Sandia Labs News Releases

Sandia Labs revitalizes nuclear security infrastructure

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Sandia National Laboratories has completed $199 million in facilities construction and repair as part of an 11-year national effort to revitalize the physical infrastructure of nuclear security enterprise sites.

The Facilities and Infrastructure Recapitalization Program (FIRP) was established in 2001 to reduce a long-standing backlog of deferred maintenance at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) eight sites, including Sandia. Some $1.9 billion was spent over 11 years on 900 design, construction and repair projects. The program goals were accomplished one year early.

“The NNSA created the program to make its sites leaner, more energy efficient and to ensure the vitality and readiness of its nuclear security enterprise,” said Dawn Harder, Sandia Field Office FIRP program manager. “A primary goal was to help restore, rebuild and revitalize the facilities and infrastructure at Sandia through the elimination of legacy deferred maintenance and excess space.”

The FIRP came about after the Department of Energy (DOE) and NNSA found significant deterioration of facilities that house activities of the Science Based Stockpile Stewardship Program. The FIRP was supported by DOE, Department of Defense, outside stakeholders, Congress and NNSA. The goal was to reduce a $2 billion maintenance and repair backlog and restore facility conditions to an acceptable level through recapitalization, restoration and modernization.

At Sandia’s three major sites in Albuquerque; Livermore, Calif.; and Tonopah, Nev., the program eliminated $142 million in deferred maintenance and 510,000 square feet of noncontaminated excess space. Sandia completed 56 recapitalization projects costing $100 million; 21 disposition projects, at $29 million; two major utility line-item projects, $62 million; and 18 infrastructure planning initiatives, $8 million.

“The FIRP has been a cornerstone for Sandia’s efforts to achieve and efficiently maintain its facilities in a condition ‘fit for mission use,’” said Art Ratzel, director of Sandia’s Facilities Management and Operations Center. “Its performance exceeded our expectations through NNSA’s strong commitment and the tremendous efforts of Field Office and Facilities Management staffs in making FIRP an unqualified success.”

NNSA’s efforts to improve its infrastructure are not ending. NNSA will continue to address old deferred maintenance needs where appropriate and establish new, modern capabilities needed to support the advances in stockpile stewardship and other program drivers that will replace outdated and obsolete capabilities.

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Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies and economic competitiveness.

Sandia news media contact: Nancy Salem,, (505) 844-2739