WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) continues to meet the long-term challenge of providing high-quality facilities for a high-quality workforce. In a recent example, officials from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, Calif., as well as state and local elected officials and community leaders, recently gathered to commemorate the ground-breaking of LLNL’s Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory (AML).
Once complete, the $9.4 million, 13,000 square-foot AML will provide a flexible, multi-disciplinary laboratory facility and collaborative workspace for Livermore researchers and academic and industry partners to develop the next generation of advanced-manufacturing technologies for both national security and commercial use. Initial construction began in December, with completion expected by summer 2017.
“The Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory will provide a world-class facility for collaboration among the best and the brightest from the national labs and the private sector,” said Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz (Ret.), Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator. “The AML will also support NNSA’s efforts to improve current manufacturing capabilities to reduce risks, time-to-market, and production costs.”
The AML will feature two 5,000-square foot laboratories: a reconfigurable “wet” chemistry lab and a “dry” instrument lab. Expanding on LLNL’s existing infrastructure and expertise in materials science, engineering and additive manufacturing, the AML will combine high performance computing, modeling and simulation to advance research into emerging manufacturing technologies that directly support NNSA’s Stockpile Stewardship mission, as well as other national defense and energy security applications. The lab will also support economic competitiveness and job growth for the region.
Diede Construction, Inc. was awarded the design-build contract for the lab, which will be Livermore’s first new building with LEED Gold certification.
“The AML is one of several efforts at NNSA to modernize and right-size infrastructure to meet 21st century requirements for the Nuclear Security Enterprise’s mission and skillset,” Klotz said. “Some of these improvements were made possible through the use of alternative funding methods, such as third-party financing, or by using the statutory authority provided for minor construction. The use of minor construction authority is particularly effective for projects of this size, and NNSA could make even greater progress in meeting future infrastructure needs if Congress would raise the cost threshold.”
In 2016, NNSA initiated a number of additional infrastructure improvements, including breaking ground on a new Administrative Services Complex at Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas and on a new Construction Support Building for the Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Major investments are also currently under way to address other critical capabilities.
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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, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear explosive testing; works to reduce 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. Visit nnsa.energy.gov for more information.