Unsung Heroes: Boiler House team makes the mission possible in more ways than one

  • Posted: Monday, September 25, 2023, 12:01 pm

Deputy Site Manager Kenny Steward examines the sight glass, which give him a look inside one of the Pantex boilers.

Every day, thousands of Pantex employees go about their work day. Not many pause to consider the people on call 24 hours a day to make humble, yet vital, facets of daily life like temperature control and operating toilets—not to mention, many more vital mission operations—properly function.

“The Boiler House … We take care of creature comforts, heating the buildings. But, we also work processes for the labs and the humidity controls,” explained Pantex employee Johnny H. “We take care of most everything in Infrastructure that has anything to do with a utility.”

As it turns out, that’s quite a lot. And, according to one of Heredia’s colleagues, Russell L., the less visible the Utilities team is to the average Pantexan, the better it means their team is performing.

“Your average person comes to Pantex,” he began, “and does not know anything about the utilities because they can drink the water, they can go to the restroom, they can be comfortable. If they can’t, they’re calling Infrastructure Utilities. So, no news is good news for us.”

While Utilities employees may prefer to perform their work behind the scenes, the service they provide is crucial. In a very literal sense, their work makes our deterrent mission possible by creating the environmental conditions necessary for proper operations.

Johnny said having knowledgeable people who work well together increase solutions to common challenges.

“Most of the challenges we face are natural occurrences. When it’s summertime and running 110 degrees and above, systems are struggling to maintain temperatures and flows for the H20 system,” he said. “But we adapt. The team that I have, we have tons of experience, and they really take care of us.”