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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)



Building Facilities Categories:

  • Production
      The production category represents 33 percent of the site's square footage with approximately 965,000 gross feet. The production category includes assembly/disassembly and applied technology buildings. The buildings in the production category vary from modern facilities designed to meet modern safety criteria, to World War II vintage structures.
  • Storage
      The storage category accounts for 24 percent, or approximately 695,000 gross feet of the site's square footage. The storage category represents buildings varying from portable waste storage buildings to weapons and nuclear material staging magazines.
  • Administrative
      The administrative category accounts for 30 percent, or approximately 870,000 gross square feet, of the site's square footage. This category includes office buildings, medical facilities, cafeterias, and training facilities.
  • Support
      The support category consists of 13 percent, or approximately 370,000 gross square feet, of the site's total square footage. Connecting ramps and security facilities are included in this category.

Explosive Disposal

The Burning Grounds (BG-3 and BG-4) are used to thermally dispose of high explosives, and Building 12-73 is used to clean and decontaminate tooling exposed to high explosives. These facilities are between 22 and 42 years old. Building 12-73 totals approximately 1,900 square feet; the Burning Grounds are approximately one square mile in size. The Burning Grounds consist of a number of pads for open air burning, supported by small material storage areas. As dismantlement continues, the need for the burning grounds to dispose of waste high explosives will also continue; eventually the need for burning of high explosives will be eliminated.

Onsite Transportation and Loading Docks

The facilities for transporting nuclear explosives, weapons components, and other process-related material consist of Loading Dock 4-26 located in the western part of Zone 4 and Loading Docks 12-98 and 12-99 in the production part of Zone 12. Operations include movement of weapons or components in safe-secure trailers or in hardened trailers between Zone 4 and Zone 12 or on forklift or handcart between buildings, and loading/unloading and packing/unpacking operations. The loading docks and transportation activities are associated with movement of nuclear weapons and weapon components.

Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium

In 1994, DOE entered into a 5-year $51.5 million cooperative agreement with Texas to establish the Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium. Approximately $2 million of the Center's budget was used to fund Russian activities related to plutonium disposition. Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium (ANRCP) was designed to be a scientific and technical resource for information related to the storage, disposition, potential use, and transportation of plutonium, high explosives, and other material generated from nuclear weapons dismantlement.

Projected functions of ANRCP included:

  • Providing information about the interpretation of technical and scientific data identified by interest groups and concerned citizens, elected officials, and site-specific advisory groups.
  • Participating in studies of international verification controls of fissile materials.
  • Evaluating options for plutonium disposition.
  • Engaging in bilateral exchanges between Russia and the U.S.

Initial efforts proposed by the ANRCP included:

  • Developing a comprehensive electronic archive of nuclear material.
  • Exploring beneficial reuse of high explosives.
  • Establishing a public outreach program.
  • Facilitating agreements in the U.S. and the Russian Summit Working Group on Disposition and Accumulation of Fissile Materials.

Also coordinated through the ANRCP was a joint DOE/State of Texas Agreement in Principle and Grant providing support for environmental inventory and assessment and emergency preparedness planning with respect to Pantex Plant.

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