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NNSA Congratulates Pantex for Earning STAR in DOE’s Voluntary Protection Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today congratulated its Pantex Plant for earning STAR status in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) – a program designed to recognize the outstanding performance of a DOE contractor’s safety program.

“This award recognizes Pantex for its exceptional record and as a leader in safety performance within the nuclear security enterprise,” said Brig. Gen. Garrett Harencak, NNSA Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application. “NNSA congratulates the men and women at Pantex for their continued commitment to safety.”

Earning the STAR is just the beginning of the VPP process. B&W Pantex must maintain its already high standard for safe performance at the plant and demonstrate Management’s commitment to continuous improvement.  A DOE review team will conduct an annual evaluation.

DOE formed the Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS) in an effort to improve the health and safety of its 130,000 employees and contractors. Its mission is to improve employee safety and the safe operation of DOE sites. HSS oversees the VPP.

B&W Pantex formed an employee committee in May 2008 to develop the application for the VPP program. The eight committee members represented employees from across the plant. The committee was able to document existing operational strengths and focus on improvement opportunities. The application was submitted to the DOE in early October 2009.

Pantex also recently received the Occupational Excellence Achievement Award from the National Safety Council (NSC).

For additional information about the DOE’s VPP program.

B&W Pantex manages and operates the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. B&W Pantex is also the proud recipient of the DOE’s Voluntary Protection Program STAR status for safety excellence. The company was also named one of America’s safest companies by Occupational Hazards magazine and has received numerous awards from the National Safety Council.

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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, 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. Visit  for more information.

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