NNSA releases planning documents

The National Nuclear Security Administration this week released its major planning documents to Congress, including the FY 2017 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan — addressing the status of life-extension work on old nuclear weapons and other missions — and a companion report on non-proliferation, A Strategic Plan to Reduce Global Nuclear Threats.IMG_5650

There have been discussions about increased budgets to accelerate the dismantlement rates to meet goals.

In the stockpile management report’s conclusion, the NNSA noted, “In FY 2015, warhead dismantlement did not proceed at a rate to allow dismantlement of all weapons retired prior to FY 2009 by FY 2022. NNSA intends to increase that rate, starting in FY 2018, to recover the shortfall and complete the dismantlement a year early (by FY 2021 if the full amount of the requested funding is provided).”

Life-extension work on the W76 Trident warheads continues to be a priority and that work is now more than halfway done, according to the report. Production of the W76-1 warheads should be completed by FY 2019. the report stated.

The NNSA is working with the Department of Energy’s Office of Science on high-performance computing, and there is an appendix in the 134-page stockpile report that discusses the need to move toward exascale computing to improve the predictive capabilities for certifying the nuclear arsenal without weapons testing.

The report reiterates the previously stated goals for the modernization of enriched uranium operations at Y-12 in Oak Ridge. In a list of out-year objectives, the NNSA cited, “End enriched uranium operations in Building 9212 at Y-12 National Security Complex and deliver the Uranium Processing Facility for no more than $6.5 billion by 2025.”

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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.