AIKEN, S.C. (Nov. 16, 2021) – More than 150 employees at the Savannah River Site (SRS) whose work supports the Nation’s nuclear deterrent have recently been recognized by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) with Defense Programs Awards of Excellence. Some of the employees were honored for their work with tritium, the hydrogen isotope required for modern nuclear defense, while others were honored for their involvement in the plans for a facility that will produce plutonium pits for the nuclear stockpile.
The awards are presented at NNSA labs, plants, and sites across the country by NNSA’s Office of Defense Programs to recognize significant achievements in support of the agency’s mission to ensure the United States maintains a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear deterrent and other important national security objectives. COVID-19 complications interfered with plans to present awards last year, so awards for accomplishments at SRS in both Calendar Years 2019 and 2020 were presented in a virtual ceremony.
Summer Jones, NNSA Assistant Deputy Administrator for Production Modernization, who addressed the honorees on behalf of the Office of Defense Programs, remarked on their "dedication and commitment to advancing the mission,” especially in light of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and expressed NNSA’s thanks for their work supporting the nation’s security.
“I could not be more proud of my team for their exemplary performance on tasks vital to our Nation’s strategic deterrence, made even more noteworthy considering the work was performed during a pandemic,” said Mark Davis, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) Sr. Vice President – NNSA Operations and Programs.
“These awards are one more confirmation of the importance of the work our employees carry out for the Nation,” said Dave Olson, SRNS Executive Vice President – NNSA Capital Projects.
“I am proud of SRNL employees being recognized by NNSA for their accomplishments,” said Dr. Vahid Majidi, Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) Director. “These awards highlight the value of effective teamwork between different contractors at the Savannah River Site to enhance national security”
The awards recognized accomplishments of 10 teams from multiple SRS organizations, including personnel from the NNSA Savannah River Field Office, SRNL, and SRNS, which operates both the Savannah River Tritium Enterprise (SRTE) and the department responsible for design and construction of the planned Savannah River Plutonium Processing Facility (SRPPF). Several of the award-winning teams included members from across organizational lines, and some involved collaboration between personnel at SRS and other NNSA sites.
The team that developed the documents outlining plans for the SRPPF earned an award for the achievement, a massive package of documents that resulted in NNSA’s approval of the facility to move forward into the next phases of development. The team included personnel from SRNS and its subcontractors, along with personnel from Los Alamos National Laboratory.
An SRTE team was recognized for SRTE’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which included taking extraordinary measures to ensure employees remained safe while meeting mission deliverables necessary to the nation’s nuclear deterrent, including fulfilling a request to advance a shipping schedule.
A team consisting of SRTE and SRNL personnel was recognized for quick response and diligent efforts that kept SRTE’s shipments to the military on schedule after a waterline break threatened a crucial step in the process.
Another team consisting of SRTE personnel and their partners at NNSA’s Kansas City National Security Campus were honored for development of a process to enhance communication and cooperation between the two sites in support of Defense Programs’ mission.
An award recognized the team that rebuilt a key component of the environmental protection measures in the Tritium Extraction Facility, and other awards recognized several teams for significant contributions to the nation’s Stockpile Stewardship Program.
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile; works to reduce the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and militarily effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, a Fluor Corporation-led company with Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell, is responsible for the management and operations of the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, located near Aiken, South Carolina.
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