Unused Titanium Will Shield Combat Soldiers

The National Nuclear Security Administration announced the excess material originally intended for use at the Oak Ridge, Tenn., facility, has been provided to the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command for use in developing a new generation of body armor.

About $10,000 worth of titanium slated for use at the National Nuclear Security Administration's Oak Ridge, Tenn., facility, instead has been delivered to the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at Picatinney Arsenal, N.J., and will be used in developing a new generation of lightweight body armor for combat soldiers. ARDEC also may use it in breech assemblies on field artillery to improve maintenance and reliability, NNSA said June 28.

NNSA was created by Congress in 2000 as part of the U.S. Department of Energy. It maintains the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile and works on non-proliferation issues. It also responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the United States and abroad.

ARDEC is an R&D center within the U.S. Army Materiel Command and was the first DoD facility to earn a Malcolm Baldrige Award in November 2007.

"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, NNSA 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 Army paid $2,500 for processing and transfer of the titanium to ARDEC, and the NNSA facility that would have used it saved $12,000 in waste characterization and disposal costs. A similar transfer of stainless steel to the Picatinney Arsenal took place in October 2009, according to NNSA.

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