WASHINGTON, D.C. – The
National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that excess titanium at
its Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee will be used by the U.S. Army to develop a
new generation of lightweight protective body armor for combat soldiers.
The material, which was originally intended for use at the Oak Ridge, Tenn., facility,
has been provided to the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (ARDEC)
at Picatinney Arsenal, N.J. The high strength, lightweight material is also being
considered by ARDEC for use in breech assemblies on field artillery to improve maintenance
“As we work to transform a Cold War-era nuclear weapons complex into a 21st
century nuclear security enterprise, NNSA is committed to finding new ways to reuse
unwanted material that save taxpayers money,” said Randal S. Scott, Deputy Associate
Administrator for Infrastructure and Environment. “The fact that this excess titanium
will be used to protect our soldiers in combat makes this accomplishment even more
rewarding, and is one more example of our investment in nuclear security paying dividends
in other areas.”
The titanium, valued at about $10,000, was processed and transferred to ARDEC at a cost
to the Army of $2,500. The transfer saved Y-12 $12,000 in waste characterization and
disposal costs. This cooperative effort between NNSA, Y-12 and ARDEC resulted in a net
benefit to the government of $19,500. Based on the success of this effort, Y-12 is
considering this business model to dispose of additional excess materials.
This marks the second successful transfer of materials from Y-12 to the Picatinney
Arsenal. In October 2009, Y-12 transferred a large quantity of stainless steel that was
used for various military support and production activities at the New Jersey site.
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a separately organized agency within the U.S.
Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military
application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security,
reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing;
works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy
with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological
emergencies in the United States and abroad.