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NNSA’s Pantex Plant Exceeds Targets for Dismantlement Work and Stockpile Deliverables

AMARILLO, Texas – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that its Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, successfully met and in a number of areas exceeded all Defense Program goals during Fiscal Year 2010. While the specific goals and numbers are classified, the Pantex Plant accomplished 126 percent of NNSA’s goal for planned stockpile dismantlements.

B53 dismantlementIn addition, NNSA also announced that the Pantex Plant demonstrated outstanding overall delivery performance by completing 116 percent of the planned weapon deliverables outlined in the Directed Stockpile Work (DSW) account, and also completed 112 percent of the planned W76 Life Extension Project deliverables, overcoming many challenges within the fiscal year.

Pantex succeeded in meeting and exceeding its goals for the year despite experiencing a two thousand year flood event that dropped in excess of 10 inches of rain in July 2010. A majority of the nuclear explosive operations were impacted for up to one month. The safe and rapid recovery of plant operations following this event was due to the dedication and commitment by the men and women who work at Pantex.

Most importantly, Pantex exceeded its performance targets in these and other key areas while maintaining an exceptional safety record. The site turned in the lowest recorded rate in the history of the Pantex Plant with a Total Recordable Case (TRC) rate of 0.40 and Lost Time Case (LTC) rate of 0.06. B&W Pantex, the site’s management and operations contractor, also earned Star status in the Department of Energy’s Voluntary Protection Program.

“The men and women working at the Pantex Plant continue to exceed their performance targets in preserving the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nation’s stockpile,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino. “Their commitment to excellence is an important example of the skills, expertise, and dedication to the mission that exists across the nuclear security enterprise. I congratulate the hardworking Pantexans who continue to keep the American people safe by fulfilling our nuclear security mission.”

The work done at the Pantex Plant helps implement President Obama’s unprecedented nuclear security agenda by assuring that as long as nuclear weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure, and effective arsenal to deter any adversary, and guarantee that defense to the nation’s allies.

Other notable Pantex accomplishments for FY10 include:

  • Completion of the W62 nuclear warhead dismantlement seven months ahead of schedule
  • Completion of the disassembly and inspection of the first W84, a thermonuclear warhead, marking the beginning of the disassembly and inspection process
  • Authorized dismantlement of the B53 weapon system
  • Creation of a special tooling system designed to cut in half the number of facilities needed to process a B83 unit and reduce the time it takes to process each unit
  • Maintenance of a rigorous quality program with zero quality issues on units delivered to the military
  • National recognition of the Safeguards & Security Training Department by the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD)

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The National Nuclear Security Administration’s Pantex Plant is located 17 miles northeast of Amarillo, Texas and is charged with maintaining the safety, security and reliability of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile. Work performed at Pantex supports three core missions – Stockpile Stewardship, Nonproliferation, and Safeguards and Security. B&W Pantex manages and operates the Pantex Plant with oversight provided by the NNSA’s Pantex Site Office.

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 in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the 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.