Source: Oak Ridge Today | John Huotari | October 25, 2017

U.S. Representative Mac Thornberry, left, a Texas Republican, and Representative Chuck Fleischmann, a Tennessee Republican, are pictured above after an East Tennessee Economic Council meeting on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

Two congressmen, one from East Tennessee and other the chair of the House Armed Services Committee, praised the consolidated contract that has been used to manage and operate the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge for more than three years.

The two sites are managed by Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC. Y-12 and Pantex are involved in nuclear weapons work and nuclear nonproliferation, and providing enriched uranium for naval, research, and isotope production reactors.

The transition to the consolidated contract, one of the most complex in the history of the U.S. Department of Energy, was completed on July 1, 2014. At that time, officials said the contract included a total annual operating budget of $1.5 billion and employment of about 8,000 in Tennessee and Texas.

U.S. representatives Chuck Fleischmann and Mac Thornberry commented on the consolidated contract during a visit to Oak Ridge on Friday, October 6. Fleischmann is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and vice chair of the Energy and Water Subcommittee, which recommends funding levels for DOE and the National Nuclear Security Administration, among other activities. Thornberry is chair of the House Armed Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Department of Defense, NNSA, and intelligence agencies.

Fleischmann, a Tennessee Republican whose district includes Oak Ridge, said the consolidated contract has been cost-efficient and led to overall efficiencies.

The CNS team has done a great job, Fleischmann said at an October 6 meeting of the East Tennessee Economic Council.

“The men and women, our workers, do a great job, the entire team does a great job,” he said. “We live in a dangerous world and our nation’s nuclear deterrent is very important right now, so keeping that Y-12/Pantex contract together, I think, is critically important. It’s cost-efficient and efficient in getting the job done. That’s something I’m advocating for with my colleagues in Congress and in the administration.”

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