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Nuclear Weapons: NNSA Needs to Establish a Cost and Schedule Baseline for Manufacturing a Critical Nuclear Weapon Component
Gene Aloise (au)
The Nat. Nuclear Security Admin. (NNSA) is responsible for pit manufacturing (PM), a key component in a nuclear warhead. It lost its ability to PM in 1989 with the closing of the Rocky Flats Plant. In 1996, the Los Alamos Nat. Lab. was directed to reestablish a PM capability, starting with a limited number of pits for the W88 warhead. In recent years, NNSA has considered ways to increase its PM capacity, incl. building a new, large-scale PM facility. It has also proposed producing pits for the Reliable Replacement Warhead. This report determines the: (1) extent to which NNSA achieved its major goals for reestablishing its PM capability; (2) factors that currently constrain its ability to increase its PM capacity; and (3) status of its plans for future PM. Tables.
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