Pantex, Y-12 receive Excellence Awards

  • Posted: Saturday, October 3, 2020, 7:41 am

Amarillo, Texas. – "Every year, I have the distinct pleasure of recognizing some impressive achievements performed by some pretty amazing people here at Pantex, and this year is no different,” said Pantex Site Manger Todd Ailes.

That preamble introduces the winners of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Safety, Infrastructure, and Operations (NA-50) Excellence Awards. This year’s awards recognized three Pantex teams, five Y-12 teams, and one team from both sites for their exceptional accomplishments during 2019. These award-winning teams were recognized for outstanding endeavors involving innovation, effectiveness, teamwork, overcoming adversity, and enabling future success.

The nine awards this year ranged from quickly replacing storm-damaged roofs at Pantex to replacing fire suppression systems at Y-12 and using a system to provide the most accurate deferred maintenance and replacement plant value data for both sites.

The Roof Asset Management Program (RAMP) team responded in March 2019 to a major sustained high-wind event with measured winds in excess of 50 miles per hour and maximum speeds clocked at 88 miles per hour. There was extensive damage to 25 roofs across Pantex, including two of which were mission-critical facilities impacting production. The team worked with Kansas City Plant RAMP personnel investigating damages, placing temporary covers over exposed areas, and debris clean-up. Roofing crews completed the permanent repairs and replacement of these roofs totaling more than 18,000 combined square feet within 10 weeks of the event.

The Ramp Seismic team took actions to minimize safety risks associated with seismic events that can occur during transportation activities at Pantex. This project was an emerging event not planned for FY2019 that required support from multiple departments including Sandia National Labs. The team enhanced safety by adding seismic restraints to the Public Announcement System, conduits, heaters, steam lines, electrical panels, and communication boxes, and by adding structural support to an existing facility.

The Unreviewed Safety Question Determinations (USQD) Program Improvement Project reduced the total inventory of USQDs by more than 40% through innovating the Unreviewed Safety Question (USQ) Program and improving the tools used to perform USQDs. With this reduction, Pantex more quickly responds to emerging issues, reduces risk, and increases responsiveness.

BUILDER Innovation: Improving Science Based Modeling and System Integration is the foundation for reporting deferred maintenance and replacement plant value for all NA-50 sites. In only nine months, this CNS team successfully established the BUILDER/SAP Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) integration tool, which pushes data between the systems and eliminates manual search, retrieval, and data entry.

The Building 9204-2 Kathabar Supply and Return Duct Repair project executed an innovative repair of degraded supply duct using a rigid spray foam. This applied coating eliminated air losses though the duct with no interruption of process work. This successful project and the sustainment of this facility contributed to the Y-12’s lithium mission.

The 9201-05 Dust Collector System Disposition project involved the isolation, dismantlement, and disposition of the system, which was technically challenging due to its size, location, and contaminants. It was also physically challenging for workers in full personal protective equipment during 90-plus degree days. The collector was associated with Building 9201-5, the highest-risk legacy facility in the NNSA enterprise. The Y-12 team achieved the reduction in contamination by developing an innovative, safe plan to execute the work via encapsulation and vacuuming.

The Building 9215 Motor Control Center 332 Electrical Replacement Outagewas completed as part of the Nuclear Facilities Electrical Modernization portfolio. This Y-12 project's execution team reduced the outage windows from four required outages to two. The development of work contingencies and optimized scheduling allowed completion of this replacement almost 30 days ahead of the original project completion date and reduced the overall cost of the project by more than $1.2 million.

The Defense Program Package (DPP)-1 Shipping Package Design Team at Y-12 completed the design of the DPP-1 shipping package in January 2019, approximately 16 months after being named the Design Agency for the development and completion of the package. The DPP-1 is a package for off-site shipment that will be used for the safe and secure shipment of weapons systems pits. The design team worked closely with representatives from Pantex, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to establish all relevant requirements for the DPP-1.

Y-12’s Building 9720-58 Fire System Conversion Project Team assembled a multi-functional team that safely designed and replaced the complex and outdated foam-based deluge system, which required costly annual flood tests, with an innovative modern nitrogen-filled dry pipe system. Coordination among team members from multiple organizations allowed operations to safely continue and support Y-12's mission while the system was being replaced. This new-to-Y-12 system resulted in an annual cost savings of approximately $150,000.


Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC operates the Pantex Plant, located in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex, located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, under a single contract for the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration. CNS member companies include Bechtel National, Inc.; Leidos, Inc.; ATK Launch Systems, Inc.; and SOC LLC. Pantex and Y-12 are key facilities in the U.S. Nuclear Security Enterprise, and CNS performs its work with a focus on performance excellence and the imperatives of safety, security, zero defects and delivery as promised.

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Steve Myers
Office (806) 573.6032