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NNSA Awards Bronze Medal Award to Dale Christenson of Y-12

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that Dale Christenson of the Y-12 Site Office has been recognized with an NNSA Bronze Medal Award for his role in overseeing and managing the construction of Y-12’s Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility (HEUMF).

“Dale exhibited superior project management methods, skills, and techniques while overseeing and managing the construction of HEUMF,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino, who presented the award to Christenson. “He achieved outstanding results through resourcefulness, innovative thinking, and superior execution as evident by the successful completion of the project. At NNSA, we are committed to promoting sound project management and ensuring we are effective stewards of tax dollars. Strong leaders and managers like Dale are the key to improving our project management processes and systems.”

Christenson’s leadership and performance significantly contributed to the HEUMF project being completed under budget and ahead of schedule. He led a team of federal and contractor staff in performing technical oversight of the $549 million project during construction, testing, readiness and start up of the first nuclear facility at Y-12 in more than 40 years.

Christenson helped develop a new federal assessment strategy for oversight of the contractor’s readiness preparation, which last year included the comprehensive testing of 64 systems, an independent verification review of the safety basis implementation, an internal Operational Readiness Review (ORR) and the DOE ORR. The DOE ORR for HEUMF is widely considered to be one of the most successful startup reviews in the history of NNSA.

“This award recognizes the terrific work by an outstanding team of professionals from both the Y-12 Site Office and B&W Y-12,” said Christenson. “The team was committed to meeting project milestones recognizing the importance of HEUMF to NNSA, and to completing the project on time to support the storage mission at Y-12.”

Christenson is certified federal project director and is a registered professional engineer. He has held other key positions at the Y-12 Site Office. Prior to him joining Y-12, he served as a construction engineer with the Superconducting Super Collider Project. He also serves as Captain in the U.S. Navy Reserves.

The mission objective of the HEUMF is to consolidate all Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) at Y-12 into a modern, highly secure facility. HEUMF along with its companion, the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF), are the cornerstones of Y-12 site modernization and integral to NNSA Infrastructure upgrades. HEUMF will store most of the nation’s HEU stockpile and excess HEU pending disposition. HEUMF replaces five 1940s era facilities located in the Y-12 Protected Area.

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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.