NNSA tardy on performance reviews

The National Nuclear Security Administration hasn’t publicly released the performance evaluations for its contractors for Fiscal Year 2015, which concluded Sept. 30, 2015.
And it’s not clear whether it will or not, because they’re way overdue.

NNSA spokeswoman Shelley Laver earlier this week it was the agency’s “intent” to release them “in the coming weeks,” although no schedule was set.

Requests for the performance documents have been filed through the Freedom of Information Act by multiple organizations, including the News Sentinel.

But the performance reviews have been a point of contest in years past, and the NNSA at times released them only upon threat of legal action.

What’s interesting is that Consolidated Nuclear Security — the government’s managing contractor at the Y-12 and Pantex nuclear weapons plant — earlier told its employees it had received a “disappointing” performance score of 57 out of 100.

That covered not only FY 2015, but also the last three months of Fiscal Year 2014 because CNS took over management of the two plants on July 1, 2014, three-fourths of the way through the federal year.

“The score is lower than expected and should be disappointing for every one of us,” then-President Jim Haynes said at the time.

But until the NNSA releases the performance documents, the reasons for the unusually low score won’t be established. That performance score reportedly did not include the contractor’s work on the Uranium Processing Facility, a giant project that’s being evaluated separately.

Meanwhile, even though Consolidated Nuclear Security — a corporate team headed by Bechtel — got a low performance score for last year, the contractor’s leadership team recently provided employees with a Top 10 list of achievements for 2015.

Topping the list was the work on nuclear weapons.

According to the poster, CNS supported the Defense Department requirements for extending the life of Trident (W76-1) warheads — which are deployed on submarine-launched missile systems — as well as development work on the new B61-12 that will replace multiple variations of the B61 bomb.

Among the contractor’s other self-stated achievements was staying ahead of schedule on key activities involving highly enriched uranium, which is Y-12’s specialty.

CNS also said it “advanced several large infrastructure projects,” citing work to prepare for a new lithium-production capability at Y-12 and a new emergency operations center.

The contractor touted work on the UPF, saying site readiness was completed on time and $20 million under budget. CNS also said the “nuclear facilities risk reduction” project at Y-12 was done almost a year ahead of time and $5.6 million under budget.

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This entry was posted in CNS, NNSA, nuclear, Pantex, UPF, uranium, Y-12 on by .

About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.