NNSA approves Livermore Valley Open Campus concept Scientific collaboration key goal of more interactive approach

Aug. 5, 2009

NNSA approves Livermore Valley Open Campus concept Scientific collaboration key goal of more interactive approach

NNSA Public Affairs, , 202-586-7371

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Nuclear Security Administration today announced the first step toward the creation of the Livermore Valley Open Campus (LVOC), a joint venture between Sandia National Laboratories and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that will promote greater collaboration between the world-class scientists at the nuclear security labs and their partners in industry and academia.

The LVOC, which would create a shared space between the two adjacent labs, is in keeping with NNSA's vision for increased scientific interaction and collaboration across the nuclear security enterprise. The proposal signed by NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino and the Undersecretary for Science Steve Koonin, endorses the LVOC concept and moving forward on the conceptual development of design alternatives required to reconfigure the existing laboratories into a more open layout.

"A Livermore Valley Open Campus will maximize the return on our nation's investment in nuclear security," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "By leveraging the groundbreaking research of our nuclear security labs through private sector collaborations, we will bring breakthroughs to the market faster and find new solutions to the energy problem."

Open access to the LVOC by the international science community would directly support the advancement of Sandia's Hub for Innovation in the Transportation Energy Community (HITEC), promote key LLNL programs such as the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and its High Density Energy research, increase the profile of NNSA in the region, expand the high-tech "footprint" of the Bay Area and establish the Livermore Valley as the high-tech anchor in the East Bay.

NNSA will now begin to gather information from the laboratories, work on a conceptual design for the layout of the proposed campus, and study any environmental, security and cost implications surrounding the concept.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation's national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.