New proposed nuclear administration site could cut costs

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s plan to replace its Kansas City facility could result in $100 million in annual savings, an agency official says.

The new $500 million plant would replace the agency’s 3-million-square-foot Bannister Road facility. The savings would come from the new facility’s smaller size — about a third of the old plant — and its more open layout and modern, cost-efficient operations, Mark Holecek, NNSA deputy manager, told reporters and Sen. Kit Bond on Monday.

Holecek noted that some jobs would be lost, cutting payroll costs, but said the number was not significant enough to have a major effect.

The proposed facility would be capable of “undertaking even more projects and undertaking more work that will be extremely important in securing our future and our defense capabilities,” Bond, R-Mo., said after touring the current 60-year-old site and addressing employees.

The NNSA and the General Services Agency hope to submit a proposal to Congress within the next couple of weeks as they continue onsite evaluations.

The current site, managed by Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies, employs 2,600 people and makes over 100,000 parts each year, according to Bond’s office. It is not a nuclear facility, and the parts made there include simple items such as nuts and bolts and more complex items, such as radar systems.