Uranium Processing Facility team signs partnering agreement

UPF Partnering Agreement

The Uranium Processing Facility Project Office and Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC signed a partnering agreement to move forward on delivering the UPF mission. Shown in the photo are, front row, left to right: Bill Priest, CNS; John Eschenberg, UPO; Brian Reilly, CNS; and Dale Christenson, UPO; and back row, left to right: Joe Brown, CNS; Brant Morowski, CNS; Mike Pratt, CNS; Jim Sowers, CNS; Matt Crookshanks, CNS; John Clayton, UPO; Art Haugh, UPO; Laurie Folden, UPO; and Steve Wellbaum, UPO. (Submitted photo)

 

Officials from the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Uranium Processing Facility Project Office and Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC recently signed a partnering agreement to create a cohesive and effective team united in accomplishment of the Uranium Processing Facility mission.

“The UPF partnering agreement is an important step to ensure our team carries out its mission to deliver a new UPF, a key infrastructure investment for our country, with Building 9212 capabilities, for not more than $6.5 billion by 2025,” said UPF Federal Project Director John Eschenberg.

The agreement also emphasizes a collaborative approach to problem-solving and issue resolution focused on early identification and rapid communication. [Read more...]

CNS begins managing, operating Pantex, Y-12

Pantex Plant Aerial February 2008

The Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas, is pictured above. (Photo courtesy NNSA)

 

Two nuclear weapons facilities managed under one contract

Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC on Tuesday assumed full responsibility for managing and operating the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, and Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge. The two nuclear weapons facilities perform missions vital to national security, CNS said in a press release.

The National Nuclear Security Administration awarded CNS the contract to consolidate the two facilities under a single contract. During a four-month transition that began March 3, the CNS team prepared to integrate and operate both facilities to deliver their critical missions with safety, security, quality, and cost efficiency, the press release said.

During the course of transition, CNS completed more than 3,000 scheduled actions, brought on board 7,800 employees, inspected more than 400 facilities, reviewed and approved more than 5,000 procedures, consulted with dozens of community leaders and elected officials, and established the structure and processes for managing the two sites as one enterprise, the release said. Transition activities were completed on schedule and under budget. [Read more...]

Y-12, Pantex complete transition to new contractor

Y-12 Aerial Photo June 2012

The Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge is pictured above in June 2012. (Photo courtesy NNSA)

 

The National Nuclear Security Administration Production Office and Consolidated Nuclear Security have completed one of the largest and most complex contract transitions in the history of the U.S. Department of Energy.

On July 1, Consolidated Nuclear Security, or CNS, assumed the responsibility for managing and operating the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge. CNS replaces B&W Y-12, which had operated Y-12 since 2000, and B&W Pantex, which also had operated Pantex since 2000. The contract includes a total annual operating budget of $1.5 billion and employment of about 8,000 in Tennessee and Texas.

Steve Erhart

Steve Erhart

“The new contract will allow NNSA to continue the safe and secure maintenance of the nuclear weapons stockpile; provide enriched uranium for naval, research, and isotope production reactors; and, support nonproliferation activities to reduce the global nuclear threat,” said Steve Erhart, NNSA Production Office manager. “The conclusion of this transition will bring much needed stability to the thousands of men and women who play an important role in our enduring national security mission. All contract transitions create some change and uncertainty. But, throughout this process, the highly skilled professionals at Pantex and Y-12 have remained focused and dedicated to the safe and secure completion of the mission.”

The consolidated contract will yield significant savings to the U.S. taxpayer over the life of the contract as NNSA and CNS develop more efficient ways of doing business, a press release said. A portion of the generated savings are to be reinvested into aging infrastructure at both sites to improve the working conditions for the Pantex and Y-12 workforce. [Read more...]

Haynes, Erhart: ‘Beginning of new era’ at Y-12, Pantex

Jim Haynes

Jim Haynes

The transition to a new federal contractor is complete at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge and Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas. The new contractor, Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC, began operating the sites Tuesday, July 1.

Here is a message from NNSA Production Office Manager Steve Erhart and Consolidated Nuclear Security Chief Executive Officer Jim Haynes:

Steve Erhart

Steve Erhart

Today marks the beginning of a new era for the Pantex Plant and the Y-12 National Security Complex. For the first time, the two largest NNSA nuclear production sites are consolidated under one contract. Whether you are in Texas or Tennessee, we are now one team delivering our national security mission. [Read more...]

New UPF project director replaces Strock, who is retiring

Brian Reilly

Brian Reilly

Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC announced last week that Brian Reilly will become project director for the Uranium Processing Facility.

CNS is the new contractor that will manage and operate the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge and Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, starting this summer.

A press release said Reilly has 34 years of commercial nuclear engineering, procurement, and construction leadership and project management experience. A Bechtel senior vice president, Reilly managed Bechtel’s global nuclear operations for six years and has led numerous nuclear projects from conceptual studies and design through all aspects of engineering, procurement, and construction. [Read more...]

Y-12, Pantex workforce reductions could total about 170 jobs

Y-12 National Security Complex Scarboro Road Entrance

The Scarboro Road entrance to the Y-12 National Security Complex is pictured above.

Workforce reductions at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge and Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, are expected to total about 170 jobs, officials said this week.

That’s about 2 percent of the roughly 7,900 workers at the two nuclear weapons plants.

The workforce reductions are expected to come through a voluntary separation program, or VSP.

The majority of the reductions, or 140 positions, would be at Y-12. The other 30 would be at Pantex.

The VSPs are being considered as a new federal contractor, Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC, prepares to take over at Y-12 and Pantex on July 1. CNS, which was first announced as the new consolidated contractor in January 2013, has promised to save the federal government more than $3 billion during the next decade. [Read more...]

Staff size at Y-12, Pantex could be reduced through voluntary separations

Y-12 National Security Complex Aerial View

The Y-12 National Security Complex is pictured above.

The staff size at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge and Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, could be reduced as a new federal contractor takes over. Officials expect the staff reductions to be less than 5 percent, and they say that most, if not all, of the staff reductions could come through voluntary separation programs.

The voluntary separation programs, or VSPs, were announced on April 15 by B&W Y-12 President and General Manager Dave Richardson and B&W Pantex President and General Manager John Woolery.

In his message to Y-12 workers, Richardson said the National Nuclear Security Administration had directed the plants to conduct the VSPs as part of the implementation of the staffing plan for Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC, the new contractor at the two nuclear weapons plants in Tennessee and Texas.

The Y-12 VSP will be targeted to specific job classifications and roles identified by CNS, Richardson said. Only employees in those specific classifications and roles will be eligible to apply for the VSP.

“Currently, B&W Y-12 is in the process of putting together a VSP plan that is in alignment with CNS’ staffing desires,” Richardson said last week. “We will submit our VSP plan later this week. Once this plan is approved by NNSA, we’ll communicate more details to you; specifically, each person eligible to participate in the VSP will be notified.” [Read more...]

CNS announces org chart, senior leaders for Y-12, Pantex

Y-12 National Security Complex Aerial View

The Y-12 National Security Complex is pictured above.

The new federal contractor at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge and Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, has started announcing members of its senior leadership team.

Jim Haynes, chief executive officer for Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC, announced the leaders in a message posted on the company’s transition website on Saturday.

The executives are:

  • Jim Allen—chief operating officer
  • Darrell Graddy—senior vice president for mission support
  • Ken Freeman—senior vice president for safeguards, security, and emergency services
  • Rick Glass—senior vice president for mission assurance

“We will roll out our senior leadership team in phases, and over the next few weeks we will help you get to know the CNS leadership team through a series of articles, employee information meetings in Amarillo and Oak Ridge, and other opportunities for face-to-face interaction,” Haynes said. [Read more...]

Guest column: Y-12, Pantex transition update

Jim Haynes

Jim Haynes

Note: This is a copy of a March 20 transition update for employees at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge and Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas. It’s posted on the Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC transition website.

By Jim Haynes

It has been a very busy two weeks for the Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS) transition team. We are proceeding full speed ahead. Among other activities last week, we had a very informative series of 36 briefings over three days with the incumbent Pantex and Y-12 management teams designed to help us better understand the current site organizations. Also, dozens of other meetings have been held at Pantex and Y-12.

I spent time at both sites last week, including a visit with Pantex Plant management at their Integrated Plan of the Day meeting. As I visit the sites, I more fully appreciate your professionalism and support—you truly are making a difference for our nation. I look forward to interacting with more of you over the coming weeks.

Over the last two weeks, I have also met with a significant number of community stakeholders in Amarillo and Oak Ridge, and will continue to do so as we introduce additional members of our leadership team and announce our plans. Our host communities are proud of your service, and proud to host the national assets that are Pantex and Y-12. We will continue to make them proud.

During my visits, I have been asked about our name, Consolidated Nuclear Security. I am happy to answer that question because we were very thoughtful in developing a name for our enterprise that accurately describes who we are and what we will do. [Read more...]

Employment offers made at Y-12, Pantex from April 15-June 2

Jim Haynes

Jim Haynes

The new contractor at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge and Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, will make employment offers between April 15 and June 2, the company said Tuesday.

Information about the employment offers, which must be made no later than June 2, was included in a Tuesday message to employees from Jim Haynes, president and chief executive officer of the new Y-12 and Pantex contractor, Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC.

“The CNS management team and I recognize that you are waiting for information that will affect your jobs and your lives—and that waiting can cause anxiety about staffing plans, organizational structure, members of the senior leadership team, benefits, retirement planning, work schedules, and more,” Haynes said.

Here are other key dates: [Read more...]

B&W: No more protests of $22 billion Y-12, Pantex contract

Y-12 National Security Complex Aerial View

After more than one year and three protests, a team led by the Babcock and Wilcox Co. will no longer oppose the transition to a new contractor at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, pictured above, and Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas.

Note: This story was last updated at 8:43 a.m. March 20.

After more than one year and three protests, a team led by the Babcock and Wilcox Co. will no longer oppose the transition to a new contractor at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge and Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas.

The team, Nuclear Production Partners LLC, had challenged the National Nuclear Security Administration’s decision to award the consolidated contract to another team, Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC, or CNS. That decision was first announced in January 2013 and reaffirmed in November. The contract could be worth $22.8 billion during a 10-year period.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office denied the third and final protest by Nuclear Production Partners LLC, or NP2, on Feb. 27, but it wasn’t clear if the B&W-led team might continue to challenge the contract award. The case could have been appealed to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C.

In the meantime, federal officials and CNS said they had started the four-month transition to CNS at Y-12 and Pantex. The transition had originally been scheduled to be complete by May 2013, but it had been delayed by protests. Among other things, the protests had led the NNSA to seek additional cost savings information from the three bidding teams. [Read more...]

New Y-12, Pantex contractor website includes employment information

Jim Haynes

Jim Haynes

The transition website for the new contractor at the Y-12 National Security Complex and Pantex Plant was posted online on Thursday afternoon. The new website for Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC is available at http://www.cnstransition.com.

CNS is the new managing and operating contractor at Y-12 in Oak Ridge and Pantex in Amarillo, Texas. The contract award, worth up to about $23 billion over 10 years, was first announced in January 2013 but delayed by a series of protests. The U.S. Government Accountability Office denied the third and final protest on Thursday, Feb. 27. On Monday, officials at the National Nuclear Security Administration said the transition to the new contractor had started and was expected to last four months.

On Thursday, CNS spokesman Jason Bohne said the company would be adding much more information to the transition website during the next few weeks and months, including more details on the senior management team, proposed organization, messages to employees, and more.

The transition website includes a message from CNS President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Haynes, who has been senior vice president and deputy general manager for the current Y-12 contractor, B&W Y-12. Other members of the CNS leadership team include Michael Jones, transformation; Darrell Graddy, mission support; and Carl Strock, project director for the Uranium Processing Facility. [Read more...]