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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


New Mexico

Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) is a government-owned/contractor-operated (GOCO) facility that is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) national laboratory complex. It is managed by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Corporation company, for the DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Sandia has been managed by Lockheed Martin Corp. since October 1, 1993. Sandia Site Office (SSO), which was established by the NNSA in December 2002, is responsible for contract administration and oversight and ensures the safe and secure operations of the DOE mission at Sandia.

SNL conducts systems engineering of nuclear weapons; conducts research, design, and development of non-nuclear components; manufactures non-nuclear weapons components including neutron generators for the stockpile; provides safety, security, and reliability assessments of stockpile weapons; and conducts high-explosives (HE) research and development (R&D) and environmental testing.

Sandia was established on Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1945 during the Manhattan Project to provide engineering design, production, assembly, and field testing of nonnuclear components of nuclear weapons. It represented a small part of Los Alamos Laboratory, called Z-Division, providing ordnance design, testing, assembly, and technical support to the U.S. Army. As the division grew, it moved to Sandia Base outside of Albuquerque, was renamed "Sandia Laboratory" in 1948. On November 1, 1949 Sandia became an independent laboratory at President Harry Truman's request. It opened its Livermore, California, facilities in 1956. Sandia was designated a national laboratory in 1979.

SNL has multiple locations. Sandia is headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It has a second principal site at Livermore, California. It includes the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada, the Kauai Test Facility in Hawaii, and Sandia Science and Technology Park. Sandia also has a presence at the Pantex Plant in Texas; the Carlsbad, New Mexico Field Office, which leads the nation's transuranic waste disposal efforts at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP); and at the Nevada Office, where Sandia is the lead laboratory for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

Sandia's New Mexico location, Sandia/New Mexico (SNL/NM), is located at the foot of the Manzano Mountains adjacent to the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The site is essentially surrounded by Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB). DOE has had one- to five-year land-use permits for some of the Air Force property. An area of the Manzano Mountains east of KAFB has also been withdrawn from the Forest Service for the exclusive use of the Air Force and DOE.

The total land mass includes 188,312 acres and 1,181 buildings, which cover 7,721,071 square feet. The headquarters area covers approximately 105.6 acres (0.165 square mile). The total laboratory area incorporates 2,800 acres owned by the DOE and another 20,342 acres controlled by formal agreement.

The SNL budget for fiscal year (FY) 1996 was $1.43 billion. The SNL budget in FY 2006 was $2,269.9 million. In FY 2007 it grew to $2,397.7 million. Sandia's fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30. Most of Sandia's budget comes from DOE, within which the NNSA provides about half. Other major funding comes from the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense.

In May 1996, there were about 9,000 DOE, operating contractor, and subcontractor personnel and 53 DOE employees are assigned to the Kirtland Area Office (KAO). SNL staff numbered 8,625 in FY 2006. At its peak in FY 2006, Sandia had about 8,821 employees. The number fell to 8,478 in FY 2007. Now the number is at 8,338. Staff will likely be reduced to 7,800 by fiscal 2011 in anticipation of budget cuts.

SSO replaced the Albuquerque Operations Office (AL)/Kirtland Area Office (KAO) as the responsible office. Previously, oversight of SNL/NM was provided by the Albuquerque Operations Office (AL) through KAO. AL was responsible for developing plans and estimates related to DOE's capability to develop and stockpile new weapons. AL carried out programs for nuclear weapons production, field non-nuclear testing, and stockpile maintenance and surveillance. AL also provided guidance and policy to SNL/NM and works closely with the Rocky Flats Field Office, the Oak Ridge Operations Office, and the Savannah River Operations Office.

The KAO Manager had line management responsibility for activities at SNL/NM, the Tonopah Test Range, Sandia National Laboratories/California, the Kauai Test Range in Hawaii, and the Inhalation Toxicology Research Institute. KAO consisted of three branches, including the Assistant Area Managers for Facilities and Project Management; Operations; Environment and Security, Contracts, and Business Management. The KAO Manager was the Administrative Contracting Officer for the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract No. DE-AC04-94AL8500.

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