FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2004
Oct. 5 ceremony to celebrate completion of new $22 million WETL facility in Amarillo
AMARILLO, TEXAS — Area news media are invited to a ceremony Oct. 5 at 11 a.m. marking the completion of construction of the new Weapons Evaluation Test Laboratory (WETL) at the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas.
The new $22 million state-of-the-art facility, designed to conduct systems-level non-nuclear tests on nuclear weapons and components, replaces the current 40-year-old laboratory at the site. The new WETL will house more than $90 million worth of testing equipment. WETL is operated by Sandia National Laboratories for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).
Speaking at the ceremony will be John Stichman, Sandia vice president for Weapon Systems; Mike Mallory, general manager of BWXT Pantex; Martin Schoenbauer, acting assistant deputy administrator for Military Application and Stockpile Operations, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); and Master of Ceremonies William Norris, manager of Sandia’s surveillance group.
A media availability will follow the ceremony at 11:30 a.m.
WETL is programmatically associated with NNSA’s Stockpile Stewardship Program. WETL’s mission is to support the timely detection of defects in the U.S. stockpile through subsystem level testing in a laboratory environment in accordance with predefined test plans.
The new facility will feature modern offices and lab facilities for about 20 staff members, a state-of the-art video conference room, transition high-bay work space, and sufficient dock space for receiving and shipping. The architect for the project was Hays, Seay, Mattern & Mattern, Inc. of Roanoke, Va. The contractor is Manhattan Construction of Oklahoma.
Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
Sandia media contact: Chris Burroughs, firstname.lastname@example.org, (505) 844-0948