AIKEN, S.C. – Participants of the Sandia National Laboratories Weapon Intern Program (WIP) were welcomed at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in June.
The intern program includes participants from across the Nuclear Security Enterprise (NSE) and seeks to transfer weapons knowledge and experience and increase the understanding of those working in the nuclear weapons field.
“WIP is a prestigious leadership development program used to prepare the future generation of experts in nuclear weapon stewardship,” said Lisa Lee, Knowledge Transfer and Engineering Competency Development Manager, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS). “The WIP interns are required to have two to five years of experience in a nuclear weapons organization, and many of them have 10-plus years of nuclear weapons experience.”
The WIP curriculum includes classroom instruction from nuclear weapons subject matter experts, Department of Energy and Department of Defense site facility tours, and a nuclear weapons research final project.
The purpose of these site visits is to reinforce classroom instruction and allow interns to see the overall nuclear enterprise, gain a greater appreciation of how each site contributes, see other perspectives, and appreciate what each site does within its constraints and requirements.
During their visit, participants toured the Savannah River Tritium Enterprise (SRTE) and the Savannah River Plutonium direction of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).
SRTE is the only facility in the nation capable of preparing tritium for the nuclear weapons stockpile, and SRPPF is part of NNSA’s two-site strategy between SRS and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to produce no fewer than 80 war reserve plutonium pits per year to meet national security requirements.
The two-site approach will provide an effective, responsive and resilient nuclear weapons infrastructure with the flexibility to adapt to shifting requirements and counter future threats.
Former WIP participants Lee, an SRPPF employee, and Hope Nehring, an SRTE employee, helped plan the visit.
The visit also included a site driving tour and a walking tour of the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL).
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