NNSA Recognized for Environmental Sustainability Work

Press Release
Apr 28, 2009

Washington, DC — The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced today that three sites in the nuclear security enterprise were recognized by the Department of Energy for exemplary environmental sustainability practices.  NNSA's Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and Y-12 National Security Complex were honored with the agency's EStar award and cited by the Department as examples of successful new energy projects designed to facilitate a more "green" agency.

"These awards acknowledge each site's leadership in environmental sustainability practices and NNSA's commitment to promoting best practices throughout the nuclear security enterprise," said NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino.  "I commend their efforts and they certainly deserve this important award."

The three NNSA facilities were awarded five of the eight EStar awards presented this year, out of more than 150 projects that were nominated.  

The Y-12 National Security Complex received three of those awards, including one for a project that moved beyond the use of alternative fuels to include other fleet management techniques, such as mass transit and options for bikers and pedestrians, to reduce the impact of employee commuting and campus navigation.

Y-12 was also recognized for initiating pollution prevention programs that included elimination of freon for chip cleaning, development of a tackless residue cleaning cloth, and reuse of surplus materials.  More than 275,600 kg of waste were eliminated resulting in a cost avoidance of $542,000.

Additionally, they identified several historical railroad items that, instead of being discarded, could be donated to the Southern Appalachia Railway System for future generations to enjoy.  This donation also avoided generating 42,000 kg of industrial waste, saved over $40,000 and preserved many historical artifacts.

Los Alamos National Laboratory received the award for a project that developed an annual environmental action plan to identify and correct local environmental issues.  This resulted in over 450 individual improvement actions involving compliance performance, reduced liquid discharge, energy and fuel conservation, and excess materials disposition.

Sandia National Laboratories was recognized for a program that successfully institutionalized pollution prevention techniques such as materials characterization, reuse, and recycling.  These techniques significantly minimized the quantity of solid waste land-filled and hazardous/radioactive materials generated.

Through the EStar awards, Department of Energy recognizes exemplary environmental sustainability practices across the department's complex. This year eight EStar Award winners and three EStar Honorable Mention winners were selected from 35 "Best in Class" environmental sustainability initiatives covering eight Department of Energy sites across the complex.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation's national security enterprise.  NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the 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 U.S. and abroad.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371