The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is a United States federal agency responsible for safeguarding national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile; works to reduce the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the United States Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the United States and abroad.
Established by the United States Congress in 2000, NNSA is semiautonomous agency within the United States Department of Energy. The current Acting Administrator is Charles P. Verdon.
The National Nuclear Security Administration was created by Congressional action in 1999, in the wake of the Wen Ho Lee spy scandal (for which Dr. Lee was exonerated) and other allegations that lax administration by the Department of Energy had resulted in the loss of U.S. nuclear secrets to China. Originally proposed to be an independent agency, NNSA gained the reluctant support of the Clinton administration only after it was instead chartered as a semiautonomous agency within the Department of Energy, to be headed by an administrator reporting to the Secretary of Energy. The first Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA administrator appointed was Air Force General (and CIA Deputy Director) John A. Gordon.