nation's premier, unbiased laboratory for solving the toughest problems of national security.

Charles McMillan

Charles McMillan,
Los Alamos National Laboratory Director


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