CNS says 507 jobs already filled

michelle reichertConsolidated Nuclear Security, the government’s managing contractor at the Y-12 and Pantex nuclear weapons plants, clarified some details of its hiring campaign Wednesday and said about 500 of the new jobs — out of a total of 1,150 — are being filled at the Oak Ridge plant.

In a message to employees, Michelle Reichert, the contractor’s deputy enterprise manager, said CNS has already filled a total of 507 jobs at the two sites and plans to hire 300 more in the next three months.

According to Reichert, the new hires are needed to meet the additional workload at the two weapons plants.

The National Nuclear Security Administration, a semi-independent part of the Department of Energy that runs the nuclear weapons complex, is planning on Y-12 and Pantex performing “a greater amount of mission work” in the coming years, Reichert said in the message to employees at the sites in Oak Ridge and Amarillo, Texas.

Both plants are involved the manufacture and refurbishment of nuclear warheads, as well as the dismantlement of retired weapon systems.

“This increased workload will help ensure the safety and reliability of our nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile, provide capabilities to draw down global weapons inventory, reduce the spread of nuclear weapons and terrorism, and provide highly specialized fuel for the nuclear navy.”

Y-12 has been asked to step up processing activities to convert uranium scraps into a purified metal form for reuse in weapons or storage and other uses.

The National Nuclear Security Administration last year challenged the Oak Ridge plant to achieve an annual output of 1,000 kilograms — a production level Y-12 has not reached since the end of the Cold War.

CNS, a corporate partnership headed by Bechtel, said it plans to meets its goals hiring, developing and retaining a skilled workforce.

One of the strategies is to hire workers from other DOE or Defense Department facilities who already have security clearances. CNS also said Y-12 and Pantex have traditionally worked with local communities.

“CNS will continue this approach and work to hire locally whenever possible by conducting local hiring events, attending local and regional job fairs, and posting job opportunities throughout traditional and online media,” the contractor stated.

Reichert noted: “The interest in job postings and progress in hiring at Pantex and Y-12 are evidence that our recruiting efforts are getting results and that the significance of the national security work done at Pantex and Y-12 is important to prospective employees.”

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About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.