Pantex Blog

Pantexans spare time for Big Brother Big Sisters

Posted: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 14:54

CNS Chief Operating Officer Bill Tindal (left) and Pantex Site Manager Todd Ailes give a $10,000 donation to Emily Nance, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Texas Panhandle.
CNS Chief Operating Officer Bill Tindal (left) and Pantex Site Manager Todd Ailes give a $10,000 donation to Emily Nance, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Texas Panhandle.

Many Pantexans got out and bowled to help support the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Texas Panhandle May 1 during the Bowl for Kids’ sake event.

This annual day of bowling is one that participants look forward to every year. Pantexans form teams, come up with creative team names, and spend part of a Saturday bowling for a good cause – one aimed at matching caring adults to children in need.

Pantex has been a main sponsor of Bowl for Kids’ Sake for 18 years, and in March, donated $10,000 to help fund the event and aid BBBS in recruiting and training mentors.

“We couldn’t do any of this without community donors,” Emily Nance, BBBS of the Texas Panhandle executive director, said. “Bowl for Kids’ Sake would not be the most fun event ever without the Pantex crew. So, it means a lot. We don’t charge fees for our services; they are free to volunteers and to parents, so we must raise the money to have professional staff to track the matches and make the matches.”

BBBS has a lasting impact on the children it serves and the mentors who volunteer their time. Pantex has been fortunate to partner with this incredible organization for many years, and the enduring legacy of BBBS is featured in this video.

If you are interested in becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister, contact Emily Nance, Executive Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Texas Panhandle at 806.351.2210

Pantex supports Good Scout Lunch

Posted: Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 11:19

Michelle Reichert, President and Chief Executive Officer of Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC

Pantex has been a proud sponsor the Golden Spread Council of Boy Scouts Good Scout Luncheon for several years. This year, Michelle Reichert, President and Chief Executive Officer of Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC was the event committee chair for the Good Scout Luncheon and offered the event’s Welcome and Opening Remarks at the April 29th luncheon.

The event took place at Hodgetown Stadium and featured Rick Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Energy, as keynote speaker. Pantex donated $3,500 to help the Golden Spread Council continue supporting scouts in the Panhandle area.

Rick Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Energy
Michelle Reichert, President and Chief Executive Officer of Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC

Jackie Kelly Award 2021 winners named

Posted: Friday, May 14, 2021 - 07:36

Jackie Kelly Award

Congratulations to Renae Freeman of Pantex and Julie Hope of Y-12 on National Administrative Professionals Day

When you have a question about a work process, policy, or practice, who is the first person you think to ask? If you’re like many of us, you think of your organization’s administrative professional. Their jobs are wide in scope and deep in complexity, with high pressure deadlines and incessant interruptions. And of course the pandemic added many additional challenges.

To recognize their role in keeping businesses, organizations, and agencies running smoothly, official recognition was established in 1952 as National Secretaries Day. The name changed to National Administrative Professionals Day in 2000 to recognize the increasingly technical and professional skills the occupation requires.

At Pantex and Y-12 there are almost 100 of these wonder workers, who are like the oil that keeps the engine of productivity running smoothly. One such exemplary administrative professional was Jackie Kelly, who was known at Y-12 for meeting every challenge that came her way, including cancer that eventually took her life. In 2017 the Jackie Kelly Award was established in her memory to recognize one outstanding administrative professional at each site. The winners each receive a $500 cash award and a recognition plaque.

This year, 21 nominations were received from Pantex and Y-12. A panel of five judges representing both sites chose the winners based on nominations that described how each nominee demonstrated dedication, conscientiousness, caring, can-do attitude, and capability.
Zelda Martinez of Pantex considered serving as a judge an honor, and said she mistakenly thought it would be an easy decision to make. The difficulty of the decisions made her proud, she added.

“I was very wrong. The level of dedication, resourcefulness, self-motivation, and above all, the compassion that all the nominees exhibit, not only to their job responsibilities, but to the community and ultimately the country, is second to none,” Martinez said.

Renae Freeman, Pantex, Process Engineering/Tooling & Tester Engineering

Renae Freeman, Pantex, Process Engineering/Tooling & Tester Engineering

Renae Freeman is the administrative professional for Tooling and Machine Engineering, and she also volunteered to provide services for Process Engineering because that division is without one.

“Despite her already significant workload, Renae stepped up and volunteered to help out our department. Being a large department of over 100 employees, this is a huge undertaking,” one of her nominations read.

Another praised her “never say no” approach, “Renae has a fantastic attitude and a consistent willingness to help. She treats every request with the utmost level of priority and consideration.”

That Freeman isn’t drawn to the spotlight motivated one nominator to shine one on her.

“She is a quiet leader and never seeks recognition for all her great work, which has made her even more well deserving of this award.”

Julie Hope, Y-12, Production/Enriched Uranium Operations

Julie Hope, Y-12, Production/Enriched Uranium Operations

Julie Hope’s nominators noted she is hardworking, accountable, perseverant, and has a positive attitude.

“Julie is a model for anyone seeking to witness an employee who is dedicated to performing her job with excellence.”

She performed the work of two of her peers during COVID-19 containment one nomination read, “accepting all challenges with grace and quickly excelling at all tasks. Julie is an anchor for Building 9212 and the embodiment of a superstar employee.”

“She helps everyone with a joyful attitude such that everyone enjoys working with her. She often teaches others from her existing expertise or researches issues/questions to find solutions to provide to the team.”

One of Hope’s nominations ends with a bit of humor, “We hope we have been able to convince each of you of her excellence, but if not, please don’t hold our inabilities to write against Julie, since we didn’t have her to help us with this write-up!”

Given her selection as an award winner, the persuasion worked.

Armed Forces Day: Pantex’s Dr. Michael Paston reflects on importance of unified purpose

Posted: Monday, May 10, 2021 - 13:33

I have sometimes wondered what goes into designating a day an American holiday. Armed Forces Day, which is May 15 this year, began in 1949 after the armed forces were unified under one department — the Department of Defense. As someone who served in the Air Force, I have seen the benefits of people unifying for a purpose. This intangible force generates success, particularly in chaotic and uncertain times. We all agree 2020 was COVID chaotic, and 2021 will present uncertainty with the contract transition. The guiding light in these times will be steadfast adherence to our unified values; what Armed Forces Day represents. Let me clarify this.

While assigned to Air Mobility Command in 2009 at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, I oversaw the health of the pilots, maintainers, other flight line operators, and their families. AMC,/abbr> tasked Charleston AFB to deliver cargo all over the world. Charleston provided airlift of troops and passengers, military equipment, cargo, and aeromedical equipment and supplies worldwide. In other words, the airlift mission flew to all continents, delivering people and cargo, beans and bullets, anytime, anywhere. However, let me tell you a secret.

The actual operation of a successful airlift mission is about as glamorous as drops of water on stone. There’s no frenzy, no flap, just the inexorable process of getting the job done. In a successful airlift, you don’t see planes parked all over the place; they’re either in the air, onloading or unloading, or being worked on. You don’t see personnel milling around; flying crews are either flying or resting so they can fly again the next day. Everyone else is also on the job, working quietly and efficiently.

The real excitement from a successful airlift comes from seeing lines climbing steadily on PowerPoint charts — tonnage delivered, aircraft utilization, and so on (while lines representing accidents and injuries remain down). That’s where the glamour lies in air transport. It is this beat, this precise rhythmical cadence, which determines the success of an airlift. Nevertheless, it’s not enough.

One key factor for success of an airlift (or any large operation) is everyone working toward unified goals. On a cold, windy January night, I was making rounds on the flight line (my rounds were not only in the hospital) because the mission called for launching 20 or so C-17s at 3 minute intervals — a colossal orchestration. I knew 3,000 or so airmen would be working 24 hour operations under floodlights toward this task. I always thought making myself available to the pilots and crew members, seeking them out and listening to their complaints, gave me insight into the true health and operations of the mission, which I could never have gotten sitting at my desk reading e mails and secondhand reports.

“How’s it going?” I asked an airman, who looked about 18 years old, as she crouched over a wheel well to tighten some bolts. She looked up, quite perturbed, and said, “Sir, I can’t talk. If I don’t finish this, we won’t launch these 20 birds.” Then it dawned on me that this 18-year-old sensed mission success depended on her. She knew her responsibility involved working collectively toward a mission. Seeing her dedication, I was reassured all 20 planes would launch at the precise time as ordered.

It’s this perspective that affects my current mission here at Pantex. That’s why I took particular pride when the American Association of Ambulatory Health Care inspected our clinic on April 30 and the inspector said, “It is very clear that your staff are aligned with the higher calling of national security that is the mission of Pantex.” I cannot imagine a higher praise.

We unify for a purpose — across all of CNS — despite the challenges we’ve faced this past year and the uncertainty ahead. As a doctor, I care about the health and welfare of people, and as a Pantexan, I contribute to achieving our mission — a mission that unifies us and embodies what Armed Forces Day celebrates.

7 Ways Pantex Helps the Environment

Posted: Friday, April 16, 2021 - 10:34

The Pantex Wind Farm has allowed the site to consistently exceed DOE goals regarding the use of renewable energy and reduce energy-related greenhouse gas emissions
The Pantex Wind Farm has allowed the site to consistently exceed DOE goals regarding the use of renewable energy and reduce energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.

Buying Green
Pantex continues to acquire electronics products that are environmentally sustainable. During FY 2020, Pantex received the EPEAT Purchaser Award for purchasing approximately 95% of monitors, computers, telephones, televisions, and other imaging systems that met the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool criteria established by the Green Electronics Council. Nearly 100% of all computers and monitors save energy by using power management tools. Pantex Sustainable Acquisition also received the DOE Greenbuy award for purchasing eight green products in three different categories.

Recycling to prevent waste.

Recycling to prevent waste
During FY 2020, Pantex recycling efforts resulted in a total 1,265,048 pounds in recycled material. The following quantities (in pounds) of waste shipped to various recycling companies:

  • Batteries 73,967
  • Cardboard 95,360
  • Electronics 22,451
  • Lamps 2,857
  • Other 140,937
  • Paper 48,200
  • Plastic 6,720
  • Scrap Metal 814,316
  • Scrap Tires 29,620
  • Used Oil 30,620

Employing renewable energy
The plant continues to use renewable energy-powered equipment such as solar-powered aerators in the wastewater lagoons, solar-powered lights at parking lots, and solar-generated power to emergency notification towers. Since the summer of 2014, the Pantex Renewable Energy Project or “wind farm” has allowed the site to consistently exceed DOE goals for using renewable energy and reducing energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. The wind farm also provides both Pantex and Y-12 with renewable energy credits, which help exceed DOE sustainability goals.

Reducing energy intensity
Pantex has reduced energy intensity by 20% since 2015 primarily through the use of the Pantex wind farm. Energy intensity is the amount of energy used per square foot of plant’s footprint. By 2025, the goal is to reduce energy intensity at Pantex by 30% from the 2015 baseline. Energy savings in projects such as the HVAC Strike Team replacements and security lighting upgrades will further Pantex’s progress in reducing energy consumption.

Conserving water resources
The groundwater remediation program at Pantex focuses on pumping water from the perched aquifer and limiting the amount of recharge back into the perched aquifer. When contaminated water is pumped from the perched aquifer, it is treated to remove contaminants. This treated groundwater is then mixed with treated wastewater from the rest of the plant. Over the last two years, Pantex has renovated a subsurface irrigation system that, under a permit from the State of Texas, allows this treated wastewater to be beneficially reused for crop irrigation. Using the treated wastewater for irrigation increases crop production and reduces the amount of recharge going back into to the perched aquifer. On a typical day, between 900,000 and 1 million gallons of treated wastewater will be used in the subsurface irrigation system.

Following the rules
The State of Texas has issued Pantex an environmental compliance rating of “high,” which is the best rating that is offered by the state. The rating is based on Pantex’s compliance with its permits and authorizations and all of the environmental laws and regulations applicable to its operations. In addition, the state has classified the Pantex water supply and distribution system as “Superior.” This is also the highest rating offered by the state and is based on performing operations that go beyond those required by regulation.

Reducing waste
Pantex continues to use digital technology, such as the X-ray machine in the Pantex Occupational Medical Department, to eliminate silver-contaminated film wastes and reduce annual radiography waste. Electronics equipment is dispositioned through certified recyclers, transferred, or donated to other sites and/or educational institutions through various government programs. Accordingly, 99% of electronic equipment was kept out of landfills. In addition, more than 95% of all Pantex printers have duplex printing capabilities to save paper use.