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History of the Nuclear Weapons Complex

History of the Nuclear Weapons Complex

“History of the Nuclear Weapons Complex: Highlights”
Speaker: Charles Loeber, DOE and SNL (retired).

Abstract: The Nuclear Weapons Complex (NWC) is a nationwide group of government owned, contractor-operated laboratories, plants, and test sites that are managed by the National Nuclear Security Administration under the U.S. Department of Energy. The NWC is responsible for the design, development, production, modification, repair, assembly,
disassembly and disposal of all U.S. nuclear weapons.

The NWC began with three sites under the Manhattan Project during World War II. It evolved over the next half-century as needed to meet national security requirements. Changes were driven by the Cold War and new technologies. The NWC involved over fifty sites and many fascinating people. After the Cold War ended, the NWC was reduced to eight major sites. This presentation will provide some interesting and amusing highlights from the History of the NWC.

Place: Courtyard by Marriott, Santa Fe
3347 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, NM (505-473-2800)
Directions: From Albuquerque, take I-25 North approximately 55 miles to Exit 278 (Cerrillos Road).
Hotel is located 3 miles on the left-hand side of Cerrillos Road at Richards Avenue.

Date: February 24, 2012
6:00 Social Hour with Cash Bar
7:00 Buffet Dinner (London broil and grilled chicken breast)
7:45 Speaker

Cost: $30 per person, ½ price for students and children
We strongly encourage you to sign up and pay for this event using our PayPal payment account. Visit the “Calendar” page of our web site ( and select the appropriate payment button. You may use your own credit card and do NOT need to have a PayPal account to make the payment.

Charles Loeber – Brief Biography

Charles Loeber spent over 40 years in the Nuclear Weapons Complex (NWC), which includes 12 years with the Dept of Army as a design engineer, 18 years with the Dept of Energy (DOE) as a Program Manager, and 10 years with Sandia National Labs. In 1991, as the Cold War was ending, Charles was asked to manage the DOE’s Nonnuclear Reconfiguration Program where he was responsible for closing sites that brought the NWC to its current size.   He received many honors including the DOE’s Exceptional Career Service Award.  Charles retired from the DOE in 1994 and then joined Sandia where he helped establish their neutron generator production capability.   He also managed their New Hire Orientation Program.  He retired again in 2005.

Charles Loeber

Since then, Charles has been serving as a consultant but spends most of his time on volunteer activities. Most notably, he is a past-President of the National Atomic Museum Foundation. He also served as the Project Manager to build the new National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, which opened in April of 2009.   Charles has been giving presentations on the History of the Nuclear Weapons Complex to a variety of audiences for over 25 years. In 1998, as a hobby, he began to capture this story in writing. He finished this manuscript in 2001 and donated it to Sandia as a public service.   He has no financial interest in it.  In 2002, Sandia decided to publish this work in book form and make it available for training at the Lab. They also made it available to the public through the museum. The book has been well received and is now in its third printing. Charles has been happily married to a beautiful lady for 47 years. They have four grown children and ten grandchildren.

RSVP:  If you do not use PayPal payment, please RSVP no later than Feb 20th to:
Markku Koskelo: (505-338-8083) or
Bill Flor: (505-665-8768).

RSVP must be received by 20 Feb in order to give final numbers to the caterers. While we strongly encourage everyone to use online payment to sign up and prepay, an RSVP is a commitment to attend/pay at the door. We cannot afford “no
shows” after the final count is given to the caterers, as the Section is partially subsidizing the cost of this event. If you cancel after 20 Feb, you will still be responsible for paying.

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