It’s looking like a pretty rocky start for the Trump administration before it even get’s off the ground. Unfortunately, it is about to get a bit rockier as Trump has reportedly just dismissed the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration as well as the deputy leaving the NNSA without leadership effective inauguration day.
One may wonder as to the importance of the NNSA. Well according to their website, the 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 U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.”
How exactly is this making America great again?
The risks involved with having nobody at the head of this department could be disastrous as Trump has reportedly not lined up any replacements to take over the job of maintaining the nation’s nuclear arsenal.
Not to mention all the other important jobs the 12-billion-dollar a year agency is in charge of.
“Radiological emergencies” are things like nuclear power plant meltdowns and anything else that has a threat of radiation exposure like transport accidents. The latter of these two, not as improbable as one may think.
Now typically, a previous administration’s appointees turn in their resignation effective noon of inauguration day. However, people in very sensitive key roles tend to stay on until an acceptable replacement is found.
For instance, when Obama took office he kept the same NNSA Administrator throughout his entire first term and into his second before finally replacing the Bush Jr.-era appointee.
“There are scores more appointees within the department,” a source told Gizmodo. “Secretarial and administration appointments that don’t require Senate confirmation, mostly performing policy, liaison, and strategic advisory capacities in support of the agency they’re at. They serve at the will of the head of their agency. Those people are, theoretically, also out on inauguration day unless otherwise directed, which hasn’t happened yet to my knowledge.”
The source later added, “I’m more and more coming around to the idea that we’re so very very fucked.”
This will mark the first time since the agency’s founding in 2000 that it has not had leadership in charge of its 12-billion-dollar annual budget.
(featured image of a B53 Nuclear bomb at Pantex in Amarillo, Texas via creative commons)