The National Nuclear Security Administration is all about security and efficiency, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has a brand-new building to deliver just that. A newly constructed 16,000 square foot facility at LLNL will house equipment to support the polymer production mission, reducing nuclear weapon component design and build times.
Currently known as the Manufacturing Science Building 225 (B225), this construction facility provides an open, flexible floor plan with the capability to reduce the design and build time in support of NNSA’s W80-4 Life Extension Program (LEP) and W87-1 Modification Program requirement.
The B225 construction project was authorized in October 2018 and was originally approved and designed as part of LLNL’s Applied Materials and Engineering area plan to relocate capabilities out of an old, degraded building. In May 2020, less than a week before the foundation was poured, NNSA determined that B225 could be repurposed to accommodate an urgent need for a new polymer manufacturing capability.
“Without missing a beat, Livermore’s infrastructure team pivoted in real time to support evolving NNSA mission needs,” said Jessica Kunkle, Acting Deputy Associate Administrator for Office of Infrastructure. “The innovation and flexibility demonstrated here allowed NNSA to respond on time to emerging needs for cutting edge research and development in the polymer production mission.”
The Building 225 pivot showcases NNSA’s agile approach to infrastructure planning and the value of area plans. NNSA uses area planning as a tool to define, prioritize, and communicate comprehensive infrastructure investment strategies for specific capabilities or areas at each site, including enabling infrastructure that allows for quick response to emerging needs across the Nuclear Security Enterprise.
“Livermore is a leader at NNSA’s area planning efforts,” Department of Energy Undersecretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Jill Hruby shared in her remarks at a recent LLNL event, “Area plans create a framework for modernization by integrating mission requirements with viable infrastructure investment options and, once again, Livermore demonstrated the agility of their infrastructure planning with the completion of Building 225.”
Despite the pandemic and a host of other challenges, the team completed construction of B225 in April 2021, a month ahead of schedule. The new polymer manufacturing equipment will be installed by end of September with full operational capability to occur January 2022.