Cutting Y-12’s high-security area in half

Officials participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for the West End Protected Area Reduction project (WEPAR) at Y-12 National Security Complex. From left to right: Brian Zieroth, Senior Manager of Enterprise Line Item Projects; Dale Christenson, Y-12 Acquisition and Project Management Office director; Jay Mullis, U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Environmental Management manager; Byron Hawkins, Y-12 Special Nuclear Materials Operations Warehousing and Transportation Production Support manager; Geoff Beausoleil, National Nuclear Security Administration Production Office manager; Doug Bruder, Sandia National Laboratories associate director; Adam DaeGorn, West End Protected Area Reduction federal project director.

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, officials broke ground last Wednesday on the West End Protected Area Reduction project (WEPAR) at Y-12 National Security Complex, which, when completed, will reduce the size of the high-security protected area on the site by approximately 50%. 

The project supports efforts to modernize Y-12’s high-security boundary and includes the installation of new sections on the perimeter intrusion, detection, and assessment system (PIDAS) as well as a new entry control facility, according to a CNS news release.

Reducing the PIDAS has the added benefit of removing some aging, legacy facilities from the protected area, allowing those facilities to be deactivated, decommissioned, and remediated at a significantly lower cost. 

“Defense Nuclear Security (DNS) is incredibly proud of the collaboration that has occurred to facilitate today’s celebratory groundbreaking of the WEPAR project,” Jeffrey Johnson, NNSA associate administrator for Defense Nuclear Security, stated in the release.

Federal and contractor officials at Y-12 National Security Complex gather during the WEPAR ceremony Wednesday.
Officials examine a site plan for the WEPAR project at Y-12 National Security Complex.

“WEPAR is a vitally important project for NNSA, providing: security system modernization, a reduction in the secure footprint, and optimization of secure resources. This project has advanced as a result of a strong partnership among DNS, the Acquisition and Project Management Office, the NNSA Production Office, Consolidated Nuclear Security, and the Physical Security Center of Excellence, which exemplifies the tremendous accomplishments we make when we work together as a team.” 


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