pantex plant (usdoe)


The Pantex Plant is a Federal Facility owned by the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (USDOE/NNSA) and managed and operated by Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Pantex, LLC (B&W Pantex). The facility occupies approximately 16,000 acres with approximately 10,000 of these acres owned by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and 6,000 acres leased from Texas Tech University (TTU). The acreage leased from TTU serves as a buffer zone for site safety and security. Current operations include the development, testing, and fabrication of HE components; nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly, interim storage of plutonium and weapon components; and component surveillance. The Pantex Plant’s historical waste management practices have included thermal treatment of explosives, explosive components, and contaminated liquids and solvents (including test residues of explosives and depleted uranium); burial of industrial, construction, and sanitary waste in unlined landfills; disposal of solvents in pits or sumps; discharge of untreated industrial wastewaters to unlined ditches and playas; and the use of surface impoundments for the disposal of chemical constituents. These prior practices resulted in the release of both chemical and radionuclide constituents to the environment that have been fully investigated and addressed by the selected Sitewide remedy. The major threat to human health and the environment for the Pantex Plant project is from impacts to groundwater from industrial operations onsite. Large volumes of industrial wastewater were historically discharged to ditches, which in turn, drained to the onsite playas. The perched groundwater, beneath Pantex Plant, and adjacent to the east and south boundaries, is impacted by chemical contaminants above drinking water standards. Most importantly, there is a high potential for contaminants to migrate downward to the underlying Ogallala Aquifer if remedial action is not taken. Therefore, the development of remedial actions has focused on treating, reducing, and containing contaminants in the perched groundwater to protect the Ogallala, the principal source of drinking water in the region. The City of Amarillo’s public water supply is pumped from wells just north of Pantex.

Hazardous Ranking Score

51 / 100

A score of 28.5 or higher qualifies a site for the Superfund National Priority List.

Regional Contact

Region 6
Phone: (800) 887-6063

Contact Region



Site Inspection
Preliminary Assessment
Final Listing On NPL

Contaminants & Health Effects

      Endocrine Disrupter
      Reproductive Toxin
      Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic


        African American
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        Native Hawaiian


        People living
        within a 1 mile radius


        Average Income


        Occupied homes

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