Jason Armstrong was recently named the National Nuclear Security Administration’s manager at the Savannah River Site, a position in which he will lead a team of federal employees and oversee national defense and nonproliferation ventures at the reservation south of Aiken.
Armstrong – experienced with the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee, the Pantex Plant in Texas and the Richland Operations Office at the Hanford Site in Washington, among others – officially fills the void left by the departure of Nicole Nelson-Jean, who last year took a high-profile leadership job at the Department of Energy’s cleanup office.
His first day on the job was Monday.
Jeffrey Allison, who acted as the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Savannah River Site manager in the interim, has returned to his post as deputy manager.
Armstrong arrives at a pivotal time for the Savannah River Site and its National Nuclear Security Administration missions, including the handling and packaging of tritium, a radioactive hydrogen isotope used in nuclear weapons, and the potential crafting of nuclear weapon cores, officially known as plutonium pits. The former has happened for years, and remains an anchor at the site. The latter, some say, would return the Savannah River Site to its Cold War roots and boost its international profile.
Armstrong has a science degree in radiation health physics from Oregon State University. He is a certified health physicist and attended the Energy Department’s executive leadership training.