3 Million Square Feet of Aging Nuclear Weapons Buildings Torn Down

Press Release
Aug 13, 2008
Agency Passes Goal One Year Early

WASHINGTON, DC – Three million square feet of old buildings, many from the earliest days of the Cold War, have been torn down across the eight sites that make up the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA's) national security complex.  This accomplishment, achieved a year early, will allow NNSA to be more efficient in meeting its national security commitments.

"I am extremely proud of the hard work done across NNSA to quickly and safely tear down these aging facilities," said NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator William Ostendorff at NNSA's Y-12 National Security Complex, which accounted for more than a third of the building reductions.  "This shows the taxpayer that we are taking steps to reduce the cost of maintaining the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile."

Ostendorff spoke to Y-12 employees before taking the ceremonial first blow at a five-building cluster that will push the total over the three million square foot mark.

While razing three million square feet is significant, NNSA officials say more is needed.  As the complex gets older, it has become increasingly expensive to maintain.  At the same time, the number of U.S. nuclear weapons continues to decline consistent with the nation's evolving nuclear deterrence strategy.  With flat or declining budgets in store for the maintenance and upkeep of the remaining nuclear arsenal, the infrastructure to support this mission must be consolidated, made more efficient, and updated in a few key areas in order to meet the needs of the future.

In order to further consolidate its facilities, NNSA has proposed a plan, called Complex Transformation, that would create a nuclear weapons infrastructure that is smaller, safer, more secure and more cost effective.  This proposal seeks a 30 percent reduction in the square footage of the nuclear weapons infrastructure.

By the end of the fiscal year, the following gross square footage will have been dispositioned at each of NNSA's sites:

 Kansas City Plant

 400

 Los Alamos National Laboratory

 394,556

 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

 408,908

 Nevada Test Site

 505,279

 Pantex Plant

 194,395

 Sandia National Laboratories

 449,251

 Savannah River Site

 5,577

 Y-12 National Security Complex

 1,147,323

 TOTAL

 3,105,689

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a separately organized 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 United States and abroad.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371