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Pantex High Pressure Fire Loop Project Completed On Time, Under Budget

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Work on the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) High Pressure Fire Loop (HPFL) project at its Pantex Plant, located near Amarillo, Texas, was completed in December 2013 on schedule and more than $5 million under budget. Completion of HPFL enhances the reliability of safety-class fire suppression systems to ensure that the Pantex Plant will be able to meet mission assignments in critical production areas. This project reduces the risk of unplanned facility system outages, reduces system maintenance requirements and represents NNSA’s broader efforts to improve project management.

“The successful completion of the High Pressure Fire Loop saved taxpayers millions of dollars while ensuring that critical NNSA mission work can be completed safely and on time,” said Bob Raines, NNSA’s Associate Administrator for Acquisition and Project Management. “We have worked hard to get better at project management, and as our nuclear security enterprise ages and we continue to undertake similar projects, our work at Pantex should serve as an example moving forward. The dedication and teamwork demonstrated by B&W Pantex and the Federal project team were instrumental in the successful completion of the project.”

NNSA is delivering on its commitment to hold Federal and contractor partners accountable for executing major capital asset projects within the approved cost and schedule baselines. In 2013, NNSA completed five projects on time, including HPFL, and collectively more than $10 million under budget. NNSA has been recognized by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Congress for progress made in these areas, and has been removed from GAO’s high risk list for projects less than $750 million as a result.

The construction and installation of 16,000 linear feet of high density polyethylene (HDPE) piping was successfully completed, and the project cost was well below the budgeted funding level. Using underruns generated from these savings, the Integrated Project Team added scope through the Baseline Change Proposal process. Two 400,000-gallon fire protection water supply tanks and associated pumping facilities were added. Later in the project, an additional 3,500 linear feet of HDPE piping was added. These additions further enhance the Pantex Plant HPFL fire protection system.

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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; 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 U.S. and abroad.