Y-12, UT sign agreement to continue, expand collaborative work

A Memorandum of Understanding signed today by Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS) and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will expand collaborations while making the country safer and more secure. CNS and the university collaborate in areas ranging from joint research to analyzing business operations and pushing more technologies into the private sector.

The partnership between the university and the Y-12 National Security Complex, which began in 2011, combines the leading research talents of the university with Y-12's successful track record in technology development and application that bolsters national security. Through CNS, the agreement now also incorporates the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas.

CNS manages and operates Y-12 and the Pantex Plant for the National Nuclear Security Administration.

“By combining the talents and resources of UT and Y-12, we've developed new technologies that are benefitting us inside the plant and have the potential to help manufacturers and others outside of Y-12,” said Jim Haynes, CNS president and CEO. “We will continue to work with some of the university's brightest students as interns and grads to help us meet our important national security mission. We are also working together to develop a program that's preparing suppliers for opportunities with the new Uranium Processing Facility, one of the most important projects for Y-12 and the nation.”

Haynes and UT Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek signed the MOU during a ceremony at the Y-12 New Hope Center.

"Our longstanding relationship with Y-12 has enriched our students' hands-on learning experiences while developing technology that solves problems like long wait times at the doctor or the detection of IEDs," said Cheek. "I look forward to the expansion of this partnership and the big ideas that will come from it."

The university and Y-12 have worked together training future scientists and engineers for decades through co-op and intern programs. The Haslam College of Business’ MBA program has integrated with Y-12 since 2007 by having students work on projects at the site. 

While the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration strongly advocate close collaborations between universities and its sites, typically such agreements are between the national laboratories and universities. Y-12 and UT broke that mold by forming a relationship between an NNSA production site and a major research university.  

This MOU also incorporates another Joint Agreement that leveraged both partners' individual and joint assets and allowed staff members of each to participate in activities at each other’s sites.

UT already supports Y-12 on several Y-12 or plant-directed research and development projects. Under the new MOU, Y-12, Pantex and UT plan to expand their collaborations on several jointly funded research projects.



Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS) assumed responsibility for management and operations at the Pantex Plant and the Y-12 National Security Complex July 1, 2014. CNS operates the two sites a under a single contract for the National Nuclear Security Administration, with a focus on the absolute priorities of safety, security, quality, mission delivery and cost efficiency. CNS member companies include Bechtel National, Inc., Lockheed Martin, ATK Launch Services, and SOC, with Booz Allen Hamilton as a teaming subcontractor.

Pantex, located in Amarillo, Texas, and Y‐12, located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, are key facilities in the U.S. Nuclear Security Enterprise, charged with maintaining the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. Pantex is responsible for nuclear weapons life extension programs; weapons dismantlement; development, testing, and fabrication of high explosives components; and storage and surveillance of plutonium pits. Y‐12 is responsible for safe and secure uranium storage, processing, and manufacturing operations; supplying fuel for the U.S. Navy; and global non-proliferation. For more information on each site, visit http://www.pantex.com/Pages/default.aspx or http://www.y12.doe.gov/.

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