Major U.S. Nuclear-Arms Plants to Get New Manager on Tuesday

Global Security Newswire Staff
June 30, 2014, 10 a.m.

Man­age­ment of two of the United States’ key nuc­le­ar weapon plants is set to switch on Tues­day, the Am­arillo Globe-News re­ports.

The Bechtel-led Con­sol­id­ated Nuc­le­ar Se­cur­ity group is slated to take over man­age­ment of the Y-12 Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Com­plex in Ten­ness­ee and the Pan­tex Plant in Texas from Nuc­le­ar Pro­duc­tion Part­ners, a con­sor­ti­um led by Bab­cock & Wil­cox.

The sched­uled changeover fol­lows three un­suc­cess­ful protests lodged by Nuc­le­ar Pro­duc­tion Part­ners against the Janu­ary 2013 de­cision by the Na­tion­al Nuc­le­ar Se­cur­ity Ad­min­is­tra­tion to award a $22 bil­lion con­tract to Con­sol­id­ated Nuc­le­ar Se­cur­ity to op­er­ate the two nuc­le­ar-arms com­plexes.

The Pan­tex fa­cil­ity as­sembles and dis­as­sembles nuc­le­ar war­heads, and the Y-12 com­plex pro­duces weapons-grade urani­um.

The de­cision to hand man­age­ment of the weapons plants over to Con­sol­id­ated came after the con­sor­ti­um said it could save the gov­ern­ment more than $3 bil­lion in con­tract costs by con­sol­id­at­ing man­age­ment of the Y-12 and Pan­tex fa­cil­it­ies.

“Over the four-month trans­ition, we com­pleted thou­sands of ac­tion items, hired more than 7,800 em­ploy­ees across two sites, in­spec­ted nearly 400 fa­cil­it­ies, re­viewed and ap­proved over 5,000 pro­ced­ures, and set our plans for man­aging and op­er­at­ing the con­sol­id­ated en­ter­prise from Day 1,”  Con­sol­id­ated spokes­man Jason Bo­hne said. “And we did it all on sched­ule and un­der budget. We are ready to start on Ju­ly 1, and we look for­ward to join­ing the teams at Pan­tex and Y-12.”

Un­der the man­age­ment of Nuc­le­ar Pro­duc­tion Part­ners, Y-12 ex­per­i­enced one of its most em­bar­rass­ing se­cur­ity in­cid­ents in re­cent memory when a trio of eld­erly peace act­iv­ists in 2012 were able to suc­cess­fully gain ac­cess to a sup­posedly highly se­cure area of the fa­cil­ity in or­der to stage an anti-nuc­le­ar protest.

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