Chu say's their work will impact the sustained prosperity of the country.
He made his first trip to the state's labs on Thursday and Friday.
We were invited, on base, to listen to the Energy Secretary deliver remarks on the Role of Nuclear Security Labs in Meeting National Challenges.
Nearly 450 Sandia employees filled the Steve Schiff auditorium. Others watched on closed circuit television at NSA labs across the country.
Chu's remarks came just five days after President Obama outlined his new program to reduce the nation's nuclear stockpile and pursue a global ban on nuclear testing.
On April 5th Obama said, "the cold war has disappeared, but thousands of those weapons have not. In a strange turn of history the threat of global nuclear war has gone down, but the threat of a nuclear attack has gone up."
Obama also announced his plans to aggressively pursue U.S. ratification of a comprehensive test ban treaty. He’s also set a goal to reduce nuclear warheads and stockpiles.
The President says the U.S. will negotiate new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia this year.
“It is for that reason,” Secretary Chu says that “the NSA labs will continue to serve a critical mission, in many ways an even more critical mission, in non-proliferation activities of the United States.
Listen to this audio post to hear why Chu thinks the U.S. might be forced back into nuclear testing.
Chu said the U.S. does not want to restart nuclear weapons testing, but the prospect of proliferation around the world, especially among rouge nations and terrorists is growing.
The technical crowd laughed when Chu said, "“it’s the national labs who provide the technical expertise; so, that when we have intelligence that they can actually interrupt the intelligence correctly. They can actually tell the difference the difference between an aluminum tube and a centrifuge."
Chu said the NSA labs have an ability to work on large-scale projects using computer simulations to find methods for the world to mitigate climate changes. He also wants the labs to focus on developing renewable energy sources.
Chu, a former Nobel Prize winner, also talked about two other critical missions for Sandia and Los Alamos.
He says the NSA labs have an ability to work on large-scale projects using computer simulations to find methods to mitigate climate changes. Chu also wants the labs to focus on developing renewable energy sources.
Chu ended his speech with this profound thought:
Humans need to take care of the planet. There is no other place to go.
Bonus Audio: Chu’s Q&A with reporters following a tour of the Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications (MESA) Microelectronics Laboratory at Sandia National Laboratories.
Science Reporter John Fleck, who has covered the labs for years, blogged about Chu's visit here and here, and filed his story at the ABQJournal.