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Lynne Schluter, Director of Facilities and Emergency Management at Sandia National Laboratories, addresses the crowd gathered for the event.

A new Battery Test Facility at Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, will help improve the safety and efficiency of evaluating power sources for nuclear weapons.     

Batteries are critical components of nuclear weapons and testing them for proper function ensures NNSA can certify the reliability of the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

“Power source technology is critical to the NNSA and Sandia missions. Relocating battery testing to a modern, specially designed laboratory facility is a major step in reducing the safety risks that are present in our critical operations.” said Jim McConnell, associate administrator for NNSA’s Office of Safety, Infrastructure and Operations.

Representatives from NNSA, Sandia, and the Sandia Field Office joined in a ceremony Oct. 19 at the site of the new building.

“Construction of the Battery Test Facility represents the culmination of planning, programming and design efforts for this unique core Sandia capability that stretches back nearly a decade” said Lynne Schluter, director of Facilities and Emergency Management at Sandia.

An artist's rendering of the Battery Test Facility at Sandia National Laboratories.

Construction will commence in November and is scheduled for completion in December 2018.

The 7,500 square foot facility will permit dedicated testing of performance and electrochemical analysis of energy storage devices conducted under non-abuse conditions.

This project is part of a larger effort to ensure the Nuclear Security Enterprise’s infrastructure is upgraded to modern standards to meet NNSA’s enduring national security missions.

Attendees at the event included, from left, Lynne Schluter, Director of Facilities and Emergency Management at Sandia National Laboratory; Carol Watson, Project Manager at Sandia;  Sheila Feddis, Recapitalization Program Manager for NNSA; James McConnell, Associate Administrator for Safety, Infrastructure, and Operations for NNSA; and Scott Ashbaugh, Senior Manager of Sandia's Power Sources Technology Group.

A look at the site where the Battery Test Facility will be built. It will be completed by December 2018.