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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)



The Pantex Site Office (PXSO) is responsible for the accomplishment of DOE missions assigned to the Plant; provides program management; and is accountable for critical functional areas that could affect the security, health, safety, and welfare of the general public. It administers the site's management and operating contract and is accountable for the overview of critical areas that could affect the security, health, safety and welfare of the general public and the environment.

The Amarillo Area Office of the Department of Energy (AAO/DOE) was the onsite DOE presence responsible for directing Plant operations. DOE's Amarillo Area Office (AAO) was one of six area offices under jurisdiction of the Albuquerque Operations Office. Activated as a Branch Office in 1951, and upgraded to an Area Office in 1965, the office had has 78 employees and an annual payroll of more than $4 million in the late 1990s. The AAO administed the DOE management operating contract with Mason & Hanger under a Cost Plus Award Fee (CPAF) arrangement. This responsibility included contract interpretation, direction, guidance, monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on the operating contractor's performance for award fee purposes.

Federal Agent Facility Central Command, Office of Secure Transportation (OST) OST transports nuclear weapons and components between DOE/NNSA and Department of Defense facilities. The Central Command is one of three OST stations nationwide. OST was previously known as the Southeastern Courier Section, under the DOE's Transportation and Safeguards Division before it achieved office status. Weapons are transported to and from Pantex in specially equipped trucks. These heavily armored trucks and trailers are driven by armed couriers who are DOE employees with the authority to use deadly force while protecting a weapons shipment. Each convoy includes escort vehicles driven by additional couriers. Special communication equipment enables a control center to track the exact location of each convoy as it rolls toward Pantex. The Pantex Courier Section has more than 100 employees.

The Sandia Weapons Evaluation Test Laboratory The Sandia Weapons Evaluation Test Laboratory (WETL) has been an important part of Pantex since 1966. There are about 17 highly trained technicians assigned to the Sandia Department. The mission of the WETL is to support the timely detection of defects in the nuclear weapons stockpile by evaluating weapon subsystems in the laboratory. All weapons evaluation is performed in accordance with predefined test plans. These plans include gathering data from the performance of electrical tests on both stockpiled and newly produced weapons. The Sandia Laboratory and Pantex Plant houses more than $75 million worth of sophisticated electronic test equipment, computerized data-gathering and data-processing systems, and environmental-simulation equipment. Included are unique testers for each weapon system, centrifuges, temperature-conditioning equipment, spinners, and waveform-analysis systems.

Tri-Lab Project Office The Tri-Lab Project Office provides technical support for the design agencies (Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories) and B&W Pantex. The office employs engineers from all three national laboratories.


Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Pantex, LLC, (B&W Pantex) is the management and operating contractor at the DOE/NNSA's Pantex Plant. The company is responsible for the Plant's daily operations. This involves work with nuclear weapons, plutonium pit storage, high explosives, engineering, safety, security, facilities management, quality, environmental protection and general administration.

Mason and Hanger Corporation (M&H) was the operating contractor from 1956 until the close of the century. M&H was last awarded the contract in 1996, although it was extended for three years through September 30, 1999. Sandia National Laboratory was a subcontractor. Battelle Memorial Institute provided environment, safety, and health (ES&H) support to M&H under a subcontract beginning in 1991.The contract was a cost plus award fee performance-based contract that incorporates DOE contract reform initiatives, with about 84 percent of the contract fee based on delivery objective results.

In 1999, Day & Zimmermann, Inc., acquired Mason & Hanger. In 2000, DOE awarded the Pantex management and operating contract to BWXT Pantex, a company formed by BWX Technologies, Inc., Honeywell International, Inc., and Bechtel National, Inc. specifically to manage and operate Pantex. BWXT Pantex assumed management and operations of the plant on February 1, 2001. In 2005, BWXT Pantex was awarded a five-year contract extension that continues until September 30, 2010. In 2007, BWX Technologies consolidated with the Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) and changed the name of BWXT Pantex to Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Pantex, LLC (B&W Pantex).

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