Safety, Infrastructure, and Operations

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NNSA's Laurie Folden and Pam Gorman study blueprints on a job site at Y-12 National Security Complex
Engineers and project managers are key to NNSA missions. Here, Laurie Folden and Pam Gorman study blueprints for a project at the Y-12 National Security Complex.
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Click to learn about the Nuclear Materials Management and Safeguards System.

NNSA’s vital national security missions are dependent upon a safe, reliable, and modern Nuclear Security Enterprise infrastructure. This is a vast and complex network of facilities that include cutting-edge scientific, experimental, and engineering structures located throughout the nation.

NNSA’s Office of Safety, Infrastructure, and Operations ensures that the existing architecture is safely operated, effectively managed, and that current and new facilities are adequately maintained to meet mission needs.

To carry out this mission, the office has the responsibility to manage and implement the programs, policies, processes, and procedures for assuring effective integration of activities across the enterprise, working closely with other NNSA program offices.

Safety, Infrastructure & Operations articles and press releases

Ensuring operational safety of nuclear security missions

NNSA is committed to ensuring the effective development and consistent implementation of safety programs and requirements across the Nuclear Security Enterprise.

As part of this mission, the Office of Safety provides expert advice and assistance to senior leaders responsible for the oversight and regulation of nuclear security across NNSA’s laboratories and sites. The office provides technical support to ensure compliance with nuclear safety policy, requirements, and guidance and expectations linked to the agency’s federal nuclear safety obligations.

A large portion of NNSA’s safety mission mandates that programs involving worker well-being and health requirements are identified, implemented, and reviewed in coordination with laboratory, plant, and site management. The execution of existing plans is managed in coordination with the Department of Energy’s Office of Health, Safety, and Security.

Revolutionizing infrastructure

A large number of existing facilities across the Nuclear Security Enterprise have been in operation for over 40 years. More than 50 percent date to the Manhattan Project era. As a result, NNSA’s architecture has grown too big, too old and less than adequate to efficiently meet mission needs.

NNSA’s Office of Infrastructure is tasked with maintaining, operating, and modernizing the base infrastructure in a safe, secure, and cost-effective manner to address these challenges.

In order to do so, NNSA is using data-driven and risk-informed decision-making tools, as well as an approach that allows transparent, predictable and repeatable outcomes to meet the agency’s future mission needs and requirements.

Modernizing NNSA’s infrastructure requires a methodical and detailed approach. Specifically, NNSA has embarked in a science-based infrastructure stewardship method that ensures efficiency and repeatable results.

Enterprise stewardship

NNSA’s mission is to ensure nuclear security by maintaining the nuclear weapon stockpile and reducing global nuclear dangers.

Enterprise Stewardship supports NNSA’s mission by ensuring the safety, security, and reliability of the nation’s Nuclear Security Enterprise. In addition, the Office ensures that the workers, the environment and public are protected.

One of our key elements is to provide regulatory compliance reviews of containers used for the movement of materials of national security interest and other hazardous materials.

The second key element is to provide departmental policy in the planning and integration of accountable nuclear material and worldwide tracking. In addition, the Office provides accurate and timely material inventory information of U.S. nuclear materials across DOE/NNSA programs.

The last key element is the management of NNSA’s TRU Waste program, and ensures prudent investment in infrastructure and environmental sustainability through long-term stewardship activities.