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Bush picks new US nuclear weapons chief

india Updated: Jan 06, 2007 04:46 IST
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US President George W Bush has picked a successor to the head of the US nuclear weapons programme who was dismissed after a series of alleged security breaches, the White House said on Friday.

Bush plans to name Thomas D'Agostino to be acting undersecretary for nuclear security of the National Nuclear Security Administration at the Department of Energy, replacing Linton Brooks, it said in a statement.

D'Agostino is currently deputy administrator for defence programmes at the National Nuclear Security Administration.

On Thursday, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman announced that Brooks would tender his resignation to Bush and leave his post later this month.

"During my tenure at the department, and even before, there have been a number of management issues involving the National Nuclear Security Administration, the most recent of which was a serious security breach several months ago at the Los Alamos National Laboratory," said Bodman, who has been energy chief for two years.

"These management and security issues can have serious implications for the security of the United States... While I believe that the current NNSA management has done its best to address these concerns, I do not believe that progress in correcting these issues has been adequate," he said.