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State-of-the-art facility replaces Cold-War era infrastructure as part of initiative to modernize the Nuclear Security Enterprise

WASHINGTON – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) has authorized full-scale operations at the Pantex Plant’s High Explosives Pressing Facility (HEPF) in Amarillo, Texas, following extensive readiness reviews.

The Pantex Plant is the Nation’s primary facility for the final assembly, dismantlement, and maintenance of nuclear weapons. Replacement of high explosives in weapons is an important part of NNSA’s mission to maintain and extend the life of the U.S. nuclear stockpile.

“NNSA is modernizing the Nuclear Security Enterprise to face 21st century threats,” said Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator. “Our dedicated stewards of the nuclear deterrent at the Pantex Plant deserve this modern, safe infrastructure to accomplish our team’s national security missions.” 

HEPF replaces existing machining and pressing facilities that are over 50 years old and consolidates operations to reduce the movement of high explosives within the plant, increasing employee safety and minimizing impact to other plant operations. 

NNSA broke ground on the 45,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility in 2011.  Managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers using a firm fixed price contract, construction was completed in 2017.