National Nuclear Security Administration

Workshop at Y-12 shares tools for maintaining aging infrastructure

December 26, 2018

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An employee at Y-12 National Security Complex walks through Building 9212.
An employee at Y-12 National Security Complex walks through Building 9212, which was built in 1945. The building will be replaced by the Uranium Processing Facility, now under construction.
Deputy Associate Administrator for Infrastructure in NNSA's Office of Safety, Infrastructure and Operations Ken Sheely addresses attendees at the Aging Infrastructure Management Workshop at Y-12 National Security Complex.
Deputy Associate Administrator for Infrastructure in NNSA's Office of Safety, Infrastructure and Operations Ken Sheely addresses attendees at the Aging Infrastructure Management Workshop at Y-12 National Security Complex.

“Too old, too big, too brittle.”

That’s how one of the top officials in NNSA’s Office of Safety, Infrastructure, and Operations described buildings across the Nuclear Security Enterprise at the Aging Infrastructure Maintenance Workshop in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in November. 

Ken Sheely, Deputy Associate Administrator for Infrastructure, said NNSA is addressing this challenge by implementing data-driven, risk-informed tools to prioritize the greatest needs across the enterprise. Increased funding has stemmed the infrastructure decline, he said, but much work remains to be done.  

The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review called for recapitalization of the Nation’s nuclear security infrastructure. Over half of NNSA’s infrastructure is over 40 years old and a quarter dates back to the Manhattan Project era.

More than 100 experts from across the enterprise, private industry, and the United Kingdom’s Atomic Weapons Establishment gathered for the workshop. From planning outages to prioritizing risk, the participants shared progress, lessons learned, and best practices.

The Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge was an excellent venue for the workshop since the site has employed building management programs for more than 10 years, developing many good practices to reduce risk to the operation of key aging facilities.

Participants walked away with new perspectives on how to address infrastructure challenges by using modern tools that increase safety and mitigate risk to the mission.

“This workshop demonstrates how successful practices used by industry and other partner organizations can be applied to ensure that NNSA’s infrastructure continues to operate safely and efficiently. The importance of collaboration, communication and sharing challenges and best practices across the Nuclear Security Enterprise cannot be overstated,” Sheely said.