WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Production Office (NPO) is now in operation, providing federal oversight of nuclear production missions at the Pantex Site in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
“This is an historic move for NNSA that puts us in a position to improve performance, reduce the cost of doing business and operate as an integrated enterprise for years to come,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino. “I’m proud of the way the teams at Pantex and Y-12 have come together, and I am continually impressed by their dedication to our mission.”
The mission of the NPO is to execute contract management and oversight to safely and securely maintain the nuclear weapons stockpile for the nuclear security enterprise; provide enriched uranium for naval, research and isotope production reactors, and support nonproliferation activities to reduce the global nuclear threat.
A joint ceremony to celebrate the opening of the NPO and to recognize the achievements of the former Pantex and Y-12 Site Offices will be held at both sites and at NNSA Headquarters on Tuesday. Neile Miller, NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator, and Michael Lempke, NNSA Associate Administrator for Infrastructure and Operations, will participate in the event. Remarks will be presented by D’Agostino and Dr. Donald Cook, NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs.
“The federal employees at these sites have made many important contributions to national security,” said Miller. “The consolidation will help stimulate efforts to increase efficiency and effectiveness in how we manage our programs and the nuclear production missions at these two important NNSA sites.”
The transition to NNSA Production Office began in February 2012 with the naming of Steven Erhart as the manager of the new organization. A new geographically dispersed functional leadership team has been selected and is completing the merger of the two federal offices. The merger will be fully in place prior to selection of the new contractor for the combined Pantex and Y-12 contract later this year.
Pantex is responsible for nuclear weapons life extension programs, nuclear weapons dismantlement, the development, testing and fabrication of high explosive components, and the interim storage and surveillance of plutonium pits. Y-12 supports the nuclear security enterprise through uranium storage, processing and manufacturing operations.
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. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce 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.