U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm visited the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) during a trip to the Silver State. It was the Secretary’s first visit since her confirmation in February 2021 amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. Granholm is the 16th Secretary of Energy and the second woman to lead the U.S. Department of Energy since its creation in 1977. Video of her tour is available for download on YouTube.
The Secretary’s visit included a tour of the Site’s U1a Complex (an underground facility where the NNSS performs scientific work to support national security), briefings from the NNSS Remote Sensing Laboratory at Nellis Air Force Base and Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, and surveys of several of the Site’s facilities and ongoing infrastructure projects.
“It is so helpful to be here to physically see the work being done at the Nevada National Security Site,” said Granholm. “What you do is incredibly important to this nation and the world. On behalf of the 330 million in the United States, and the billions of people across the globe, thank you for your part in making this a safer planet.”
Granholm visited the town of Mercury, once home to 10,000 people in the 1960s who worked at what was then known as the Nevada Test Site. Mercury’s structures, some dating back to the 1950s, house operations and other critical functions for the 1,355-square-mile Site.
Mercury is undergoing a renaissance as the NNSS transforms aging infrastructure and facilities into energy efficient, resilient and high-performance utilities and structures to support its modern national security mission. A shining example is Fire Station 1, which was the first net zero and LEED Gold certified building in the National Nuclear Security Administration. A solar array in Mercury powers Fire Station 1 and the 14,000-square-foot Building 1, also net zero and LEED Gold certified, that opened in 2018. Fourteen existing buildings have been certified by the NNSA as High-Performance Sustainable Buildings and several new energy efficient buildings are slated for construction in the coming years.
“I am impressed by your ingenuity and purposeful transition to sustainable energy sources and, with your space and abundant sunshine, I look to you to think ambitiously about renewable energy,” said Granholm. “The NNSS is poised to become a shining example of sustainability.”